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We are pleased and excited to announce significant changes to Though you may not realize it at first glance, the website has been completely redone as part of our ongoing efforts to better serve our users.

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Recent Commentary

Visual Planned Giving - Chapter 2 - A Super Simple Introduction to Taxes

Thursday, August 10, 2017

In the second chapter of Visual Planning Giving: An Introduction to the Law & Taxation of Charitable Gift Planning, author Russell James gives a basic introduction to federal income taxes. Mr. James starts by breaking down the two largest forms of income tax, ordinary income and capital gains. As a taxpayer's income rises, so does their effective tax rate. Charitable income tax deductions reduce the amount of money subject to tax, and thus these deductions are more valuable to taxpayers with higher incomes.

Charitable income tax deductions are an itemized deduction, and so taxpayers who take the standard deduction cannot take advantage of it. Still, itemizers can benefit from planned giving by deferring recognition of income taxes.

A separate tax system applies to capital gains on the sale of investments. Capital gain consists of the sale price minus "basis." In general, basis is your cost of acquiring the property, less any allowance for depreciation or amortization. Taxpayers who hold stocks which have risen in value, or developed real estate, for which they have taken depreciation deductions, can face significant capital gains taxes if they sell. Donations of appreciated property provide very attractive tax benefits. The donor avoids paying the capital gains taxes which would have accrued if they sold the property. Furthermore, they can often receive a tax deduction based on the asset's fair market value. When the charity sells the property, it won't pay taxes. In short, a gift of appreciated property results in a much more significant gift than if the taxpayer sold the property, then donated the proceeds to charity.

Mr. James has created a set of 65 videos for his "Complete Charitable Planning Training Series," to help his readers understand Chapter 2 and the entire book.

Keeping the Full Value of Securities' Net Unrealized Appreciation at Work

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A CRT allows diversification of assets and deferral of gain for company stock distributed from a profit sharing plan.

SFC Issues Text of the TCJA

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Senate Finance Committee just issued the text (515 pages) of its version of the TCJA, and the JCT's score of the bill.

December 7520 Rate Bumps up to 2.6%

Monday, November 20, 2017
Rates / Tables / Statistics

In Rev. Rul. 2017-24, the Service announced the Section 7520 rate for December will increase to 2.6%, matching the top 2017 rate previously seen in the months of February and April. Throughout much of 2017, the rate held steady at 2.4%.