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Spring, Basketball, and Taxes

2 years ago By Evan Lange

Happy Spring! I love this time of year because the weather is getting warmer, lots of good basketball games, and it is tax time. Yes, I get excited about tax season because we finally find out how year-end tax planning strategies worked.  This is especially true because the 2018 tax year applied the new 2017 tax reform laws. Based on the phone calls I have received this Spring; a lot of people are feeling the effects of the changes.  Below is a recap of these conversations and some potential solutions moving forward: Doubled Standard Deduction. Only about 10% of all households in the U.S. will itemize their tax deductions for the 2018 tax year. The standard deduction (increased to $24,000 for married and $12,000 for individual), meant that many households that itemized deductions, including charitable giving, will no longer need to itemize. Unfortunately, several households left tax savings on the table, because they failed to plan properly. SALT Deduction Capped. State and local taxes (SALT) used to be fully deductible, but now SALT deductions are now capped at $10,000. This has affected several middle-income earners. Charitable Deduction Increases. Taxpayers that itemize may now deduct up to 60% of their adjusted gross income each year in charitable contributions; a 10% increase from 2017. Taxpayers may carry forward any amount that exceeds this limit up to five years after the gift is made. Taxpayers may still deduct up to 30% of their AGI using gifts non-cash assets to charity. The most noticeable effect of the 2017 tax reform, from a charitable giving standpoint, most households will not receive a tax benefit (in the form of a deduction) from their charitable gifts in 2018. In my opinion, this has occurred because of the increased standard deduction and the cap on the SALT deduction. For 2019, make sure that your clients consider two easy tax-saving strategies: Bunching charitable gifts one year using a donor advised fund. By combining multiple years of charitable giving in 2019, clients will be able to itemize their deductions for 2019. In the subsequent years, the client could give to charity from their DAF and then take the standard deduction for those years. Click here to learn more about bunching. Give assets! While several itemized deductions have been eliminated, the charitable deduction remained intact, including donating capital assets (assets that would be subject to long-term capital gains tax). When capital assets are given the donor receives a fair market value income tax deduction for the donation, and the capital gains that would have been paid will likely be avoided entirely by the charity. The vast majority of all charitable giving in the U.S. are cash gifts, but the real tax benefit is by donating capital assets!  Make sure your clients do it!

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Advisor

Having the Conversation on Asset Giving

2 years ago By Evan Lange

Many advisors find that being involved with their client’s giving is one of the most meaningful aspects of their work. Philanthropy is an easy way to build deeper relationships with clients. It not only paves the way for a lasting relationship but offers inroads into the next generation of clients and future givers. When your client is ready for the conversation on giving, discussing their assets will play a vital role in the discussion. The following three points offer an outline that will aid in the conversation. Identify which assets to contribute Whether your client is motivated by philanthropic or tax advantage goals, determining what types of assets they can gift is a crucial first step. The common types of assets that are generally gifted are cash, securities, real estate, or closely held business interest. All of these can be given through a donor advised fund. Timing of gift A recent article in Forbes states, “donating property that has appreciated in value, like stock, can result in a double benefit…not only can you deduct the fair market value of the property (so long as you’ve owned it for at least one year), you will avoid paying capital gains tax” Gift valuation guidelines are established in the current tax regulations. In general, the value of the gift is based on the type of asset and the date of contribution, which is typically the date the asset is delivered to the receiving organization. Gifting a complex asset can be a lengthy process. It is important to evaluate the timing of the gift to ensure it will benefit your client within the current tax year. Selecting a charity Deciding what organizations to support, is usually the most exciting part of the process for your client. For many donors, the organizations they choose often have personal meaning and speak to their experiences. By giving complex assets through The Signatry, donors can make grants to smaller nonprofits that would otherwise be unable to accept complex gifts. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2018/12/11/14-tips-for-making-your-charitable-gift-tax-deductible-in-2018/#65eb5fb5f80c  

