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Charitable Gifting Archives

Wealthiest Colleges May Be Asked to Pony Up for Financial Aid

The high cost of a college-education is a hot topic in the news these days. What if the most expensive, and wealthiest, colleges were forced to earmark 25% of any donations to provide financial aid for middle-class students? The idea is now being floated in Congress.

Foundation's Generous Gift Brings New Life to Library

With a $350,000 grant, The Stanley and Elaine Ball Charitable Foundation has made it possible for the Taneyhills Library to renovate the children's area and create a technology conference room that would have otherwise been impossible for the all-volunteer library to build. The hope is that the new features will draw new users to the library and make the library a central, long-lasting resource for the community. The gift is in keeping with one of the key missions of the Foundation, which was to address children's literacy.

'Tis the Season for End of Year Financial Matters

With the holiday season on the horizon, the end of year financial season has arrived. It's time to deal with money issues relating to income tax planning, charitable giving and scams and the annual check up on family finances. There is not too much in the way of tax drama in the final weeks of the year, with no major legislation being passed, but a few popular tax provisions are still undecided. Congress needs to act soon to extend these favorites, which include a higher education tuition and fees deduction, a mortgage debt forgiveness exclusion and a classroom expense deduction for teachers

How to Support Charitable Goals Through Bequests and Donations

There are tax breaks to be had while you are living and those that can benefit your heirs after you have passed. Knowing which ones work at what time is key to help mitigate tax liability. While you are living, giving appreciated assets held in a taxable account is a good way to go. When you are making bequests, consider designating your IRA or tax-deferred retirement plans for the most impact. For example, if a person wants to give $10,000 to her favorite charity this year, she can donate $10,000 worth of stock that she bought for $2,000. As long as her holding period is one year or more, she'll get a full $10,000 charitable deduction, even if those shares are worth less than $10,000 on the open market. These kinds of strategies are big for retirement planning and estate planning benefits. Here's another example: a prosperous business owner has $1 million of securities: $500,000 in a taxable account and $500,000 in a traditional IRA. He wants to leave half to charity and half to a daughter who is already in a high income tax bracket because of her own successful business. If his daughter inherits the IRA, she will have to take distributions, which will be taxed highly. An alternative: leave the entire IRA to charity, which is tax exempt. The daughter inherits the $500,000 taxable account and won't owe income tax on any money she withdraws. She also won't owe any capital gains if she sells the securities in the accounts right away, before they gain more value because she gets a cost basis step-up to market value on those assets.

Bill Wurst Leaves Millions to his Alma Mater MSU

Bill Wurst, a 1959 alumnus in electrical engineering left $4 million to the MSU College of Engineering as a gift from his estate. The gift was designated for the greatest needs of the college, giving the family and the college the flexibility to apply it where it would do the most good. Wurst had spoken with the alumni foundation's senior director about the gift in 2011. The funds will be used as matching funds for the university's planned Norm Asbjornson Innovation Center.

Charitable Gifts: It's All in the Delivery ... At Least for Tax Purposes

With the holiday season in full swing, 'tis the season to review date of delivery rules for charitable gifts, which determine the date that the gift was made and affect the tax consequences of the gift. Here are the general rules for determining date of delivery for some types of property when given as a gift.

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