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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

Real Estate Sale Pays for Retirement (and Long Term Care Insurance, Too)

Monday, November 1, 2010

A CRUT provides cash flow to meet donors' expenses during retirement, while also benefiting charity.

Visual Planned Giving - Chapter 4 - How to Document Charitable Gifts

Thursday, August 10, 2017

In the fourth chapter of Visual Planning Giving: An Introduction to the Law & Taxation of Charitable Gift Planning, author Russell James outlines how to keep credible records of all gifts. Documenting charitable gifts is an essential, although less than glamorous, area of charitable planning. A lack of proper documentation can result in a total loss of the charitable deduction even if the taxpayer does not overstate the gift. Gifts of cash under $250 only require a proof of the gift, which can come in the form of a canceled check, credit card statement, or note from the charity. For a gift of cash exceeding $250, the donor must have a note from the charity indicating the amount, and stating no goods or services were provided in return for the gift, or if any were provided, a description and value of the items. The documentation requirements are based on individual, not cumulative, gift amounts.

IRS imposes different documentation requirements for noncash gifts, depending on the size of the gift, and the potential for abuse. These procedures must be complied with strictly, or the taxpayer can lose the entire deduction, even if the valuation of the gift is correct. Gifts of property under $250 must be substantiated with a receipt from the charity with the date, donor, location, and description of the property. Additionally, the donor must have reliable records proving the property's value. For gifts of property over $500, the donor must include the information mentioned, plus Form 8283. Next, for gifts of property over $5,000, over than publicly traded securities, donors must obtain a qualified appraisal. The donor must have in their possession all the above items, and include a summary of the qualified appraisal on Form 8283. Lastly, with gifts of property over $500,000, or gifts of artwork exceeding $20,000, the donor must include the entire qualified appraisal with the return. The lower limit for artwork recognizes the difficulty in valuing artwork, and the potential for abuse.

Mr. James has created a set of 65 videos for his "Complete Charitable Planning Training Series," to help his readers understand Chapter 4 and the entire book.

Treasury, IRS Release 2017 - 2018 Guidance Plan

Thursday, November 2, 2017 Updated!

The Treasury's 2017-2018 Priority Guidance Plan ("Plan") incorporates public input and the burden-reduction policies of Executive Orders 13789 and 13777 to (a) clarify existing rules, (b) eliminate unnecessary complexity, and (c) provide reliance authority in areas where non-precedential IRS rules already exist.

2018 Work Plan for Tax Exempt/Government Entities

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 Updated!

IRS released the TE/GE Work Plan, reviewing its 2017 accomplishments and outlining its fiscal year 2018 objectives and strategies for exempt organizations, and other subdivisions.