As we approach the holidays and the end of the year, many people may want to make gifts of cash or stock to their loved ones. By properly using the annual exclusion, gifts to family members and loved ones can reduce the size of your taxable estate, within generous limits, without triggering any estate or gift tax. The exclusion amount for 2021 is $15,000. The exclusion covers gifts you make to each recipient each year. Therefore, a taxpayer with three children can transfer $45,000 to the children every year free of federal gift taxes. If the only gifts made during a year are excluded in this fashion, there’s no need to file a federal gift tax return. If annual gifts exceed $15,000, the exclusion covers the first $15,000 per recipient, and only the excess is taxable. In addition, even taxable gifts may result in no gift tax liability thanks to the unified...[ Read More ]
As we approach the holidays, many people plan to donate to their favorite charities or give money or assets to their loved ones. Here are the basic tax rules involved in these transactions. Donating to charity Normally, if you take the standard deduction and don’t itemize, you can’t claim a deduction for charitable contributions. But for 2021 under a COVID-19 relief law, you’re allowed to claim a limited deduction on your tax return for cash contributions made to qualifying charitable organizations. You can claim a deduction of up to $300 for cash contributions made during this year. This deduction increases to $600 for a married couple filing jointly in 2021. What if you want to give gifts of investments to your favorite charities? There are a couple of points to keep in mind. First, don’t give away investments in taxable brokerage accounts that are currently worth less than what you...[ Read More ]
Your not-for-profit may prefer to avoid activities that subject it to unrelated business income tax (UBIT). But if you accept advertising or sponsorships that aren’t substantially related to your tax-exempt purpose, you may unwittingly expose your organization to UBIT liability. The rules governing these types of support are complicated, so it’s important to have a basic understanding of what is and what isn’t potentially taxable. Qualified sponsorship dollars: Not taxable Sponsorship dollars generally aren’t taxed. Qualified sponsorship payments are made by a person (a sponsor) engaged in a trade or business with no arrangement to receive — or expectation of receiving — any substantial benefit from the nonprofit in return for the payment. The IRS allows exempt organizations to use information that’s an established part of a sponsor’s identity, such as logos, slogans, locations, phone numbers and URLs. There are some exceptions. For example, if the payment amount is contingent...[ Read More ]
If your not-for-profit organization accepts contributions of nonfinancial assets, such as land, services and supplies, you should know about Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) rules approved last year. Accounting Standards Update (ASU), Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958): Presentation and Disclosures by Not-for-Profit Entities for Contributed Nonfinancial Assets is intended to increase transparency around gifts in kind. Inflated values The updated rules were generated in response to concerns about U.S. wholesale market prices being used to determine the value of donated pharmaceuticals that can’t legally be sold in the United States. A donor, for example, could contribute such drugs for use only outside the country. Stakeholders worried that the values will be inflated, which could increase an organization’s revenue and program expenses. The nonprofit might, therefore, appear larger and more efficient than a smaller organization or one with lower values for its gifts-in-kind donations. New procedures and disclosures The most dramatic change from previous...[ Read More ]
The housing market in many parts of the country is strong this spring. If you’re buying or selling a home, you should know how to determine your “basis.” How it works You can claim an itemized deduction on your tax return for real estate taxes and home mortgage interest. Most other home ownership costs can’t be deducted currently. However, these costs may increase your home’s “basis” (your cost for tax purposes). And a higher basis can save taxes when you sell. The law allows an exclusion from income for all or part of the gain realized on the sale of your home. The general exclusion limit is $250,000 ($500,000 for married taxpayers). You may feel the exclusion amount makes keeping track of the basis relatively unimportant. Many homes today sell for less than $500,000. However, that reasoning doesn’t take into account what may happen in the future. If history is...[ Read More ]
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, government officials are seeing a large increase in the number of new businesses being launched. From June 2020 through June 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that business applications are up 18.6%. The Bureau measures this by the number of businesses applying for an Employer Identification Number. Entrepreneurs often don’t know that many of the expenses incurred by start-ups can’t be currently deducted. You should be aware that the way you handle some of your initial expenses can make a large difference in your federal tax bill. How to treat expenses for tax purposes If you’re starting or planning to launch a new business, keep these three rules in mind: Start-up costs include those incurred or paid while creating an active trade or business — or investigating the creation or acquisition of one. Under the tax code, taxpayers can elect to deduct up to $5,000 of...[ Read More ]
Many homeowners across the country have seen their home values increase recently. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price of homes sold in July of 2021 rose 17.8% over July of 2020. The median home price was $411,200 in the Northeast, $275,300 in the Midwest, $305,200 in the South and $508,300 in the West. Be aware of the tax implications if you’re selling your home or you sold one in 2021. You may owe capital gains tax and net investment income tax (NIIT). Gain exclusion If you’re selling your principal residence, and meet certain requirements, you can exclude from tax up to $250,000 ($500,000 for joint filers) of gain. To qualify for the exclusion, you must meet these tests: You must have owned the property for at least two years during the five-year period ending on the sale date. You must have used the property as a principal residence...[ Read More ]

Time to plan an in-person board retreat?

Posted September 17, 2021

As states open for business and the need for social distancing recedes, your not-for-profit organization may want to think about scheduling an in-person retreat for your board of directors. Members are likely to welcome the opportunity to see one another again in the flesh and a retreat can provide them with a chance to de-stress and think creatively about how your nonprofit should move forward when the pandemic ends. Get board buy-in Board retreats enable participants to get past the mundane topics of regular board meetings — particularly if they’ve been holding meetings online for more than a year. Although Zoom and other videoconference sites have been essential during the pandemic, they generally don’t produce the kind of synergistic magic that’s possible when like-minded people brainstorm face-to-face. But before you start scheduling a meeting, float the idea past your board. Board members need to agree about the merit of a...[ Read More ]
If you have a parent entering a nursing home, you may not be thinking about taxes. But there are a number of possible tax implications. Here are five. 1. Long-term medical care The costs of qualified long-term care, including nursing home care, are deductible as medical expenses to the extent they, along with other medical expenses, exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income (AGI). Qualified long-term care services are necessary diagnostic, preventive, therapeutic, curing, treating, mitigating and rehabilitative services, and maintenance or personal-care services required by a chronically ill individual that is provided under care administered by a licensed healthcare practitioner. To qualify as chronically ill, a physician or other licensed healthcare practitioner must certify an individual as unable to perform at least two activities of daily living (eating, toileting, transferring, bathing, dressing, and continence) for at least 90 days due to a loss of functional capacity or severe cognitive impairment....[ Read More ]
Married couples may not be able to save as much as they need for retirement when one spouse doesn’t work outside the home — perhaps so that spouse can take care of children or elderly parents. In general, an IRA contribution is allowed only if a taxpayer earns compensation. However, there’s an exception involving a “spousal” IRA. It allows contributions to be made for nonworking spouses. For 2021, the amount that an eligible married couple can contribute to an IRA for a nonworking spouse is $6,000, which is the same limit that applies for the working spouse. IRA advantages As you may know, IRAs offer two types of advantages for taxpayers who make contributions to them. Contributions of up to $6,000 a year to an IRA may be tax deductible. The earnings on funds within the IRA are not taxed until withdrawn. (Alternatively, you may make contributions to a Roth...[ Read More ]