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Advisor

3 Ways to Get Your Clients Talking About Legacy

2 years ago By Evan Lange

We are on the verge of a generational wealth transfer that holds immense implications. Experts forecast anywhere from $30 trillion and above will be passed on to next generations over the next 30 years as the Baby Boomer generation ages. However, nearly 60% of Americans do not have estate plan documents in place. Regardless of age, many still believe estate planning is a process which comes later on in life. You can encourage your clients to have a future-focused mindset and to start thinking about the legacy they want to leave today. Estate planning is a big step, but you can help your clients move towards a perspective that will impact future generations. Below are 3 tips you can pass on to your clients to help them start thinking about estate planning. Communicate your values The first steps of estate planning are building relationships and teaching your children about the values and causes you hold dear. Inheritance without a relationship is not a legacy. For more tips on starting the conversation with your family, check out our post 5 Generosity Conversation Starters For Your Family. Where can you alleviate stress? Consider the areas of stress you would like to relieve for your family when they undergo the changes after your passing. What are the keys they need to have in place? Setting up an estate plan now will take care of your loved ones financially and help eliminate additional emotional stress when you are gone. A thorough estate plan includes wills, trusts, power of attorney, and guardianship for your dependents. Include charitable giving Giving can play a strategic role in your estate plan. There are multiple solutions available which allow you to support the charities you love long after you are gone. One such solution is the “child called charity” approach where you can add an additional equal share in your estate plan. For example, if you have 4 children in your estate plan, adding a fifth “child” designated for charity increases the amount you are able to give to charities. Therefore, the estate would be split 5 ways instead of 4. Creating an estate plan is an excellent opportunity for your clients to impart their beliefs and principles of generosity to future generations. Ease the tension by communicating to your clients that estate planning not only takes care of their loved ones, but also can be used as a vehicle for furthering kingdom minded work through charitable giving.

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Advisor

Starting the Generosity Conversation

2 years ago By The Signatry

It is no secret that charitable giving benefits your client and your community. Now more than ever, clients are open to discussing philanthropy and rely on the expert advice of their advisor.  Engaging in conversation and sharing your knowledge of philanthropy furthers relationships and adds value to your practice. This is an excellent opportunity to discuss tax solutions that can also accomplish meaningful work. According to the 2018 U.S. Trust study of high net-worth philanthropy, most high-net-worth individuals are already giving, but only 49% of donors have a strategy for their giving. There is a significant opportunity here for advisors to grow their practices. By participating in the generosity conversations, you can further the relationships with your clients as you help them achieve the greatest impact towards the charities most important to them. Understanding your client’s passions allows you to tailor your expertise to their unique interests and pinpoint how they imagine their lasting legacy. Year-end meetings are an excellent opportunity to share the advantages of charitable giving. A good way to start the conversation is to ask engaging questions about charity. Here are some examples: Are there any charitable interests or community needs you would like to address? What issues are you passionate about? Have you considered donating public stock as a way to use all your resources for giving? Giving stock gifts not only helps you save on taxes but also supports the causes you love. Are you currently making gifts to any charitable organizations? If so, which ones? What causes and values do you want to pass on? Initiating this conversation will benefit everyone involved. This opens the door to discuss year-end tax strategies with your clients and will invite them to create a lasting legacy of generosity. It will also strengthen your relationships and credibility with clients and their family. The long-term effects of their generosity will reach beyond your office; impacting your client, their family, and the community.   Sources: https://blog.commonwealth.com/how-to-talk-about-philanthropy-with-your-clients https://cnycf.org/page.aspx?pid=836#.W_Ctj5NKjq0 http://www.foundationsource.com/wp-content/uploads/resources/A_Whitepaper_HowToTalkTo.pdf https://www.aefonline.org/blog/how-have-conversations-about-charitable-giving https://www.ustrust.com/articles/2018-us-trust-study-of-high-net-worth-philanthropy.html  

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