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2017 Summer Newsletter

At the Community Foundation, our mission is to improve the quality of life in Collier County by connecting donors to community needs and providing leadership on critical community issues.

Charitable Giving: make an impact in the community and save on your taxes!

It can be more advantageous to donate during your life (rather than at death) because doing so offers both income tax and estate tax benefits. Additionally, choosing the right assets to donate can expand available   tax benefits. For example, a gift of appreciated securities now, during your life, will help eliminate capital gain recognition and generates an income tax deduction. Charitable gifts can be made directly to a selected charity, foundation or donor-advised fund.  A donor-advised fund provides an immediate income tax deduction along with the flexibility to later identify the charities or causes you wish to support. Below are two strategies that may facilitate additional and larger donations.

Introduction of the Charity Act

On June 13, 2017, the Council on Foundations released the following statement from President and CEO Vikki Spruill: "Today's introduction of the 'Charities Helping Americans Regularly Throughout the Year Act of 2017' (CHARITY Act, S. 1343) is a welcome step towards protecting and growing our nation's rich tradition of encouraging charitable giving. Among the legislation's important elements are three essential provisions: (1) it expands the IRA charitable rollover to allow for distributions to donor advised funds (DAFs); (2) it simplifies the private foundation excise tax to a flat rate of 1%; and (3) it contains important language calling for the preservation of the full value and scope of the charitable deduction. These provisions will go a long way towards clearing hurdles that can stymie charitable giving and subsequently will make resources available to millions of people who need them.

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Advanced Planning Ideas
A Modern Look at Life Insurance:
Non-Estate Tax Uses/Charitable Gifts of Life Insurance in Brief

Life insurance is not a one trick pony. Sure, it provides cash to pay estate taxes. But there are many other uses of life insurance to consider, such as planning in second marriages, treating children equally, planning for retirement, or giving to charity.

By now, we have all heard about how life insurance can be used to provide liquidity to pay estate taxes. In 2013, the federal estate tax exemption is $5.25 million ($10.5 million for a married couple). 1 Individuals with taxable estates above the exemption amount will be faced with paying federal estate tax at a 40% rate. Life insurance continues to be an important part of estate tax planning.
 
But is that all life insurance is good for? Absolutely not!  Life insurance is uniquely suited to deal with many of the complexities of modern life.

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Collier County Legal Aid Team
Coming to the Aid of Women and Girls

Legal Aid Services of Collier County launched the "Women and Girls in Need" Project more than two years ago through funding by the Community Foundation. Its purpose is to provide legal services aimed to address challenges facing low-income senior women, women heading households with minor children, and women and girls with disabilities.
 
After receiving a $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation in 2016, Legal Aid Services has assisted 61 women during the grant term by providing them with legal protection. 
Council Hosts Briefing on Charitable Giving and Tax Reform

On June 29, 2017, the Council on Foundations, along with Independent Sector and other colleagues in the field, hosted a policy briefing on Capitol Hill titled "Briefing to Learn About the Impact of Tax Reform on Charitable Giving." The standing-room-only event brought together congressional staff and other interested parties to learn about the possible unintended consequences of tax reform on charitable giving and the solution that we are proposing to mitigate those consequences, expanding the charitable deduction to all taxpayers.

The event, moderated by our Senior Vice President of Government Relations Hadar Susskind, kicked off with Representative (and House Philanthropy Caucus co-chair) Danny Davis (D-IL ) giving remarks to the attendees about the importance of maintaining the full value and scope of charity giving. Following Representative Davis was Allison Grayson, Director of Policy Development and Analysis at Independent Sector, discussing new research commissioned by Independent Sector and conducted by Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. The research found that the provisions in the current House and White House tax proposals would decrease charitable giving by at least $13.1 billion annually.

The panel provided examples that demonstrated the importance of charitable giving to every community and highlighted the need to maintain the full scope and value of the deduction as tax reform moves forward. Other speakers included: Steve Taylor, Senior Vice President and Counsel for Public Policy at United Way, John Ashmen, President of Association of Gospel Rescue Mission, Heather Noonan, Vice President for Advocacy at League of American Orchestras, and Josh Grandy, OrchKids Baltimore.

Changing Needs Funds are a Critical Tool

The Community Foundation needs unrestricted dollars for the Changing Need Fund to allow us to respond quickly to our community's needs and to address unexpected issues as they emerge.  If your clients do not have a particular charitable field of interest and do not want to be involved in the details of grantmaking, donating to our changing needs funds is a perfect choice.  For more information on unrestricted funds, please contact Eileen Connolly-Keesler at ekeesler@cfcollier.org or 239.649.5000.

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