Personal Resource Center

Holiday giving that aligns with your goals

Money icon
A 2021 survey showed that 59% of Americans would rather have a donation made to charity in their name rather than receive a gift.

You also should consider giving any minor recipients bonds, particularly Series I Savings Bonds. These earn a fixed rate of interest and a rate that changes with inflation, which is set twice a year for the next six months. The interest compounds until the bond is redeemed. You can choose to report any gains to the IRS annually or when you ultimately cash out.7

You can purchase up to $10,000 in these bonds from TreasuryDirect.gov.7 While you can withdraw the savings after a year, cashing out before five years will come with penalties.7

Give the gift of education or health

You can open a custodial 529 educational fund for any child you wish and contribute up to $16,000 annually — more if you superfund the account. That means you contribute five years of funds up front — $80,000 ($160,000 per couple) — and allow compound interest to grow. You can open a 529 plan for all the children you want and fund them the same way, but overfunding them may subject you to taxes.

Another way to cover a loved one's education — or healthcare — is to pay the money directly to the school or hospital. As long as you pay for qualified health care or educational expenses, there is no set gifting limit. Qualified educational expenses include K-12 expenses that meet certain requirements.

Give the gift of charity

A 2021 survey showed that 59% of Americans would rather have a donation made to charity in their name than receive a gift.9 Like any gift to charity, you can write that donation off on your taxes under specific circumstances.6

Again, you can give cash or property (including stocks) up to the $16,000 (or $32,000 per couple) gift tax limit.8 You won't realize capital gains if you give stock; only the charity will. You may be able to write off the fair market value of the stocks on your taxes, too.6

Make sure you give to qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofits, foundations, or donor-advised funds. Otherwise you might jeopardize your tax deduction.

Before you give a gift to anyone, make sure you understand the IRS and other tax rules. That way you can avoid taxation on your gifts — and receive the appropriate tax deductions.

Talk to your tax advisor and Synovus financial advisor about the best way to plan your giving. Should you give directly to the recipient or to institutions like investment funds or charities? A financial professional can also advise you of any relevant deadlines before your transfer funds to make certain you receive all tax benefits available to you.

Important disclosure information

This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

  1. Bob Carlson, "The Three Ways To Make Tax-Free Gifts And Why YouShould Use Them Soon," Forbes, published November 13, 2021, accessed November 1, 2022. Back
  2. Maryalene LaPonsie, "7 Tax Rules to Know if You Give or Receive Cash," U.S. News & World Report, published April 5, 2022, accessed November 1, 2022. Back
  3. Alicia Tuovila, "How To Make an IRA Contribution as a Gift," Investopedia, published October 4, 2022, accessed November 1, 2022. Back
  4. Jean Folger, "Starting an IRA for Your Child: The Benefits," Investopedia, published March 18, 2022, accessed November 1, 2022. Back
  5. Arielle O'Shea, "Investing for Kids: How to Open a Brokerage Accountfor Your Child," Nerdwallet, published August 4, 2022, accessed November 1, 2022. Back
  6. Chris Davis, "How to Give Stock as a Gift (And Why Tax Pros Like TheIdea)," NerdWallet, published September 9, 2022, accessed November 1, 2022. Back
  7. Hal M. Bundrick, CFP®, "How to Protect Your Spending Power FromInflation," NerdWallet, published September 13, 2022, accessed November 1, 2022. Back
  8. Marcy Keckler, CFP, CRPC, "How to Donate Money and Reduce YourTaxes This Holiday Season," Kiplinger, published December 24, 2021, accessed November 1, 2022. Back
  9. Michael S. Fischer, "Most Americans Would Prefer Charity DonationOver Holiday Gift: Survey." ThinkAdvisor, published November 30, 2021, accessed November 1, 2021. Back