Donors receiving income from charitable gift annuities, pooled income funds, and charitable remainder trusts may decide to make a gift of their income interest to the charity receiving the remainder of the gift. Upon the transfer of the income interest to the charity, the life income gift is then terminated and funds become immediately available to the charity. Based on certain criteria related to each situation, the donor may receive an income tax charitable deduction. However, like with other non-cash gifts, donors need to be aware of the IRS substantiation requirements for an appraisal when making a gift of a life income interest to charity. Failure by the donor to comply with these requirements can result in the donor being denied the charitable deduction.
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.
There are two scenarios for how the funds from a gift annuity issued by one organization might ultimately be directed to another organization. In one situation, Charity A either doesn’t issue gift annuities at all or doesn’t issue them in a particular state, but knowingly directs a donor interested in a gift annuity to another charitable organization (Charity B) that will issue a gift annuity to the donor. In this situation, Charity A has the opportunity to proactively look into Charity B, the issuing organization, and to understand how the gift will be managed and distributed.
After surveying over 340 organizations on how they market gift annuities, one of the most exciting things we learned was that most organizations saw an increase in gift annuity donors in the past two years. Whether credit goes to the upturn of the economy, to donors feeling more financially secure (these two facts are related, of course), or some other factor or factors, gift annuity programs are growing again after witnessing a major slump from 2008 to 2011. In this blog post, we dive further into the results from the survey and investigate some of the factors that may have contributed to the increase in the number of new donors.
Several states, including New York and Washington, have begun requiring the use of a new mortality table for determining the minimum reserves required for gift annuities issued on or after January 1, 2015. PG Calc recently added this new table, 2012 IAR, to Planned Giving Manager (PGM) and GiftWrap, so now is a good time to learn more about this new mortality table and how it differs from all the ones that have come before it.