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Bill Laskin

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Rising IRS Discount Rate Creates Gift Planning Opportunities

Posted by Bill Laskin on January 6, 2017

After six years of drifting around in record-low territory, the Applicable Federal Rate, otherwise known as the IRS discount rate, has leaped upward 0.6% this month to 2.4%. That’s the highest the rate has been since mid-2014.  The leap was a direct consequence of the Federal Reserve raising its target for the Fed Funds rate in mid-December. What’s more, the Fed has indicated it expects to raise the Fed Funds rate in increments three more times during 2017. That would portend further increases in the IRS discount rate over the next 12 months.

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Topics: IRS discount rate

Extremely Low IRS Discount Rate Creates Opportunities and Challenges

Posted by Bill Laskin on August 15, 2016

The monthly IRS discount rate dipped to 1.4% for August and has stayed there for September. Although this rate has been at historically low levels since 2008, it hasn’t been this low in over three years. The extremely low IRS discount rate creates opportunities and challenges.

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A Little Change Can Go a Long Way

Posted by Bill Laskin on April 15, 2016


I was using Planned Giving Manager recently to check values in a table of gift annuity deductions. To my surprise, my results differed markedly from the values in the table.  Although I noticed that there was a small difference between the IRS discount rate I used (2.2%) and the one used in the table (1.8%), the difference in deductions was so great that I was worried that I had stumbled upon a bug. Not so. It turned out that the small difference in IRS discount rates was the whole story.

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Topics: IRS

IRS Announces Tax Schedules and Exemptions for 2016

Posted by Bill Laskin on December 15, 2015


Many federal tax items are indexed annually for inflation, such as the income tax brackets for individuals and trusts, the standard deduction, and the gift and estate tax exemption. The IRS recently announced what the new amounts will be for all 51 of these items in 2016. Given the very low rate of inflation over the last year, the new values will increase only about 0.4% over the 2015 values they will replace. All of these changes are minor and should have little effect on the tax incentives that encourage donors to make charitable gifts.

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Topics: gift annuities

Visiting a Donor? Don’t Forget YourTablet!

Posted by Bill Laskin on October 19, 2015

As you may be aware, PG Calc has developed a web-based app for illustrating planned gifts called PGM Anywhere. One of the driving forces behind the development of PGM Anywhere has been the desire of many of our clients to run planned gift illustrations on their tablet, such as an iPad or Samsung Galaxy.

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Topics: ipad, planned gift software

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