Article Archives: 2019

Posted by: Rick Cooley

Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) investing has been a hot topic in the financial press this year. As 2019 draws to a close, we’ve rounded up the facts and the lessons learned from QOZs and explained them below. Important deadlines are fast approaching, so if you’re planning to invest, it’s best to act on it soon. Remember that December 31, 2019 is the final date you can invest in a QOZ and see the maximum potential tax benefit.

What is an Opportunity Zone (OZ)?

An OZ is a designated economically distressed area identified by the State where the area is located and that is approved by the Treasury.

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This is an article on tax deductible options for giving overseas. To read it in English, click here.

近年来,越来越多美国纳税人对国际捐赠逐渐产生了浓厚的兴趣。因此,许多慈善机构希望帮助有海外捐赠意愿的纳税人,让他们了解如何使海外捐赠符合美国的减税优惠。

有些捐赠人希望向国际上受自然灾害影响的受难者伸出援助之手;有些人想致力于解决不发达地区的贫困问题;还有人则希望帮助生活在医疗条件相对落后地区的人们预防和治疗各种疾病。众所周知,美国是一个移民国家。许多在美国工作和生活的人本身都出生在异国他乡,而他们都时刻牵挂着自己的家乡和亲友,并希望能参与一些服务于家乡的慈善事业。

相对而言,国际捐赠的税收优惠政策管理更加严格。自2017年税改以后,慈善捐赠的免税上限被提高了。这给高收入人士的国际慈善事业提供了更多的税收减免,从而也吸引了更多人为慈善做出贡献。

这里我们介绍四种可以让捐赠人达到国际捐赠目的,并同时符合慈善税收优惠政策的有效渠道。

1. 直接向国外慈善机构捐赠

一般来说,美国联邦法律要求接受慈善捐赠的机构(501(c)(3))必须在美国境内注册。因此,直接向海外慈善机构捐赠通常不能享有减税优惠。然而,加拿大、墨西哥和以色列这三个国家与美国有相关的税务协定。部分位于这些国家的慈善机构是被美国税务局认证的非盈利组织,因此享有501(c)(3)的税务优惠。如果捐赠人在这三个国家有收入来源,并向这些国家认证的慈善机构提供捐款,那么捐赠人可以享有一定的税收减免。

2. 向DAF捐赠

Donor Advised Fund(DAF)是由非盈利机构监督的慈善投资基金,在这种基金捐赠方式中,捐赠人对于捐赠基金的发放具有一定的控制权。有一些非盈利机构(比如 United Way International, Charities Aid Foundation America, 和 the International Community Foundation)专注于在捐赠人的建议下进行国际慈善捐赠活动。

一般而言,向一个不符合美国政府501(c)(3)税务减免特例的国外机构捐款,并希望获得美国税收优惠,需要通过非常严格的审核程序。这类审核程序由DAF基金的非盈利监督机构来实施。捐赠人在向DAF捐赠的同时,就能直接享受到美国的税务减免优惠政策。捐款人可以在捐赠完成后的任何时间提出基金如何使用的建议。基金的监督机构则需要监督所捐赠的资金只使用在合法的慈善活动上,并保证他们不违反反恐和反洗钱的相关条例。对于捐赠人来说,他们只需要挑选一个合法称职,经验资深的基金监管机构。如果基金的监管机构不能严格审查资金的使用,美国税务局有可能把捐赠给基金的捐款列为个人国际捐款,而捐赠人则会失去减税的福利。

3. 捐赠给国外慈善组织在美国的联谊机构

许多国外的慈善组织在美国有相应的联谊机构,例如 American Friends of the Paris Opera, the American Friends of the London Business School, 和 Friends of China Heritage Fund。这些联谊机构能帮助他们在美国国外的慈善组织筹集捐款。

联谊机构需要注意不能仅仅成为他们在国外慈善组织的一个筹款渠道。她们需要对筹集的资金有一定的控制。比如,国内的联谊机构需要控制资金的发放时机和数额,并保持和国外慈善组织关于筹款、慈善活动等方面的沟通。通过这种方式,联谊机构才能享受到相应的税收优惠。

4. 建立个人基金

如果捐赠人拥有足够的资金,并希望自己的捐款在海外捐赠和投资方面享有更多的个人控制权,那么建立个人基金(private foundation)则是一个更好的选择。然而,个人基金的税务减免优惠申请通常需要美国税务局长达数个月的审核。当审核通过以后,基金每年只需要向税务局缴纳约为1%-2%投资收益, 而其他资产一般都是免税的。 个人基金必须遵守国际慈善捐赠的相关法律,并每年将不低于5%的总资产用于慈善事业。只要能符合这些要求,个人基金是捐赠人享有最多自由自主权的慈善捐赠形式。

个人基金通常通过两种方式进行国际捐赠。第一种是直接捐赠给类似于美国国内非盈利机构的国际组织。税收文件2017-53 (Rev. Proc. 2017-53) 详述了一个国际组织需要达到这个标准的要求。第二种是个人基金严格监督资金的使用情况,其中包括:

  1. 在给国外机构提供资金之前,核实该机构能够完成对资金的使用目的;
  2. 与国外机构签订一份书面协议,并在协议中列出对资金的使用要求;
  3. 国外机构需要为资金专门设立一个独立账户;
  4. 国外机构需每年提供资金的使用汇报;
  5. 个人基金需每年通过990-PF表格向美国税务局汇报资金的使用状况。

