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In the news: Billionaire givers, QCDs, and celebrity inspiration

In the news: Billionaire givers, QCDs, and celebrity inspiration

This month, we’re offering three suggestions for deeper reading on current topics in charitable giving.

Bring out your inner academic with this blog post published by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, especially if you’re interested in the latest chatter and variety of opinions on so-called “billionaire philanthropy.”

If you’re contemplating charitable giving in your retirement years, read this Kiplinger article to brush up on the Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD), recently enhanced by late-2022 legislation. We totally understand that the first (and second, and third) time you read about QCDs, your eyes may glaze over, but the concept really is worth understanding. Contact the team at The Community Foundation. We are happy to break it down for you!

Finally, it can be reassuring to see high-profile individuals (Idris and Sabrina Dhowre Elba, for example) speaking up about their philanthropic values. In a world where so much needs to be done to improve lives and respect humanity, role models offer hope that philanthropy and community involvement can be important factors in progress.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal, accounting, or financial planning advice. 

In case you missed it: Three tax tips worth smiling about

In case you missed it: Three tax tips worth smiling about

Energy incentive extends to nonprofit organizations

Nonprofits and other exempt entities are often left out of discussions when new tax incentives are proposed in Congress, primarily (and logically) because these organizations don’t pay tax. Fortunately, nonprofits are not left out of a recently enhanced tax provision known as the 179D deduction, which is intended to encourage incorporating energy efficiency measures into new or renovated buildings. While a nonprofit itself can’t use the deduction, of course, because it does not pay taxes, this incentive is still valuable because the nonprofit can transfer the deduction to the architect or engineer on the project who then uses the deduction.

The takeaway here? If you represent nonprofit executives or board members at organizations that have undertaken capital projects (universities, for example), you’ll want to be aware of this potential benefit, in addition to keeping up in general on sometimes tricky tax rules related to exempt entities.

This again? More crypto crack down

The ups and downs (and downs) of cryptocurrency continue! If your clients are involved in the cryptocurrency market, and especially if they are contemplating giving these assets to support charitable endeavors, be aware that the IRS continues to formalize its guidance and requirements for a qualified appraisal. Recently, the IRS confirmed that an appraisal is required to claim a deduction of $5,000 or above for a gift of cryptocurrency.

A must-know: Reviewing the QCD

You’ll recall the buzz at the end of 2022 when Congress passed sweeping omnibus legislation that included a version of the long-awaited Legacy IRA provisions that expand a tool called the Qualified Charitable Distribution, or QCD. A QCD is a financially-savvy way for your clients to support the charities they care about.

As a reminder, if your client has reached the age of 70 ½, the client may be eligible to make annual distributions of up to $100,000 from IRAs directly to an unrestricted or field-of-interest fund at the community foundation or other qualifying public charity. QCD transfers count toward satisfying clients’ Required Minimum Distributions and therefore avoid the income tax on those funds. Plus, distributed assets are no longer part of a client’s estate at death, which avoids estate taxes, too. The new law expands the QCD rules to allow for a one-time, $50,000 QCD to a split-interest vehicle, such as a charitable gift annuity or charitable remainder trust, as well as indexing the QCD cap for inflation in future years.

Punchlist: What the IRS may be up to in 2023

Advisors of philanthropic clients are keeping an eye on the IRS’s list of priorities for the fiscal year, which includes a focus on several sections of the Internal Revenue Code that impact charitable giving. The team at The Community Foundation is also watching closely, and, as always, we’ll keep you posted as issues bubble up that may lead to potential charitable giving-related legislation.

 

The team at The Community Foundation is a resource and sounding board as you serve your philanthropic clients. We understand the charitable side of the equation and are happy to serve as a secondary source as you manage the primary relationship with your clients. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal, accounting, or financial planning advice.  

It’s not too early for spring cleaning: Make this the year to help clients get organized

It’s not too early for spring cleaning: Make this the year to help clients get organized

If you’re already dreading asking your clients to pull together their receipts and other documents for 2022 tax filings, this may be a good time to take proactive steps to avoid being in this same spot next year.

