How do you respond to a request by one of your organization’s strongest supporters for a two-life charitable gift annuity for him and his wife when you know that his wife is at least a couple decades younger than him? Let’s suppose that the donor is 71 and his wife is 47, for example. Would you be willing to entertain a discussion about a gift annuity written for the joint lives of these two individuals?
The life income gift arrangements that make up a significant portion of planned giving – charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, and pooled income funds – are all irrevocable. In order to qualify for a charitable deduction and special tax treatment, these vehicles cannot allow any changes, and the donors cannot “take them back” in any way. There is, however, a provision that may be included in these legal arrangements which allows the donor to revoke the income interest of another person at some point in the future.
It happens every year – your gift annuity donors received their 1099-R forms at the end of January, and everyone was happy. But once the calendar turned to February, the calls started coming in from your charitable remainder trust donors; they are looking for their K-1 forms, which report the income they received from their trusts. If you have a pooled income fund, you’re getting calls from those donors too, because they are also entitled to a K-1 form. And once the calendar turns into March, the calls get uglier. Everyone expected to receive their tax forms around the end of January, because that’s when all tax forms are due, right?
OK, so they’re not exactly “dirty” little secrets. But who among us hasn’t had a moment administering a particularly complex gift and thought – what have I gotten myself into? PG Calc has been providing gift administration services since 2001, and we know that the work we do behind the scenes is critical to the ongoing success of our clients’ planned giving programs. We also know that there are plenty of unexpected headaches that can accompany administering a planned gift.
You probably know already that the IRS allows donors to base their charitable income tax deduction for a life income gift arrangement on either the IRS discount rate for the month of the gift, or the discount rate for one of the 2 previous months. For charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts, the highest discount rate results in the highest charitable income tax deduction.