总体来说,美国的纳税优惠政策对于国际慈善捐赠的要求更为复杂和严格。本文阐述了四种可以让纳税人享受优惠的捐赠渠道。如果您对国际慈善事业感兴趣,或者希望了解更多这方面的信息,请联系我们Clark Nuber的税务专家。我们非常乐意帮助您规划一个合理的慈善捐赠计划。

 

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Posted by: Mike Nurse

As we approach International Fraud Awareness Week (November 17-23, 2019), it is a great time to review the basics of occupational fraud and why fraud awareness is especially important for not-for-profits. Occupational fraud is any fraud committed against an organization by its own officers, directors, or employees. This article addresses why not-for-profits are frequently vulnerable to fraud, the financial and reputational impact of fraud, why people commit fraud, behavioral and operational red flags of fraud, and most importantly, a few simple and inexpensive steps you can take immediately to help mitigate the risk of fraud in your organization.

Why Not-for-Profits are Vulnerable to Occupational Fraud

All organizations,

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这是一篇关于如果通过合法手段,使国外捐赠符合美国税收减免的文章。 阅读中文版本,请按这里

International giving is picking up steam among U.S. taxpayers. As such, there is an increasing need for philanthropic advisors to help U.S. taxpayers understand how they can make tax deductible charitable contributions to overseas causes.

For some domestic donors, it’s the desire to help the people affected by international disasters. Others want to alleviate the problems of poverty and deadly but preventable diseases. The United States is also home to many individuals who were born in a different country or who have family still residing outside of the U.S. Because of this, there is often a strong desire to donate to causes in their home countries.

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Posted by: Julie Eisenhauer

Effective inventory management and menu pricing are common challenges for owners of restaurants of all sizes. To be successful, owners must manage expenses, monitor cost fluctuations, improve ordering processes and respond with timely menu price increases.

Preparing a profit and loss statement, and understanding how to interpret the results of the statement, provides an owner information needed to make effective operating decisions in a timely manner. This article defines what a profit and loss statement is, its key components, and warning signs.

What is a profit and loss statement?

The profit and loss statement (also called a P&L, income statement,

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Posted by: Julie Eisenhauer

As we approach the year’s end, this is a good time to consolidate plans for next year. For the hospitality industry, the Lodging Conference kicks that process off.

I recently attended the 25th annual Lodging Conference, where hotel owners and executives meet to strategize and learn about development, finance, management and operations.  I returned with beneficial information to share as you plan for 2020.

Economic Outlook

The conference began with an economic and geopolitical outlook presented by Bernard Baumohl, Chief Global Economist of The Economic Outlook Group.  He addressed the worries many of us have: Is a recession near?

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Posted by: Victoria Kitts

Has your organization completed an enterprise risk management assessment? Your external auditors may ask this question, and you may wonder why.

Your financial statements are audited annually by an independent audit firm. You have insurance policies in place, including insurance that covers cyber-attacks. Your staff keeps current on the list of federal, state, and local regulations that apply to your particular industry and operations. Why should you perform an enterprise risk management assessment?

Following is some background on this topic, and why it is of increasing importance and emphasis for all entities, including your small not-for-profit (NFP).

What is Enterprise Risk Management?  » Read more

In July of 2018, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2018-38. This new procedure reduced donor disclosure requirements on all organizations exempt under Internal Revenue Code §501(a), other than §501(c)(3) charities; §501(c)(7), (8), and (10) organizations accepting gifts for charitable purposes; and §527 political action committees. Thus, for all other tax-exempt organizations, the contributors’ names and addresses on the Form 990, Schedule B, Schedule of Contributors may be redacted even when submitted to the IRS.

Although reportedly implemented to relieve burden, the relief was not universally well-received. Two states sued. Montana was the first to prevail winning in District Court (Bullock v.

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Posted by: Cheryl R. Olson

This article originally appeared in the Journal of Accountancy ©2019 Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

In a way, board oversight has the same impact on a not-for-profit organization that parenting has on a child. Performed effectively, board oversight provides the framework for the organization to grow and prosper. But when the board is dysfunctional or performs poorly, the organization’s chances of serious troubles multiply exponentially.

Cheryl R. Olson, CPA, CGMA, not-for-profit solutions strategist at Clark Nuber in Bellevue, Wash., and a member of the AICPA Not-for-Profit Advisory Council, recently shared her five most important tips for not-for-profit governance during JofA podcast:

Recruit board members with the time and skill sets that contribute to a well-rounded board.  » Read more

Posted by: Joe Haberzetle

Updated 9/18/2019, 9:15 PM

What Changed?

The Washington legislature recently enacted legislation that dramatically changes aspects of the state’s Real Estate Excise Tax (REET). Unless real property is classified as timberland or agricultural land, the REET rate structure will be changing on January 1, 2020. The current flat rate of 1.28% for the state portion of the REET will be replaced with a graduated rate.

The new rates will be:

  • 1.1% on the first $500,000 of the selling price;
  • 1.28% on the portion of the selling price between $500,000 and $1.5 million;
  •  2.75% on the portion of the selling price between $1.5 million and $3 million;

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