When it comes to charitable giving, your clients may find that organizing their giving through one or more funds at The Community Foundation will make their lives easier. Establishing a fund at The Community Foundation is an easy way to organize and track charitable giving. A client can take advantage of this feature by making a single, tax-deductible contribution each year to The Community Foundation, to be added to their donor-advised, field of interest, or other type of fund.

An especially tax-savvy technique is for the client to make this contribution using highly-appreciated stock. After the stock has been transferred to The Community Foundation, the proceeds from The Foundation’s sale of the stock–free from capital gains tax–are then used for distributions to support your client’s favorite charities. No matter how many different charities receive support from the fund, the client still has just one receipt to keep track of charitable donations for income tax deduction purposes.

The subject of gathering up tax receipts for charitable donations is often a prompt for clients to get organized with the rest of their financial lives, too. At the very least, the subject of charitable giving can pave the way for a discussion about the basics of estate planning. Many clients are simply not aware of the meaning and importance of critical elements, such as:

–The difference between a will and a living trust and how charitable wishes fit in to these documents

–Why it’s critical to be intentional about how each and every asset is titled so that the assets actually pass as intended (which requires making a comprehensive list of assets in the first place)

–The dangers of hurriedly filling out life insurance and retirement plan beneficiary designations and why these documents are absolutely critical components of a financial, estate, and charitable plan

–Reasons for having both a “living will” and a durable power of attorney, both of which (or the lack thereof) have a major impact in the event of incapacity

–A reminder to make sure someone in the family knows where to find a list of logins and passwords

Charitable planning is one of many steps in your work with clients, but it can be an excellent catalyst for helping clients understand why they need that comprehensive estate and financial plan you’ve been encouraging them to complete. The team at The Community Foundation is happy to help with the charitable components of your service to clients. We look forward to making it easier for you to address all of your clients’ needs.

The team at The Community Foundation is a resource and sounding board as you serve your philanthropic clients. We understand the charitable side of the equation and are happy to serve as a secondary source as you manage the primary relationship with your clients.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal, accounting, or financial planning advice.  

Community foundations: Unparalleled resources

Community foundations: Unparalleled resources for local giving with major impact 

As economic times get tough, more and more people are asking how they can make the biggest difference right in their own backyard. Indeed, local giving is a topic that has even made its way into the opinions of the mainstream media, causing many charitably-inclined people to pay more attention to the impact their dollars are having on the causes they love.

Sometimes the greatest needs really are right here at home. As donors explore charitable giving opportunities and receive requests for funding from charities near and far, it can be helpful to read first-hand accounts of why other philanthropists have been so inspired by uncovering local needs that they simply were not aware of.

Over the years, researchers have consistently validated the important emotional elements of giving to familiar and nearby organizations to foster the rewarding sense of connection that is such an important driver of repeat philanthropic behaviors. Today’s donors want to be able to actually see the results of charitable investments.

Here are three suggestions for anyone who wants to get started on a “give local” journey.

First, scan the local news. Many people are very accustomed to scrolling the news feeds on phones and catching the national and international headlines. Local news can be hard to find, but those outlets do still exist! In particular, many television stations’ websites include a local news tab. Spend five minutes scrolling through the local news for three days in a row, and you might be surprised at how much you learn about your own community. Make a mental note of issues that raise your eyebrows or make you ask yourself “I hope someone is doing something about that.”

Second, with this research in hand, run a few quick Google searches with the key words you’ve identified, along with the terms “nonprofit,” “charity,” and the name of your town or city. Sometimes these searches will illuminate organizations you might have heard of or even be involved with already. At the very least, you will begin to frame your own description of the local causes you care about.

Third, reach out to the team at The Community Foundation. The Community Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our region, and that is possible through the work of nonprofit organizations and people like you who support them. The Community Foundation team will know which nonprofits are addressing the issues you’d like to learn more about and can provide advice about how your charitable dollar can make the greatest possible difference.

The Community Foundation is unparalleled in its ability to be flexible and responsive, providing outstanding, personal service designed around your needs while at the same time working closely with legal, tax, and wealth advisors to ensure that you are maximizing the financial elements of your charitable giving plan.

We look forward to working with you to make as big a difference as possible in the causes you love and make our community an even better place for everyone.

