For all the challenges and unpredictability of 2020, this year-unlike-any-other also brought new opportunities for year-end charitable planning.
The pandemic still has more people revisiting their estate plans. Likewise, a potential shift in power in Washington has many preparing for potential financial repercussions. And through it all, changes to tax laws have created unique opportunities to boost year-end giving power and accomplish charitable goals.
The Community Foundation of Broward can be a go-to resource to navigate charitable planning opportunities during these uncertain times. Here are a few examples of how we can help make the most of tax law changes:
The SECURE Act brought big changes to inheritance rules for IRAs. This law basically eliminated the stretch IRA, which had enabled non-spousal heirs to inherit an IRA and spread distributions and tax payments over a lifetime. Now, most non-spousal heirs must take the full distribution and tax burden within 10 years of the IRA owner’s death.
An attractive alternative is to donate these highly taxed assets and use other assets for heirs. The Community Foundation of Broward makes it easy to use IRAs for charitable giving. Making the Community Foundation the beneficiary of the IRA enables the donor to create a charitable Fund in their name at the Community Foundation. Then grants from their Fund, given in their name, support the causes or organizations they love.
Another strategy for avoiding the negative effects of the SECURE Act is use a retirement account to fund a Charitable Remainder Trust or Community Foundation Gift Annuity. This enables a donor to provide lifetime income to a loved one and also accomplish charitable goals.
The CARES Act provides an election that raises the deductibility of cash donations from 60% to 100% of AGI. For those in a cash-rich position, this is a great opportunity to create a bigger philanthropic impact. In addition, the CARES Act tax benefits provide a counter balance to capital gains resulting from a sale of a business or other liquidity event. Note that in the case of a sale of a business, it may be even more advantageous to donate a portion of the ownership to the Community Foundation before the sale, eliminating capital gains taxes on the donated portion and providing a charitable deduction.
The CARES Act may make 2020 the perfect year to bunch contributions into a single tax year by itemizing deductions rather than making smaller gifts that do not exceed the standard deduction.
The CARES Act tax benefits don’t apply to donations to Donor-Advised Funds, supporting organizations, or private foundations. However, the Community Foundation of Broward offers several types of charitable Funds that do quality for the CARES Act tax benefit. Gifts to an Unrestricted Endowed Fund, Field of Interest Fund or a Designated Fund at the Community Foundation all qualify for CARES Act’s extraordinary opportunities.
Also, even though the CARES Act suspended Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) in 2020, the Qualified Charitable Distributions of up to $100,000 from IRAs for those 70 ½ and older are still available. These distributions are not counted toward AGI and also reduce the amount of RMDs in future years. And these distributions are a great way to fuel year-end giving through a charitable Fund at the Community Foundation.
Important changes from the national election have yet to unfold. The results could include a push to raise of the top tax bracket for those with incomes over $400,000 as well as a potential change in long-term capital gains to ordinary income rates. This may spur sales of appreciated assets now and increase the tax advantages of donating highly appreciated assets, such as securities, interest in an LLC, or real estate.
There is also speculation that the estate tax exclusion, currently at $11.58 million, may be cut in half and the current stepped-up basis for appreciated assets may be eliminated. If that occurs, planned gifts would become an increasingly attractive opportunity to minimize or avoid estate taxes and capital gains.
Partnering with the Community Foundation is a great way to make the most out of tax benefits available through charitable giving. A gift to the Community Foundation creates a charitable Fund, in the name of the donor, that will support the causes they care about the most. The donor gets more than a tax benefit, they create a legacy of bold impact in the community they love.
And as always, the Community Foundation encourages donors to consult with their tax and legal advisors when considering charitable giving.
To further explore these gift planning opportunities, please call Mark Kotler, Senior Director, Philanthropic Services at 954-761-9503 ext. 130 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.