Sharpe Blog

Sharpe Blog

Posted March 24th, 2017

Let’s Take a Look at the Estate Tax Charitable Deduction

The estate tax charitable deduction is different from the income tax charitable deduction in several important ways. First, the estate tax charitable deduction is allowed for a gift (bequest) to a foreign charity, such as a university in England. The income tax charitable deduction is allowed only for gifts to U.S. charities. That’s why some… read more

Posted March 13th, 2017

What Happens to Assets in the Cloud When You Pass Away?

Educating donors on having clear estate plans is a valuable service you can offer and one that may show reward in charitable gifts via bequests. We’ve seen what can happen to the most famous of us who pass away without plans in place (see “Lessons Learned From Prince’s ‘Estate Plan’” in September 2017 Give &… read more

Posted March 6th, 2017

It’s Important to Know About the “Partial Interest” Rule: Part 3

A lot of “planned” gifts are partial interest gifts that are deductible because of exceptions to the general rule of non-deductibility. For example, the gift of a remainder interest in a qualified charitable remainder trust is deductible. What about gift annuities? These are not partial interest gift plans. A gift annuity simply involves the transfer… read more

Posted February 21st, 2017

“Partial Interest” Rule, Pt. 2

Read Pt. 1 of “Partial Interest” Rule by clicking here. Last time, we developed an analogy to grasp the concept of a partial interest and also learned that a charitable gift of a partial interest is generally not deductible. The analogy was a handful of uncooked spaghetti strands. The handful represents full and complete ownership… read more

Posted February 13th, 2017

“Partial Interest” Rule, Pt. 1

The partial interest rule denies a charitable deduction for many different kinds of charitable gifts, including some that are valuable. The key to understanding this rule is to grasp the concept of a partial interest. An analogy helps. Imagine you’re holding a handful of uncooked spaghetti. This is analogous, for example, to holding legal title… read more

Posted February 7th, 2017

Let’s Look at Bargain Sales

A bargain sale is the sale of an asset to charity for a price less than the asset’s fair market value (FMV). For example, a donor sells stock or real estate having an FMV of $100,000 to ABC Charity for $60,000 (selling price, or SP). Remember the meanings of “FMV” and “SP.” This situation is… read more

Posted January 31st, 2017

Stock Market Zooming Toward a Securities Giving Boom or Bust?

Last week the Dow Jones Industrials Average closed at over 20,000 points, a record high that was inconceivable eight years ago. Back in March 2009, the Dow had fallen 54 percent in 17 months, from over 14,000 in October 2007 to just over 6,500. Last week, the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Nasdaq Composite… read more

Posted January 10th, 2017

What Do Rising Interest Rates Mean for Charitable Giving?

Perhaps we’re about to see. In the early to mid-1980s, interest rates were high and gift annuities were out of favor. Why out of favor? Because a fixed payment rate less than the prevailing safe interest rate is a sure money loser. Rising interest rates, even if not yet “high,” ratchet down the value of… read more

Posted December 27th, 2016

Some Possible Tax Changes for 2017

With the legislative and executive branches of the federal government about to be under the control of one party, the time is growing ripe for a major tax bill. Already there is much being written about a push for a lower top federal income tax rate. A lower top rate would diminish the tax savings… read more

Posted December 12th, 2016

Let’s Look at Some Gifts That Are Not Deductible

That is, not deductible for federal income tax purposes. Gift of services – A gift of services (say, specialized investment or accounting services) may be valuable to a charity; but the value of the services is not deductible. The provider of the services may be awarded gift credit, of course. The IRS doesn’t care about… read more

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