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Notice: Changes to Technology

We are pleased and excited to announce significant changes to CharitablePlanning.com. 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

NTA: IRS Needs to Upgrade its Technology Systems

Wednesday, February 20, 2019
IRS

In her annual report to Congress ("Report"), National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olsen contends the Service's "#1 need" is to replace its antiquated technology systems. According to Olsen, the Service's performance is significantly limited by its aging systems, and if those systems are not replaced, the gap between what the Service should be able to do and what the Service is actually able to do will continue to increase in ways which do not garner headlines, but increasingly harm taxpayers and impair revenue collection.

March Rate for Charitable Calculations Hovers at 3.2%

Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Rates / Tables / Statistics

In Rev. Rul. 2019-07, the Service announced the Section 7520 rate for March remained at the February's rate of 3.2%, which was 20 basis points below January's 3.4% rate, and 40 basis points below December's 3.6% rate. The December to February drop marked the first downturn in the Section 7520 rates since the steady upward streak in 2018.

Look Who's Forty: The CRT at Middle Age

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

For many decades, donors have used Charitable Remainder Trusts ("CRTs") to balance their donative intent with a need for a continued income stream. Without a CRT, a donor who cannot afford to make a large gift during life would simply leave assets to charity in his Last Will and Testament. However, a CRT allows the donor to make his gift during life while retaining an income stream. In addition to the satisfaction of seeing his contemplated gift come to fruition, the CRT allows a donor to realize both income and estate tax benefits. This is particularly true if a donor holds property that could be subject to capital gains tax. The tax benefits of a CRT often allow donors to make a more generous gift than they initially thought possible!

Over time, Congress and the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS" or "Service") have shaped CRTs into the devices we use today. Some important legislative milestones include the Tax Reform Act of 1969 ("TRA 1969")[1], the Technical and Miscellaneous Revenue Act of 1988 ("TAMRA")[2], the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 ("TRA 1997")[3], the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 ("TRHCA"), and the Pension Protection Act of 2006 ("PPA"). Additionally, the IRS has issued numerous pronouncements affecting CRTs, including Treasury Regulations ("Regulations" or "Regs") which followed on the heels of legislation, Revenue Procedures, Private Letter Rulings ("PLRs"), and Technical Advice Memoranda ("TAMs"). This paper will explore how key events have shaped CRTs over time, leading to the charitable remainder trusts as we know them today.

In preparing this paper, the authors had the privilege of speaking with Conrad Teitell, who has been instrumental in shaping legislation and regulations governing CRTs. Conrad currently practices in the Stamford office of the law firm of Cummings & Lockwood and is a nationally recognized legal practitioner, author and lecturer in the trusts and estate field. He is the recipient of the American Law Institute/American Bar Association's Harrison Tweed Award for Special Merit in Continuing Legal Education and is an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law. Listed in the Best Lawyers in America, Conrad is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and is the author of the five-volume treatise, Philanthropy and Estate Planning.

Conrad has been active for the past 40 years in working with IRS and testifying before Congress; of particular interest to us is his testimony before the Senate Finance Committee at the TRA 1969 hearings. Conrad was a member of a small 501(c)(3) group, along with Presidents from 19 colleges and universities, who visited the White House and Congress, speaking with such leaders as Arthur Burns and Russell Long. We have the privilege of being able to incorporate Conrad's unique historical insights into this article (see designated boxes throughout) and adding some of our own.

IRS Updates Applicable Federal Rates for March 2019

Friday, February 15, 2019

The IRS has announced the Applicable Federal Rates for March 2019, including the Section 7520 rate of 3.2%.