2020:  A Year to Give More

According to Statistics Canada, based on the 2018 tax year, taxpayers who donate to charity are giving more, marking a second year of growth in giving by these generous Canadians.  What’s more, charitable donations rose the most in Saskatchewan – a whopping 17.1% over the year before.  It was therefore very appropriate to hear from a prominent financial advisor from this generous province at this week’s CE Summit, to explain some of the reasons why.

Abe Toews, CLU, CFP, CH.F.C., CHS, ICD.D, Chartered Financial Consultant, Beyond Wealth Consulting Inc. and current Board Chair at Advocis.  “I was pleased to speak at the CE Summit on the topic of charitable giving using life insurance. As we work with business owner and high-net worth clients that are either transitioning out of the businesses or disposing of an asset including investments, we always make them aware of their options to mitigate taxes using donor-advised funds.  Life insurance policies no longer needed, can be valued and donated as well, resulting in a substantial tax savings. The same holds true for many other assets – if you can value it – you can donate it.”

In his session, hosted by the Society of Real Wealth Managers™ Chair, Kristin Ramlal, Abe discussed Year-End Donation Strategies for Owner-Managers. Why is charitable giving an important conversation for advisors to have with clients? According to a Fraser Institute study on charitable giving; it’s a goal that’s important to many Canadians:

  • 7 out of 10 Canadians value charitable giving
  • 1 out of 5 donate annually
  • Over 50% plan to donate in their will

Total donations claimed on tax returns rose 3.9% in 2018 to just under $10.0 billion. While this marks a second consecutive year of increase, the growth was smaller than in 2017 (+7.7%).  None-the-less, this is a significant economic activity in Canada, which advisors need to be more aware of.

The MFA-P™ program helps advisors understand their unique role in the philanthropic discussion and how-to better help clients be more intentional in their giving through high-value conversations.  The three online courses in the program include several true-to-life case studies, including planning with vulnerable clients, strategizing with holding companies, and using life insurance in gift planning.

The MFA-P™ Program is now available online and students may begin anytime to earn credentials in this important professional service. Click the link to learn more and enroll.

Bottom Line:  Canada’s giving trend has been going up and that’s important as generous Canadians think about how to support their communities before year end in this very difficult 2020 year.  Further, when donors work with their advisors on a strategic philanthropic plan, it leads to more giving all year round – not just at year end tax planning time.

Additional educational resources: If you missed the Virtual CE Summit, there’s still an opportunity to take the Flex Study Program online at your own pace. Enrol today and finish your course by the December 31 completion deadline.