GIFTS TO FUND THE FUTURE

The primary reason you continue to make gifts to our organization is that you believe in its mission and want to ensure its future, but you will want to choose the giving method that maximizes tax savings, provides for your family’s security, and is personally satisfying. This guide is presented for your consideration of various ways to make a charitable gift. We would be pleased to meet with you and discuss whatever arrangement might be appropriate for your situation.

Ways to Give

Planned giving is the art of designing charitable gifts so that you realize your philanthropic objectives while minimizing your after-tax cost.

In addition to fulfilling your philanthropic goals, you can generally expect to obtain some or all of the following benefits:

  • Income-tax savings, estate-tax savings, or both
  • Avoidance of capital-gain tax on a gift of long-term appreciated property
  • Life income for yourself and/or other beneficiaries
  • Increased cash flow
  • Expert management of assets
  • Reduced costs and time in estate settlement

 

On the following pages, we will discuss the benefits of various kinds of charitable gift plans. We would be delighted to work with you and your advisors in arranging the planned gift that best suits your objectives. 

 

 

 

 

 → Outright Gifts
 
Cash
Cash is the simplest, most direct, and most common type of charitable gift. Your cash gift is complete on the date you hand-deliver or mail it. If you make the gift online, the gift is complete when the contribution is charged to your account. Because of the charitable tax deduction, your net cost will likely be much less than the gift amount.
Example: If you are in the 32% marginal tax bracket, the net cost of a $1,000 cash gift is only $680with $320 tax savings. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, enacted in late 2017, raised the deduction ceiling for cash gifts from 50% to 60% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). Those who make large cash gifts can deduct the full amount and do so more quickly.You can carry over for an additional five years any amount in excess of your 60% deduction ceiling.
Note: The CARES Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by the president on March 27, 2020, allows individuals—on their 2020 tax returns—to deduct cash gifts to the extent of their entire adjusted gross income.The CARES Act also allows taxpayers, who take the standard deduction rather than itemizing deductions, to claim a deduction of up to $300 for cash donations made in 2020.Both of these provisions do not apply to gifts to donor-advised funds and supporting organizations.
 
 → Securities and Real Estate

A gift of appreciated property, such as securities or real estate, is a popular alternative to a gift of cash and generates a double tax benefit. In addition to receiving a charitable deduction for its full fair-market value, you escape tax on the capital-gain in the property. (To qualify for this double tax benefit, you must have held the property for more than one year.)


Example: Max and Sara own securities valued at $20,000 that they purchased years ago for $8,000. Becausethey are subject to the 24% tax rate; their gift of the securities saves them $4,800 in federal income tax (24% x $20,000). In addition, they avoid capital gain tax on their $12,000 paper profit, which saves an additional $1,800 ($12,000 gain x 15%). The net cost of their $20,000 gift is $13,400 ($20,000 less $4,800 less $1,800).

A gift of appreciated property, such as securities or real estate, is a popular alternative to a gift of cash and generates a double tax benefit. In addition to receiving a charitable deduction for its full fair-market value, you escape tax on the capital-gain in the property. (To qualify for this double tax benefit, you must have held the property for more than one year.) The full fair-market value of a gift of long-term appreciated property is deductible up to 30% of your AGI. You may carry forward for up to five additional years any amount over the 30% ceiling.Note: If you are considering a gift of property that has declined in value, you would be better off selling it to realize a deductible loss and then contributing the proceeds to us.
 
 → Tangible Personal Property
 
As with a gift of securities or real estate, you are entitled to a charitable deduction for a gift of tangible personal property such as a work of art, rare books, or a stamp or coin collection. The allowable deduction for such a gift held long-term depends on the standard of “related use.’’
  • If the use of the contributed property is related to the exempt purposes of the charity (e.g., a painting to a museum), your charitable deduction is for the full fair-market value of the property— subject to the 30% ceiling and
  • If the use of the contributed property is unrelated to the exempt purposes of the charity (e.g., a stamp collection to a hospital to sell and use the proceeds), your charitable deduction is the lesser of fair-market value and your cost basis.

As with gifts of securities and real estate, long-term tangible property is property held for more than 12 months. However, the maximum capital-gain tax rate for tangible personal property is 28%.

The maximum capital-gain tax rate for depreciated real estate is 25%. These rates are higher than the rate applicable to securities and non-depreciated real estate.

Note: If you contribute an asset you created (e.g., a painter who gives his or her own artwork), the charitable deduction is limited to your actual cost in producing the asset.

 
  Gifts That Pay Income to You
 
The Charitable Gift Annuity

The charitable gift annuity is among the oldest, simplest, and most popular of the charitable income plans. In exchange for a transfer of cash, marketable securities, or (in some circumstances) real estate, we contractually guarantee to make specified annuity payments to you and/or another beneficiary for life. The payout rate depends on the ages and number of beneficiaries.

