I am a US citizen and I have the option to make my charitable donations in either the US or Canada for the next few years. How do I maximize my tax benefit for a fixed donation size?
My understanding: the US offers a tax deduction, reducing taxable income by the amount donated, and necessitating itemization. Canada offers a tax credit for a percentage of the donation, and so one may still take the standard deduction. This percentage is determined by the marginal income tax rate (combined provincial and federal), which tends to be higher in Canada than the US. Also, except for the first $200 donated, the Canadian federal part of the tax credit assumes you're in the highest income tax bracket. All of these considerations suggests that a Canadian donation maximizes the benefit.
Any other major considerations I may be missing?
(Minor notes: The money will still go to the same charity, the question is just whether I should donate to the US-registered arm or the Canadian-registered arm. Because I will be working in both the US and Canada, I can take advantage of tax benefits in either of the countries. I am in Ontario.)
(Note also that it appears that only excess contributions, over the 50% income maximum, may be carried over.)