Valuable conversations: Why it’s smart to talk with your clients about charitable giving

Valuable conversations: Why it’s smart to talk with your clients about charitable giving

January is a good time to start helping your clients plan for their annual giving. With the year-end flurry of donations still fresh in many clients’ minds, you may discover that clients will welcome your suggestion to make 2023 the year to get organized early, particularly as economic headwinds make planning especially important.

A conversation that benefits everyone

Among the many benefits of discussing charitable giving with your clients is that your clients will see you as an expert about local community needs and nonprofits, especially when you have a close working relationship with TCFHR team. Your philanthropic clients want to learn how they can make a difference through their charitable activities, and they are expecting their advisors to be ready to help them structure and plan their giving. Indeed, for years, research has shown that a proactive advisor who offers options for incorporating philanthropy into financial and estate plans inspires client loyalty, even across client generations.

The Community Foundation advantage

Advisors frequently comment that they’re surprised to discover the many ways The Community Foundation can help their clients, especially compared with national donor-advised fund programs affiliated with brokerage houses or financial services firms.

Sometimes the greatest needs really are right here at home, and working with TCFHR is often the very best option for ensuring that your clients are informed and impactful philanthropists. The team at TCFHR works with local nonprofits every single day and thoroughly understands how organizations are meeting community needs.

In addition, TCFHR is unparalleled in its ability to be flexible and responsive, providing outstanding, personal service designed around your clients’ needs while always respecting your role as your client’s primary advisor.

Options for every client’s unique situation

Our team welcomes the opportunity to work with you and your clients to implement their charitable giving goals. Here are just a few of the ways we can work with you as you plan for 2023:

Wills and trusts

A client can establish a bequest to a fund at TCFHR through a will or trust or through a beneficiary designation on a qualified retirement plan or life insurance policy. TCFHR will provide proper bequest language.

Retirement plan beneficiary designations

Bequests of qualified retirement plans can be extremely tax efficient. Funds flowing directly to a client’s fund at TCFHR from a retirement plan after the client’s death will not be subject to income tax or estate tax.

Family philanthropy

Consider encouraging clients to involve their children and grandchildren in philanthropy, especially when the clients are working with TCFHR through a family donor-advised fund or other collaborative vehicle.

Income tax planning

Remind clients that they are eligible for an income tax deduction for lifetime charitable gifts, and the gifted assets are no longer subject to future estate taxes.

Complex giving

Consider more complex giving vehicles, including charitable remainder trusts, charitable gift annuities, and gifts of closely-held stock. TCFHR can work with you to establish these structures to help facilitate your clients’ charitable giving goals and meet the clients’ financial and tax goals at the same time.

We look forward to working with you in 2023! 540-432-3863

The team at TCFHR is a resource and sounding board as you serve your philanthropic clients. We understand the charitable side of the equation and are happy to serve as a secondary source as you manage the primary relationship with your clients. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal, accounting, or financial planning advice.  

It just keeps getting better: Why charitable gift annuities are having a moment

It just keeps getting better: Why charitable gift annuities are having a moment

Charitable gift annuities (CGAs) are becoming more attractive to philanthropists, making this planned giving vehicle a good fit for your clients who like the idea of an up-front tax deduction, a steady lifetime income stream, and a remainder gift to charity.

If you are not already doing so, now is a good time to consider talking with clients about CGAs. A CGA, like any other annuity, is a contract. Your client agrees to make an irrevocable transfer of cash or assets to a charitable organization. In return, the charitable organization agrees to pay the client (or a designated beneficiary such as a spouse) a fixed payment for life. Your client is eligible for an immediate income tax deduction for the present value of the future amount passing to charity.

The popularity of CGAs is increasing for a few reasons.

Increase in payout rates

First, in late November 2022, the American Council on Gift Annuities voted to increase the rate of return assumption it uses in its suggestions for maximum payout rates for CGAs. Effective on January 1, 2023, the rate of return assumption moved from 4.50% to 5.25%. This increase translates to a significant boost in payout rates for annuity contracts and is therefore good news for a client’s income stream. The new rates are now available on the ACGA’s website.