Immediate payment—You can claim a current charitable deduction for the portion of the transfer that represents the charitable gift element—the amount by which the fair-market value of the property transferred to us exceeds the present value of the annuity received.

Note: Income from a gift annuity receives favorable tax treatment (similar to a commercial annuity)

in that a portion of each income payment is considered a tax-free return of principal over the donor’s life expectancy.

 

GIFT ANNUITY PAYOUT RATES

Age

Payout Rate

Age

Payout Rate

65

4.7%

80

6.9%

70

5.1%

85

8.0%

75

5.8%

 

 

Various payout rates at different ages—as recommended by the American Council on Gift Annuities, a national association of charities.

 

JOINT-AND-SURVIVOR GIFT ANNUITY

Ages

Payout Rate

Ages

Payout Rate

65-65

4.2%

80-80

5.8%

70-70

4.6%

85-85

6.9%

75-75

5.0%

 

 

Example: Barbara, 78, transfers $25,000 cash to us in exchange for an annuity payment of $1,600 a year for life. Of this amount, $1,365 will be treated as a tax-free return of principal for the next 10.5 years (her life expectancy) and only $235 will be treated as ordinary income. Thereafter, the entire $1,600 will be treated as ordinary income. In addition, Barbara realizes a charitable deduction of $10,668 that, in her 24% federal tax bracket, generates a net tax savings of $2,565.

Deferred payment—Payments begin at a designated time in the future, such as at retirement. A deferred gift annuity is particularly attractive if you have a high current income, can benefit from a current tax deduction, and are interested in augmenting future retirement income on a tax-favored basis.

Example: Mahesh, 55, received a $100,000 distribution from his mother’s estate. He wants to both create a memorial fund in his mother’s name and supplement his income. He decides to give the

$100,000 to us in exchange for a deferred-payment gift annuity that will begin making payments to him when he turns 65. As a result of his gift, Mahesh is entitled to an immediate charitable deduction of $13,244 that in his 24% bracket results in actual tax savings of $3,179. At the age of 65, when the payments are scheduled to begin, Mahesh will receive $6,400 each year for the rest of his life. An additional benefit is that $4,358 of each annuity income payment will be free of federal income tax for the remainder of his life expectancy. The remaining portion of his gift will be used to establish an endowment named for his mother.

 

 

 

Flexible-annuity planning option—Realizing that he might want to continue working past the age of 65 or possibly retire early, Mahesh could add a provision to the agreement that gives him the flexibility to choose when, between the ages of 60 and 75, he will begin to receive payments.

Postponing the beginning date of his payments will increase the amount of his payments when he does begin to receive them, while accelerating the beginning date will reduce them. This provision would reduce his charitable deduction somewhat.

 
 → Charitable Remainder Trusts
 
The charitable remainder trust is popular because of the significant financial- and estate-planning flexibility it offers. A hallmark is that a charitable beneficiary receives what’s left in the trust when it terminates.

How it works: You transfer property to a trustee. The trust specifies how, when, and to whom distributions are made. The trust may become effective during life (inter vivos trust) or at death (testamentary trust).

A charitable remainder trust qualifies for special tax benefits if it is in one of the following permitted forms:

Charitable remainder unitrust—The primary feature of a unitrust is that it provides a variable stream of income to the beneficiary(ies). The payout must equal a fixed percentage of at least 5% of the fair-market value of the trust assets as revalued annually. Depending on your estate-planning objectives, you may emphasize the charitable deduction (by choosing a lower payout rate) or the annual return (by selecting a higher payout rate).

Unitrusts may be set up for life or a term of up to 20 years and a payout must be made at least annually to the beneficiary(ies).

The variable nature of unitrust payments may provide a potential hedge against inflation— assuming growth in the value of the assets comparable to the inflation rate.

Example: A 6% unitrust valued at $100,000 will pay out $6,000 its first year. If the trust assets are valued at $110,000 in its second year, the payout will be $6,600. Should they decline in value to $95,000, the payout would be $5,700.


You are allowed a charitable deduction equal to the present value of the remainder interest in a unitrust, based on the fair-market value of the asset you transfer, the payout rate you choose, and the ages and number of beneficiaries (or the term of years). If you fund the unitrust with appreciated securities or real estate, you can increase your tax benefits by avoiding capital-gain tax on the initial transfer of the asset to the trust.

