Canadians have a reputation for being generous but when your household budget is tight, giving to charity may be an expense you’ve written off as unaffordable. Think of all the times you were approached for a donation this year. If you sponsor a friend’s walk or ride or said yes to the cashier at the grocery store asking for a donation to a particular charity, you have probably made more donations than you think, little amounts here and there add up. And if you have donated and your budget is tight, don’t forget to claim the tax break.
If you are facing a tight budget but want to donate, ChangeIt may be able to help you balance both your dollars and desire to give. It acts like a virtual spare change jar and at the end of every month the contents are donated to your chosen cause(s). Once you register online, ChangeIt will round up your everyday purchases with your credit card and direct the amounts to your favourite charities.
So if you spend $2.49 on coffee and use your credit card, ChangeIt forwards those 51 cents to your chosen charitable organization(s). By donating small amounts regularly, it makes it easier than trying to come up with the money for a lump sum at the end of the year. Most importantly, ChangeIt gives you a tax receipt for every penny you donate.
Canadians receive a 15% federal tax credit on the first $200 they donate and 29% for donation amounts exceeding $200 in addition to provincial tax credits. Plus, you are allowed to pool your charitable donations and claim up to six years’ worth at one time to maximize how much you get back. But remember, you must have paid tax during the year to get the benefit. If you don’t earn enough income, there is no tax savings to be had.
ChangeIt offers complete control of your charitable giving. You set monthly maximums for your donations and you can turn off your donations at any time if you have some unexpected expenses. You can also make one-time donations through your ChangeIt account. And at the end of the year, you’ll be provided with a tax receipt for your donations made through the ChangeIt program so you don’t have to worry about saving pieces of paper throughout the year.
ChangeIt has been available to credit union customers in communities across Canada and the company recently launched with BMO, its first major bank partner, to offer the service to their Mastercard credit card customers across Canada.
Finding the right balance between your budget and charitable donations can be hard. You may have good intentions that your finances cannot meet. However, ChangeIt offers the flexibility of managing your donations your way and letting the little amounts add up, without that heavy jar of change lying around. For more information, check out https://changeit.com.