If charity begins at home, then the eyecare professionals who support the “philanthr-optic” organizations profiled in this issue of Vision Care Product News are truly global citizens, because these groups to which they donate both their time and money are helping people all over the world. And if money makes the world go ‘round, then the ECPs who read this issue of VCPN will also learn not only about the joys of giving it but also about the opportunity to get it back in the form of more tax deductions from their capital investments as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

ECPs should be aware of how this new law will impact their tax deductions, both those resulting from their capital investments as well as from their charitable contributions.

For investments in equipment, “businesses have the rare opportunity to write off most or all of their new capital equipment from 2018,” according to Rick Clemente, chair of The Vision Council’s Lens Processing & Technology Division.”

More details on this “rare opportunity” are provided by financial advisor Greg Einhorn of Group Financial Services in his article about tax benefits on page 54. “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increased the first-year bonus depreciation to 100% for qualified investments made in 2018,” he explained. “Bonus depreciation is available for all businesses, is not capped at a certain dollar level and is good for new or used property. The 100% immediate expensing of asset acquisitions will be permitted for tax years 2018 through 2022 before reducing to 80% in 2023, 60% in 2024, 40% in 2025 and 20% in 2026.”

The new law will also have an impact on your tax deductions from charitable giving, but in this case you will now have to reach a higher threshold. While the deduction for donations has not changed, and you will still need to itemize in order to claim it, the standard deduction, which has been nearly doubled, now requires that you reach a higher level in order to make itemizing worthwhile.

Charitable giving is among the most common itemized deductions (which also include mortgage interest, state and local tax, and medical and dental expense). Under the new law, itemized deductions will now need to exceed $12,000, which is the new standard tax deduction for those who file individually, while married couples’ deductions will now need to be in excess of $24,000 in order to make itemizing them worthwhile.

But, as you can see from our special section on ECPs giving back beginning on page 12, the ECPs VCPN interviewed cited reasons other than financial ones for charitable giving. About giving back, the ECPs we interviewed told us:
“It has been one of the most rewarding experiences.”
“Enhancing their near vision is a near miracle.”
“It was a fantastically rewarding experience to serve desperately poor patients.”
“It’s very eye opening to see how many underserved people there are in my backyard.”
“The most rewarding part is seeing the children’s eyes light up when they see clearly for the first time in their lives.”
“Rewarding” is clearly the operative word here. If what goes around comes around, then this issue’s focus on charitable giving clearly illustrates that it truly is better to give than receive for reasons far more substantial than financial.

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