 

Example: Edie, 77, uses stocks that she has owned for more than 12 months to create a 5% unitrust with herself as the sole beneficiary for life. The stocks have a value of $200,000 and a cost basis of $120,000. They are currently paying a dividend equal to 2% of their value. Edie both increases her income and realizes a charitable deduction of $126,022. In her 35% tax bracket, the deduction produces a net tax savings of $44,108. She also avoids* capital-gain tax of $15,040 ($80,000 gain x 18.8%) on the initial transfer of the stocks to the unitrust, a tax she would have incurred had she sold the stock to buy higher-yielding securities.

The first year she receives payments totaling $10,000 from the trust (5% x $200,000)—two and a half times what she had been receiving. After that she receives 5% of the value of the trust assets as revalued annually. Edie may choose to make additional gifts to the unitrust in the future. After her death the trust’s remainder will establish an endowment fund in memory of her husband.

*Note: The “avoided” capital gain is transferred to and trapped in the unitrust. Depending on the investments of the unitrust, Edie’s future income could be a combination of ordinary income, favorably taxed qualified dividend income, and/or capital gain.

 

Net-income unitrust—This variation of the unitrust facilitates the acceptance of illiquid assets (e.g., real estate or closely held stock) by permitting the trustee to distribute the lesser of the stated percentage and the net income of the trust. In the absence of income, the trust makes no distribution for that year, enabling the trustee to dispose of the illiquid asset strategically to realize its full fair-market value.

The addition of a make-up provision can provide for the make-up of any prior years’ deficiencies (the difference between the stated percentage rate and the trust’s net income) to the extent the trust income exceeds the stated rate.

Flip unitrust—This variation is favorable if you either do not need current income now or you want to transfer illiquid assets to the trust and receive distributions of a stated percentage of trust assets sometime in the future.

It starts as a net-income (with or without make-up) unitrust and on the occurrence of a triggering event, switches to a straight unitrust with payouts based on the then-value of the trust. Permissible triggering events include a specific date, event (marriage, divorce, birth, or death), and the sale of illiquid assets.

Charitable remainder annuity trust—An annuity trust provides a fixed payout of not less than 5% of the initial fair-market value of the gift in trust and is particularly suitable for a beneficiary who wants the security of a specified fixed payment.

Example: If Edie chooses an annuity trust rather than a unitrust for her endowment, her initial deduction will be $106,312 and her tax savings $37,209. The payments she receives from the trust will be fixed at $10,000, despite fluctuations of interest rates and stock prices.

Regardless of the trust she chooses, a final benefit is that her estate will pay no tax on the principal of the trust that establishes her memorial fund.

 

 

 

 

Other Planned Gifts

A “planned gift” is any form of a gift that is not outright. Gift options that pay you an income stream and the following options are planned gifts arranged now but will benefit our organization in the future.    

 

 

 

  A Gift Under Your Will or Living Trust
 
Each year thousands of individuals designate a portion of their assets via bequests in their wills or directions in their living trusts to benefit charities. Such gifts have become an important part of the American philanthropic tradition because they enable many individuals to make significant gifts that they could not have made during life. Charitable bequests and living trust directions to support our work can take various forms:

A specific bequest or direction instructs that we receive a specific piece of your property. Sample: “I give to the Jewish Community Center of Middlesex County all of my shares in XYZ Mutual Fund to be used for the general purposes of said charity.’’

A general bequest directs that we receive a specified dollar amount. Sample: “I give to the Jewish Community Center of Middlesex County the sum of $50,000 to be used for the general purposes of said charity.’’

A residual bequest designates all or a portion of whatever remains after all debts, taxes, expenses, and other bequests have been paid. Sample: “I give to the Jewish Community Center of Middlesex County fifty percent (50%) of the remainder of my estate to be used for the general purposes of said charity.’’

A contingent bequest takes effect only if your primary intention cannot be met and ensures that property will pass to us rather than to unintended beneficiaries—including the government.

While all of the examples above provide our organization with unrestricted support, any of them may be designated as a restricted bequest for a specific purpose. For example, if you wish to memorialize a family member or an honored colleague, you may establish a named fund that will provide support for a program of special interest to you or the honored person.

 
  Gifts of Retirement-Plan Assets
 
Retirement plans now account for 36% of household wealth, so assets in those plans are often used for charitable gifts.

A simple way to make a gift from your IRA, 401(k), 403(b), or other defined contribution plan is to name our organization as a beneficiary of all or a percentage of whatever might remain in the fund at the end of your life. You need only complete a change-of-beneficiary form, which you can obtain from the plan administrator. Such a gift is a cost-effective way to make a charitable gift. Here’s why: These assets (unless from a Roth IRA) are subject to income tax when paid to a noncharitable beneficiary, and they may also be subject to estate tax—depending on the size of your estate. However, they are subject to neither tax when paid to a charitable organization.

