We want to share with you one of the benefits of our tax review process.
Last year one of our high-net-worth investors had us review his joint income tax return. The couple are both over 70 and are required to take mandatory distributions from each of their IRAs. The husband has served on various charity boards of directors over his career and the couple are closely affiliated with various charities. Naturally they want to support these charities monetarily, as they believe strongly in their missions.
The tax return showed $65,000 in charitable giving, however their donations were made from their IRAs, as we suggested in the past. The reason we chose IRAs is, since they’re required to take out $150,000 from their IRA account, using the QCD option (Qualified Charitable
Distribution) made the most sense. They were able to direct some of the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) to various distributions. One of the advantages of using a QCD is these distributions will be excluded from their taxable income resulting in a lower adjusted gross income (AGI).
Our tax review process enables us to review client’s income tax returns, with the goal of suggesting opportunities where the client may become more tax efficient. We evaluate a number of opportunities during this tax planning process, including topics such as tax efficient retirement vehicles, realizing capital gains, Roth IRA conversions, tax credit eligibility, and in this case, charitable giving strategies.
Our findings for this client were the donations were listed incorrectly on their income tax return. Their gifts were not listed as QCD giving. This resulted in our client reporting $65,000 in additional income, naturally becoming a higher tax event. When this was reported to their CPA, they immediately understood the error and filed an amended tax return. Being a high tax bracket couple, this resulted in an actual tax savings of $24,050, which was refunded to them.