Sharpe Blog

Sharpe Blog

Posted April 9th, 2019

A Real Estate Matter

Lots of individuals have used real estate to make charitable gifts. The question for today is, when is the gift deemed made? To keep things simple, let’s assume: the real estate is environmentally clean undeveloped land; the donor holds legal title to the land (i.e., the land isn’t held in a corporation, LLC, or other… read more

Posted April 2nd, 2019

What to Do When the Donor Dies

Planned giving officers must at some point deal with death and the emotional, legal and financial issues that arise when a donor passes away. The March/April 2019 issue of Give & Take features a panel discussion with me and my colleagues, Laura Knitt and John Jensen, on some of the most commonly asked questions we… read more

Posted March 25th, 2019

Let’s Look at a Proposed CRAT Amendment — Letter Ruling 200010035

Facts Some time ago, H and W established a CRAT of which they are the trustees. The remainder beneficiary of the CRAT is H and W’s private foundation. The assets of the CRAT have grown to the point where they’re way more than needed to support the annuity payments to H and W. What H… read more

Posted March 8th, 2019

Tax Rules in Charitable Gift Planning

Donor wants to establish a gift annuity with appreciated stock but doesn’t know her cost basis in the stock. – The rule here is simple. If a taxpayer doesn’t know the basis of an asset he or she owns, the basis is zero for federal tax purposes. Donor wants to contribute a life insurance policy… read more

Posted February 20th, 2019

Charitable Gift Planning Q&A

1.  Must the books kept by the development office and by the business office be identical? No, and they shouldn’t be. Business office accounting is governed by FASB. FASB has nothing to do with development office counting, crediting, and recognition. 2.  Is it OK to provide in a naming-gift pledge agreement that the pledge is… read more

Posted February 8th, 2019

Let’s Talk About Worthless Gifts

For example, a charitable remainder unitrust set up to run for the life of an individual aged 50. Some charities have gift acceptance policies that are questionable when it comes to minimum ages for certain “life income” gift plans. Age 50 is way too young for a CRUT other than a term-of-years CRUT. Age 60,… read more

Posted January 25th, 2019

Who is a “Qualified Appraiser”?

 A Qualified Appraiser is an individual who is qualified to prepare a qualified appraisal of a given asset that is donated. The starting point in thinking about all this is the asset. The appraiser needs to meet certain education and experience requirements with respect to the particular type of asset. Lots of time, there’s no… read more

Posted January 7th, 2019

A Gift Planning Problem… and its Solution

Dora, aged 80, wants to provide her disabled niece, Fredda, with a fixed life income, maybe an income that will increase by a certain amount if Fredda lives to a certain age. Fredda is aged 50 and has a shortened projected lifespan because of her disability. Nonetheless, Fredda’s doctor says Fredda could live to age… read more

Posted December 18th, 2018

Footnote to the Previous Blog

Last time we looked at the IRS’s new regs on qualified appraisals. This time we look at an exception to the qualified appraisal rules that existed under the old regs that is erased from the new regs. It’s the reasonable cause exception. The reasonable cause exception allowed a flawed appraisal, even a badly flawed appraisal,… read more

Posted December 6th, 2018

A Big Change Appears to be Coming

There appears to be a significant change coming in how appraisals must be done for certain charitable gifts. Here’s an example: Donor 1 sets up a charitable remainder unitrust that is to make payments to Donor 1 for life. Donor 1 funds the unitrust with undeveloped land. Donor 2 does the same thing, only she… read more

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