If you are over the age of 70½ and you would like to make a current gift from your IRA, you may authorize your IRA administer to transfer (“roll over”) up to $100,000 to one or more charities. The amount transferred will not be included in your taxable income, and it will count towards your required distribution—provided you have reached the age when you are required to start taking minimum distributions.

That age had been 70½ for a regular IRA, but legislation enacted in December of 2019 raised this age to 72 for individuals who did not reach 70½ by the end of 2019. The official title of the new legislation is the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019,” but it is known by the abbreviated name “the SECURE Act of 2019.” Once you reach your required minimum distribution age, your charitable gift will count towards your minimum distribution—though there would be some adjustment if you have continued to contribute to a regular IRA after the age of 70½.

Note that while you may name a charity as beneficiary of any contribution plan, such as an IRA, 401(k), or 403(b), a tax-free lifetime charitable transfer can be made only from an IRA. However, you could be eligible for the transfer if you rollover funds from another plan into an IRA.

Note: The CARES Act, referenced above, waived required minimum distributions for 2020, no matter the age of the account owner. The purpose of this provision was to allow retirement accounts to recover from some of their losses before forcing the liquidation of possibly depressed securities they may hold in order to make required distributions.

 
  Gift of Your Home with Retained Life Estate
 
Your gift of a remainder interest in your personal residence or farm provides you with a charitable deduction for the present value of the remainder interest and permits you to escape potential capital-gain tax on the built-in appreciation. What may be more important from your point of view   is that you may continue to occupy your home or operate the farm without disrupting your lifestyle. The deduction for such gifts is now quite large because of the low interest rate the IRS prescribes for the calculation.
 
  Gift of Life Insurance
 
One way to make a gift of life insurance is to name our organization as a beneficiary of all or a percentage of the proceeds payable at the end of your life. In the event that your family circumstances should change, you would be able to alter the named beneficiaries. No charitable deduction is allowed because you can change your mind. However, proceeds paid to our organization would qualify for an estate-tax charitable deduction.

If you are quite certain that you would not need an insurance policy for family protection or other purposes, you can assign ownership of it to us. You would receive a charitable deduction for the current value of the policy (or cost basis if that is less than the current value), and you would also receive a deduction for any premiums you subsequently pay.

Planning idea: You could purchase a policy to replace another asset you contribute to us. This enables you to make a gift without diminishing what you leave to heirs.

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  The Charitable Lead Trust-A Way to Keep Donated Property in the Family
 
A charitable lead trust is the opposite of a charitable remainder trust. It pays income to charity for a certain period of time and then either returns the assets to you or distributes them to your heirs.

If the assets are returned to you, it is a grantor charitable lead trust. You receive an income-tax charitable deduction for the present value of the payments we are to receive from the trust for the specified period of time. However, you continue to be taxed on the income earned by the trust each year—including the amount distributed to us. The up-front tax savings often far exceed the taxes you pay on trust income, particularly if much of that income consists of capital gain, dividends, and interest from tax-exempt securities.

If the assets are distributed to your heirs, it is a nongrantor charitable lead trust.  You do not receive a tax deduction, and you are not taxed on trust income. You do receive a gift-tax deduction if the trust is established during your lifetime or an estate-tax deduction if it is established under your will.

Although a lead trust can be designed to pay a charity a certain percentage of trust assets as

revalued each year, most lead trusts pay charity a fixed amount. The charitable deduction from a

trust that pays a fixed amount (the charitable lead annuity trust) is quite high now because of the very low IRS interest rate for calculating the deduction. With such a lead trust you may be able to transfer significant wealth to children or grandchildren without payment of gift or estate taxes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recent Legislation

This guide has referenced the following legislation enacted in years 2017, 2019, and 2020.

2017—Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: This legislation reduced tax rates for individuals and companies and made various changes pertaining to deductions and exemptions.

2019—The SECURE Act: This legislation pertained to retirement plans and made changes regarding contributions to and distributions from these plans.

2020—The CARES Act: This legislation is intended to rescue the economy from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic as well as provide for health care needs associated with the pandemic. 


The information contained herein is offered for general informational and educational purposes. The figures cited in the examples and illustrations are accurate at the time of writing and are based on federal law as well as IRS discount rates that change monthly. State law may affect the results illustrated. You should seek the advice of an attorney for applicability to your own situation.


For more information, or to inquire about donor opportunities, please contact:

Laurie Bell, Senior Development Officer at 732.593.5961 or lbell@jccmc.org

Talia Tor, Development & Engagement Manager at 732.593.5967 or ttor@jccmc.org

Adam Glinn, Chief Executive Officer at 732.593.5965 or aglinn@jccmc.org