Sharpe Blog

Sharpe Blog

Posted December 16th, 2015

What’s Going on with the Charitable IRA Rollover?

Updated 12/18/15, 9:58am CST The IRA Rollover provision, which allows individuals over 70½ to make direct distributions from their IRAs to a qualified charity on a tax-free basis, is part of a larger bill that includes a number of popular provisions that are widely expected to be passed before the end of the year. In… read more

Posted November 30th, 2015

When Is a Gift Complete for Tax Purposes? Pt 1

Another way to ask the question is, what is the date of gift? This question is important for two reasons. First, the date of gift is the valuation date for federal income tax purposes. Second, the date of gift is the date on which the gift is made for tax purposes. In year-end giving, the… read more

Posted November 24th, 2015

A Helping of Gratitude, Please

Gratitude has always been said to be good for the soul. A recent NPR report on a study of health benefits of gratitude suggests that it’s good for the heart too. Every day, charitable organizations express gratitude for their donors. One of the most important things fundraisers do is thanking those supporters. Over the years,… read more

Posted November 16th, 2015

Reserving the Right to Revoke

Revoke what? Revoke the right of another to receive gift annuity or charitable remainder trust (CRT) payments. The right to revoke has one and only one purpose: to prevent the making of a gift for federal gift tax purposes1. Here’s an example: The donor, using her own assets, creates a gift annuity that is to… read more

Posted November 2nd, 2015

Just the Facts

“Just the facts, ma’am.” That’s what the Jack Webb character always said on Dragnet. The same applies to charitable gift planning, to donor situations, where the law is usually clear, but what’s often unclear are the facts. For example, a donor says, “I own a corporation that has some real estate. I’d like to give… read more

Posted October 20th, 2015

What Is the Law Concerning Gift Agreements?

“Gift agreement” means here a written agreement between a donor and a charity concerning endowment funds the donor will give to the charity. The typical endowment fund has a specified purpose and a name, most often the donor’s name. Many endowment fund gift agreements also contain a spending rate provision, which spells out how much… read more

Posted October 5th, 2015

Gala Dinners—Two Important Tax Issues

A charity’s gala dinner for friends and supporters involves two very important federal tax issues: How should the value of the benefit provided to an attendee be calculated? Who may pay for an individual’s place at the dinner? Calculating the value of an individual’s benefit. It’s clear, for example, that if an individual place at… read more

Posted September 21st, 2015

Relinquishing Life Income Payments: What Are the Issues?

Not infrequently, individuals entitled to receive gift annuity or charitable remainder trust (CRT) payments step forward and say they want to give up the right to receive the payments. They do so typically because they don’t need the income and because they’re just as glad to accelerate a benefit to charity. Sometimes the payout recipient… read more

Posted September 14th, 2015

On Donors and Dementia

Gift planning fundraising presents a unique set of challenges in that the targeted donors for these gifts of a lifetime are elderly. As we age, we encounter more challenging health issues. One of these issues that many face is diminished mental capacity. As fundraisers, dementia can pose serious concerns when communicating with donors. Development professionals… read more

Posted September 8th, 2015

Gift Substantiation: The Tail That Wags the Dog

The year 1984 is significant for several reasons. There’s George Orwell’s 1949 novel, 1984. The same year also saw the unveiling of the Apple Macintosh computer. And to the point of this blog, the “Qualified Appraisal” (Q.A.) rules were introduced in the 1984 Tax Act. The Q.A. rules represent the opening salvo in modern tax… read more

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