Charitable giving can be an important tax reduction tool for those who are charitably inclined.  As we head into the year-end tax planning time of year, there are two charitable giving strategies that will be important to consider:

(1) The special rule under IRC Sec 408(d)(8) which allows taxpayers over 70 ½ to contribute up to $100,000 from their IRA to a qualified charity without recognizing any income expires on December 31, 2013, so consider making those gifts from your IRA before the end of this year.

(2) Gifts of appreciated capital gain property (i.e., stocks, mutual funds, etc.) can be used to obtain a deduction for the full value of the property, while avoiding the capital gain tax on the appreciation in value, which is important to remember, particularly given the run up in the stock market over the last few years.