I’m a tax lawyer, not an economist, but in my experience and thinking, interest rates play a far bigger role in gift planning than tax laws.
Back in the early 1980s, when interest rates were sky-high, practically no one wanted a gift annuity. Those were the hey days of pooled income funds.
Today, in an environment of low interest rates, low inflation and a surging stock market, gift planning is much different from the early 1980s.
What I see these days is:
- a fair amount of gift annuity traffic,
- a fair amount of real estate and CRUT traffic and
- a lot of interest in using IRA assets to make gifts
Which brings us to the total return pooled income fund. This is a PIF that pays out all of its ordinary income plus all of its realized capital gains.
I don’t know of a charity that has such a PIF. IRS regs expressly approve such a PIF. It seems to me to make sense given the surge in the stock market. I believe that for some charities it would have a lot of marketing appeal.
By Jon Tidd