Planned Giving News and Information
September, 2014
The following is intended as general information and does not represent legal or tax advice. The information presented is the view of the author. Individual circumstances vary - please consult your legal and tax advisors about your specific situation. To return to the general planned giving pages, please close this browser window. This News and Information section has been compiled by Future Focus.

God gave us two hands, one to receive with, the other to give with. We are not cisterns made for hoarding. We are channels made for sharing.

Dr. Billy Graham

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Ending a Life Income Gift Early
It may seem too good to be true, but the beneficiary of the life interest in a planned gift – if he or she is inclined to do so – is typically free to end the arrangement ahead of schedule by letting the charity become the new owner of the interest in question. Recognizing that there are potentially a number of details to be addressed, the full article is a quick review of the possibilities.
Life interests associated with these planned gifts are eligible for contribution to the charity:
    * charitable gift annuities (CGAs)
    * charitable remainder trusts (CRTs)
    * pooled income funds (PIFs)
    * retained life estates (RLEs)         Read more.

IRS Updates Phone Scams Warning
The IRS is again warning the public about phone scams that continue to claim victims all across the country. In these scams, thieves make unsolicited phone calls to their intended victims. Callers fraudulently claim to be from the IRS and demand immediate payment of taxes by a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The callers are often hostile and abusive.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has received 90,000 complaints about these scams. TIGTA estimates that thieves have stolen an estimated $5 million from about 1,100 victims. To avoid becoming a victim of these scams, you should know: Read more.

Five Basic Tax Tips about Hobbies
Millions of people enjoy hobbies that are also a source of income. Some examples include stamp and coin collecting, craft making, and horsemanship.
You must report on your tax return the income you earn from a hobby. The rules for how you report the income and expenses depend on whether the activity is a hobby or a business. There are special rules and limits for deductions you can claim for a hobby. Here are five tax tips you should know about hobbies: Read more.

Five Ways You Pay More for Health Insurance
Health care spending growth may be at record lows in recent years, but employees are shelling out way more for premiums, deductibles, doctors' visits and drugs.
Workers with solo coverage now pay an average of $1,081 in annual premiums, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust report released Wednesday. That's up a whopping 8.1% from a year ago.
Family coverage costs workers an average of $4,823 a year now. That's up 5.7%, though Kaiser said the change is not statistically significant. Read more.

House Passes Bill Designed to Encourage Gifts to Charity
Under threat of a presidential veto due to the lack of revenue offsets, the House of Representatives on Thursday passed a tax bill designed to encourage gifts to charity on a bipartisan, 277-130 vote. It now goes to the Senate.
The bill would make permanent three temporary tax items that have been regularly extended on an annual basis. The measures would allow older people to lower their taxable income by donating money from their Individual Retirement Accounts to charities and provide tax benefits for donations to food banks and setting aside land for conservation.
Two other measures would lower the excise tax on private foundations from 2 percent to 1 percent and extend the deadline for taxpayers to claim a deduction for a charitable gift from December 31 until tax day, April 15, of the following year.
There are 60 expired tax provisions. The Democratic-led Senate has shown a preference to pass all of them at once, rather than split them apart, as the Republican-controlled House has done.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy, July 17, 2014

Consumer Confidence High
Consumer confidence is by far at its best level of the recovery, at a much higher-than-expected 90.9 in July vs an already very strong and upwardly revised 86.4 in June. July's level is the highest since December 2007 while the June reading is the second highest since January 2008.
Bloomberg, July 29, 2014


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Please note, individual financial circumstances will vary. The information on this site is meant as general information and does not represent legal or tax advice. The information presented is the view of the author. As with all tax and estate planning, please consult your attorney or estate specialist. All material is copyrighted and is for viewing purposes only. This News and Information section has been compiled by Future Focus. Please report any problems to webmaster.