Predicted tax hikes expected to spur giving

PJ staff report

Eighty-seven percent of financial advisers expect income taxes will rise for most of their clients over the next 12 to 18 months, and one in four expect their clients will increase their charitable giving to offset tax hikes, a new survey says.

Another 48 percent of advisers expect their clients to maintain their level of giving, despite ongoing uncertainty about the financial markets and an overall decline in charitable giving in 2009, says the 2010 Advice & Giving survey by the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund.

Conducted online in May by Harris Interactive with over 500 financial advisers, the survey also found that while only 52 percent proactively offer charitable planning advice, 63 percent believe clients would be interested in that kind of advice.

“Today, more than ever, high-net-worth investors are looking to their advisers for comprehensive financial planning advice and tax strategies,” Sarah C. Libbey, president of Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, says in a statement.

“By integrating charitable planning within a wealth management offering,” she says, “advisers have the potential to deepen existing client relationships, and open up multi-generational planning opportunities.”

Forty-four percent of advisers say a big reason they do not proactively offer charitable planning advice is because they see philanthropy as a client’s personal decision, while 52 percent say clients have not requested help, and 31 percent say they do not feel qualified or knowledgeable enough on the topic.

Advisers says the top benefit of offering advice on charitable giving to their clients is that is builds relationship.

And 39 percent say they expect donor-advised funds will be the giving vehicle that will increase in use over the next five years, compared to 20 percent that expect that vehicle to be private foundations.

The top reason advisers believe the use of donor-advised funds will grow is that they help simply giving.

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