PG Calc Featured Articles

Are Strong Markets Good News for Planned Giving?

The leading stock market indicators finished extremely well in 2013.  The three most widely-quoted indices – the Standard and Poor’s 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the NASDAQ Composite – all had annual total returns in excess 30%.  These results come on the heels of strong performances in 2012.  What do two years of positive returns indicate for planned giving?

 

A Post-IRA Charitable Rollover Survival Guide

The sun has now set on the IRA charitable rollover for the fourth time. Naturally, we all hope it will soon rise again, ideally in a permanent fashion and with a new brilliance that shines not only on outright transfers but also on life income arrangements. Nevertheless, by no means should we regard ourselves as having been plunged into darkness. On the contrary, we continue to have a number of options we can – and should – be encouraging donors to consider.

Undeserved Neglect: The Installment Bargain Sale

 

A donor approaches your organization to gauge its interest in purchasing a building he owns next door. Your organization is interested, but cannot afford to pay market price for it. The donor is willing to consider making part of the transfer a charitable gift, but wants to receive some immediate financial benefit, too. What should you suggest?

 

Do CRATs Have 9 Lives?

To the extent it is thought of at all, the charitable remainder annuity trust (CRAT) is generally regarded as the “other” type of charitable remainder trust (CRT).  True, a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT) will be appropriate in far more situations than will a CRAT.  Still, a CRAT can prove to be just the right vehicle in certain circumstances, now that somewhat higher IRS discount rates have – at least for the time being – brought newly-established CRATs back from the brink of extinction.

How Safe is Your Data?

Just a decade ago, most data lived in spreadsheets and databases close to home, sometimes right on our desk. IT departments guarded access. The greatest risk to our data was loss through system failure, so full data backups were the rule. Occasionally we would hear of someone’s computers being “hacked,” but it was not a common occurrence.

What happened? Offsite solutions, born in part by the disaster recovery push after 9/11 and the technology that sprang up around it. Hosted or cloud storage became cheap and offered freedom from fears of data loss due to hard drive crashes or mysterious server malfunctions – and also meant greater access to data. Where memory and notes scribbled in tattered files once guided donor cultivation efforts, a few taps on our phones or tablets now reveals up-to-the-minute information and analysis. However, with great (technological) power comes the great responsibility of data security – your data and personal data your donors have entrusted to you.

Substantiation and Appraisal Rules Not Set in Concrete

A recent Tax Court case illustrates the importance of following the substantiation and appraisal requirements for charitable gifts. Or at least, the importance of making a good try. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) disqualified a $1,400,000 charitable deduction because the donor failed to follow the rules. Despite that, the donor’s lawyers managed to save the charitable deduction in the Tax Court.

Don’t Overlook State Taxes Applicable upon Death

As a result of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, an estimated 99.87% of Americans will die without their estates being subject to federal estate tax.  At the state level, however, the situation can be quite a bit different.  Accordingly, in appropriate circumstances gift planners should alert donors to the possibility that a state estate tax or inheritance tax – or both – may apply, while pointing out as well ways to reduce or eliminate such taxes by making charitable gifts.

Don’t Overlook State Taxes Applicable upon Death

As a result of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, an estimated 99.87% of Americans will die without their estates being subject to federal estate tax.  At the state level, however, the situation can be quite a bit different.  Accordingly, in appropriate circumstances gift planners should alert donors to the possibility that a state estate tax or inheritance tax – or both – may apply, while pointing out as well ways to reduce or eliminate such taxes by making charitable gifts.