A super grantor charitable lead trust is a charitable lead trust that has both grantor trust and non-grantor trust characteristics. Sometimes called a “defective” lead trust, the trust distributes its remaining principal to the donor’s heirs when it terminates. However, the donor retains just enough rights in the trust for the trust to be considered a grantor trust for income tax purposes and a non-grantor trust for gift and estate tax purposes. As a result, the donor pays tax on the trust’s taxable income, but the trust’s assets are out of the donor’s estate. The donor receives both an income tax deduction and a gift tax deduction in the year the trust is created. Because the gift is deemed to be “for the use of” the charity, the income tax deduction is subject to IRS 20%/30% limitations.
Charitable Gift Types
A non-grantor charitable lead annuity trust is a gift plan defined by federal tax law that allows an individual to transfer assets to family members at reduced tax cost while making a generous gift to a charity. The donor irrevocably transfers assets, usually cash or securities, to a trustee of her choice, such as a bank trust department. The donor receives a gift tax deduction equal to the value of the income stream promised to the charity. Unlike income tax deductions, gift tax deductions are not subject to IRS limitations.
A grantor charitable lead annuity trust is a gift plan defined by federal tax law that allows an individual to retain ultimate possession of an asset while making a generous gift to charity. The donor transfers assets, usually cash or securities, to a trustee of choice, such as a bank trust department. The donor receives an income tax deduction equal to the value of the income stream promised to the charity. Because the gift is deemed to be “for the use of” the charity, the deduction is subject to IRS 20%/30% limitations.
A balloon charitable lead annuity trust is a type of charitable lead annuity trust. Sometimes called a “shark fin” trust, it shares all characteristics of a standard charitable lead annuity trust except that its payments to charity are not the same fixed amount every year. Instead, the payments are a relatively small amount during all but the final year or final few years of the trust, and then increase dramatically to a large “balloon” amount to be paid in the final year or final few years of the trust.
A build-up gift is any gift that is made in installments over a period of years. For example, a donor might fund a deferred gift annuity each year for five years or make a series of additions to a charitable remainder unitrust.
The states that require charities to report annually on the sufficiency of their gift annuity reserves have maximum interest rates that they allow to be used in the reserve calculation. The maximum interest rate allowed by a particular state depends on the state, the year of gift, and in some cases the number of years a gift's payments were deferred.
Annuity reserves are the assets a charity needs in order to finance its gift annuity payment obligations. The amount of reserves needed to finance each gift annuity depends on the size of the annuity payments, the ages of the annuitants, and the mortality table and interest rate used.
Many charities compute annuity reserves for their own internal purposes to make sure that they have ample funds on hand to make annuity payments now and in the future.
An annuitant is a person who is the income beneficiary of a gift annuity, deferred gift annuity, flexible gift annuity, or commuted payment gift annuity.
The American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) is a national organization of charities that promotes charitable gift annuities. Among its many functions, it is a clearinghouse for information on gift annuities, sponsors the Conference on Gift Annuities every three years, and issues tables of suggested maximum annuity rates that member charities should offer to their donors.
A person's actuarial age for computing a charitable deduction and choosing an ACGA suggested gift annuity rate is his or her age on the birthday that is closest to the date of gift.