By Mary Oishi, Development Director
In this column, I can’t pretend to give any tax advice. I am not a CPA and even if I were, the new tax law even has many CPAs scratching their heads.
However, I do know for sure that, if you gave to KUNM in 2017 and itemize deductions, you are eligible to claim all of your donations to us as a charitable deduction.
For the 2018 tax year, it looks like most people will find it more advantageous to take the new standard deduction of $12,000 per person (plus $1,250 over age 65 additional deduction, if applicable) than to itemize deductions.
So how can you help KUNM and help yourself financially in the process?
The answer is pretty simple if you have an IRA and are 70-1/2 years of age or older. Ask your tax consultant about Qualified Charitable Contributions (QCDs) that allow you to transfer up to $100,000 per year directly from your IRA to a qualified charity. Apparently this strategy results in lower overall taxes because it lowers your adjusted gross income as well as your taxable income, and you can still claim the standard deduction. But your tax preparer will have all of the details.
If you do not have an IRA and/or you are not over 70-1/2 years of age, giving to KUNM may or may not have a tax advantage, but consider how many monthly checks you write for things that never were a tax deduction—probably most everything except your mortgage. Most of us will keep supporting KUNM for the same main reason we did in the past: because it’s the right thing to do, and it’s great to have for us individually and for the community. Quite simply, we need the service KUNM provides.
In fact, did you know that radio and television broadcasters were recently added to First Responders in the new appropriations bill? We have been recognized as playing a critical role in times of disaster. Community public radio in California played a life-saving role during the wildfires that ravaged so many communities. With our live human hosts, we can respond in real time and serve as a vital hub for information when it’s needed.
I will never forget a KUNM Freeform DJ opening the phone lines on 9/11 for listeners to call in and say how they were feeling, what was going through their minds on that awful day. When we needed to come together, to feel close to each other, KUNM was there and our volunteer host instinctively knew exactly what to do. It provided a level of comfort and connection that would have been impossible without KUNM.
We can never let this station go silent. As long as you can give, keep giving. When you can’t give personally, you can always encourage the places you buy and the services you use to
support KUNM, because they can still write off their support as a business expense. Encourage them to call our Underwriting Manager, Chanda Shaw, at 505-277-3969. You can also volunteer to answer phones during the on-air fundraiser, which is coming up the third week in September.
You can carry your totebag or wear your pins proudly. And you can talk us up to your friends and coworkers. They will thank you later for introducing them to this unique radio station, a hub of community for over 50 years.