New Legacy IRA opportunities

Second, with the December 2022 passage of the Legacy IRA enhancements to the Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) rules, CGAs could become even more attractive. This is because the new Legacy IRA rules allow for a once-in-a-lifetime, $50,000 QCD from an IRA to a split-interest vehicle. While the law allows a taxpayer to make a QCD to a charitable remainder trust, the $50,000 statutory maximum for a Legacy IRA gift may be a deterrent. This is because minimums for CRTs are usually at least $100,000; that is not the case, however, for CGAs, which typically can be set up at much lower minimums. Because of the difference in minimums, the CGA may be more attractive for taxpayers who want to take advantage of the one-time Legacy IRA gift as part of a QCD strategy.

Note that CGAs created to receive a QCD contribution are different from other CGAs in a few important respects under the new law. For example, annuity payments are taxable, and must be at least 5%. Although the 5% requirement is not an issue at the moment due to the new, higher payout rates, this stipulation could present a challenge in the future.

Tax planning with appreciated assets

Third, gifts of appreciated assets are always a strong planning technique, especially to a CGA. When a taxpayer contributes highly-appreciated stock in a public company, for example, to a CGA, the taxpayer typically is eligible for an income tax deduction at the stock’s fair market value on the date of the gift. When the recipient charity sells the stock, the charity pays no capital gains tax. Note that the taxpayer would have paid capital gains tax had the taxpayer sold the stock. Especially if the stock was paying low or no dividends, the CGA has enabled the taxpayer to unlock a low-income producing asset and convert it to a vehicle that pays an income stream. Plus, the taxpayer gets the benefit of the upfront tax deduction, presumably in a tax year where income is higher (and therefore taxed in higher brackets) than it will be when the taxpayer retires at a future date.

Call us at 540-432-3863 or email Revlan Hill at [email protected].

The team at TCFHR is a resource and sounding board as you serve your philanthropic clients. We understand the charitable side of the equation and are happy to serve as a secondary source as you manage the primary relationship with your clients. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal, accounting, or financial planning advice.  

 

Ring in the new year with new charitable giving tax laws

Ring in the new year with new charitable giving tax laws

If you’ve been tracking federal legislation, you’re likely aware that on December 29, 2022, President Biden signed a $1.65 trillion-dollar omnibus spending bill known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 (“CAA”).

A component of this legislation, known as “SECURE 2.0,” includes many provisions that make it easier for people to build retirement savings, ranging from required enrollment in employer-sponsored 401(k) plans to larger “catch up” contributions to enable workers nearing retirement to add more to their retirement accounts each year.

Three of the new law’s provisions are particularly interesting to people who give to charities, especially related to a planning tool called the Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). Many charitable individuals who are 70½ or older have already been taking advantage of the QCD. This technique allows a taxpayer to make an annual transfer of up to $100,000 from an IRA to a qualifying public charity such as a field-of-interest fund, scholarship fund, or unrestricted fund at The Community Foundation. The taxpayer does not need to pay income tax on the distribution and, for taxpayers who must take RMDs from their retirement plans, the QCD counts toward that year’s RMD.

Here’s what’s new, thanks to SECURE 2.0:

More time to accumulate retirement assets

Under the new law, the required minimum distribution (RMD) age (previously 72) increased to 73 on January 1, 2023. RMDs are the IRS-mandated distributions from qualified retirement plans. The RMD age will further increase to 75 beginning on January 1, 2033. This provision is a boost to retirees’ financial plans and may mean more dollars available for charitable giving, especially in the form of a tax-savvy beneficiary designation of retirement plans to charity.

Note that the age for QCD eligibility is still 70½, and, still, donor-advised funds are not eligible recipients of a QCD.

“Legacy IRA” opportunity

SECURE 2.0 makes QCDs even more attractive because taxpayers may now make a one-time $50,000 QCD transfer to a charitable remainder trust (CRT) or other split-interest gift such as a charitable gift annuity (CGA). These components of the new law are called the “Legacy IRA” provisions.

Bigger QCDs

The annual per-taxpayer $100,000 QCD cap is now slated to be indexed for inflation, which will allow taxpayers to give even more from their IRAs directly to charity.

The team at TCFHR would be happy to talk with you about how the new laws can enhance your charitable giving plans. Reach out anytime!

Call us at 540-432-3863 or email Kristin Coleman at [email protected].