John Bullis: Charitable gift annuity benefits
December 25, 2012
If we look long and hard, there are answers to tough situations.- Consider Sue, at age 76, she owns shares of stock she purchased a few years ago for $65,000 and are now worth $100,000.She would like to diversify her holdings, but is not happy about the idea of paying tax on the $35,000 of capital gains if she sells the stock. She has a favorite church or charity, but would like more income.She might consider establishing a Charitable Gift Annuity with her favorite church or charity.If she did the Charitable Gift Annuity, she would not pay income tax on the capital gains of $35,000.Also, she would receive about $6,000 a year as additional income. The extra $500 per month would go a long way toward meeting her desire for a little more income.Of the $6,000 per year income, about $3,200 would be tax free-recovery of her basis or cost of the stock.Also about $1,720 per year would be taxed as long term capital gain rates — hopefully low or no rate, depending on her other income and what Congress does someday in changing the tax rate on long term capital gains.Of the $6,000 per year she receives, only $1,080 or so would be ordinary income subject to regular income tax rates (which if her income is not high, might not be taxed that heavily). If her other income is taxed at 25 percent, that might be only $270 ordinary income tax per year.Her church or charity would get a part of the money, since they can sell the stock and pay no income tax at all on the gain. They are nonprofit organizations.Oh, also, she would get about $56,000 charitable contributions deduction on form 1040, Schedule A if she itemizes deductions. The charitable contributions deduction might not be fully deductible in the year she establishes the Charitable Gift Annuity. But the excess deduction (not allowed based on her gross income since Congress has limits on charity deductions) could carryover for four more years or until all used.The bad news is she no longer owns the stock. Her heirs will not receive anything for the stock she used to own. Maybe this is something to consider for some folks?Did you hear? “Every day is a new beginning? Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be.” By Marsh Petrie Sue.• John Bullis is a certified public accountant, personal financial specialist and certified senior adviser serving Carson City for 45 years. He is founder emeritus of Bullis and Company CPAs, LLC.