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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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CharitablePlanning.com is an online tool for planning professionals seeking to manage their research, save time and make educated decisions. In addition to a fully searchable library, useful calculations and personal file management, subscriptions include daily commentary from our team of experts on important events, as well as access to the definitive Handbook on the field of Charitable Planning.

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Daily Expert Commentary

Expert insight on the latest in charitable planning news and events.

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Extensive Online Library

One of the most comprehensive online libraries available, with personal sorting and storage.

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Robust Calculations

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The Handbook

The "how-tos" of charitable planning easily searchable and updated regularly.

Recent Commentary

May Rate for Charitable Calculations Slides to 2.8%

Thursday, April 18, 2019
Rates / Tables / Statistics

In Rev. Rul. 2019-12, the Service announced the Section 7520 rate for May dropped to 2.8%, down 20 basis points from April. With the exception of March (when rates stayed the same), the Section 7520 rates have consistently dropped 20 basis points since December's 3.6% rate, reversing the upward streak in 2018.

House Clears The Taxpayer First Act of 2019

Thursday, April 18, 2019
Legislative

On April 9, the House passed The Taxpayer First Act of 2019 - H.R. 1957 ("Bill"), which redesigns the Service's organizational structure, customer service, enforcement procedures, management of information technology, and use of electronic systems.

Three-Way Split Sale

Monday, November 1, 2010
Historical

Selling some stock, while contributing other stock to two different types of CRTs, meets the taxpayers' philanthropic and financial goals.

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

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

In the fourth chapter of Visual Planned 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.