Tag Archives: Charitable Donation

Tax Findings and thoughts from the 2018 Tax Season as we cross the finish line, finally!

Frequently our posts here act as a diary, for clarification, look back, and for possible reference in the future.

With tax season officially ending today – thank goodness – we felt like no better time than the present to pin our thoughts on what we saw this tax season.

So here we go…

2018 New Tax Law Review and thoughtsUncle Sam

Initially as we entered the tax year, we heard rumors and complaints of higher taxes – which on our first few returns, we found inaccurate.

As we carried through tax season we found that there were winners and losers and we will try to explain in greater detail for future reference for this time next year and for possible planning… for the record it way generally very hard to anticipate the winners from losers in advance as each situation seemed to have it’s own twist.

This is in general and very broad terms – as there are always exceptions, especially when dealing with taxes..

First the losers:

Single Taxpayers – With many deductions no longer allowed, simple standard deduction caused lower write offs in many cases.

Folks with heavy real estate right offs – SALT -State and Local Tax – deduction limited many – For the record clumping did not work as well as we had hoped.

Folks and heavy tax state residences – Again due to SALT deduction, we saw limits being reached frequently.

Folks that just fell under the itemized deductions due to limitations from the new tax laws – Limited deductions held many under the standard deduction.

Charitable donors – but not heavily charitable donors – standard deduction comes in play.

And the winners:

Large Families – Child credit in play here – $2k credit per child helped.

Married couples – especially those that had been filing non-itemized returns in the past-higher deduction in play here – a net gain in the higher standard deduction.

Non Itemizers – Those filing regular standard tax returns, usually found meaningful benefit.

Business owners with qualified pass  through taxes – lower tax rate at work here.

Real estate holdings that were not high property tax but possibly had meaningful interest expense – Although SALT limited much, interest expense was not limited in many cases.

So what have we learned?

Given the lower marginal tax rates in certain situation it likely makes sense to accelerate IRA distributions if one is in the appropriate asset position.

Heavy property tax real estate holdings may have limits, the SALT limit will greatly affect the deductions of such holdings.

While salt clumping – The clumping the property taxes-may not work as well, charitable deduction clumping will work very effectively but needs planning. Clumping years of charity gifting to get over the standard deductions may provide greater benefit.

In closing, the thing we learned the most –

The new tax forms and all of their crazy schedules are horrible!

The effort to go to a simplified tax return was nice, however it over complicated the details of any non-simple tax return.

We hope that in the future many of the schedules are enlarged or pulled to the front as it is very difficult to reconcile and reconcile tax returns with the current forms.

Have a Great “Last Unofficial” Tax Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.


Charitable giving pitfall – Promissory Note – Maximum Deduction- Long Lasting

As we near the end of the year, many are evaluating their charitable giving desires. While such a great thing to do, there can be a few pitfalls.

Charitable Giving Pitfalls

Watch the promissory note:

You may want to give to your specific charity over a period of years and may even have spoken to your charity concerning this. charity


If you sign something that can be construed as a promissory note, you may have unintended consequences. These can range from loss of the charitable deduction, to an unintended legal binding note to your charity.

The recent tragic death of Aubrey McClendon to his alma mater is a great example.

Duke University Sues Donor’s Estate for $10 Million


In this case there was a good result:

Duke drops claim on late donor’s estate

Maximum Annual Gift Deduction

While most people do not give just for the deduction, appropriate planning may help maximize your tax situation.

This from the IRS:

…..In general, contributions to charitable organizations may be deducted up to 50 percent of adjusted gross income computed without regard to net operating loss carrybacks.  Contributions to certain private foundations, veterans organizations, fraternal societies, and cemetery organizations are limited to 30 percent adjusted gross income ….

Long Lasting

Also be sure to remember that your contribution may last for some time. Thinking of the charity you choose  as long lasting might be helpful as well.

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.


November 2015 Year End Tax and Financial Planning Tips, Capital Market Monthly Review (Video by John Kvale)

Welcome to our monthly Economic, Capital Market, and Financial Planning tip of the month.

This months Special Tax Financial Planning Tip of the month is not one, but two tips that may save you tax dollars before year-end !

For those new to our writings, we touch on the most pertinent Financial “stuff” along with a video of my mug that has even more specialized details of the latest month as well as this post.

Ok…let’s go!


YouTube Direct Link 


Push that income out

  • Elective IRA and RMD distributions
  • Consulting payment – income 
  • Taxable gains Push

These are just a few simple examples of possible deferred income you may wish to push out.

In our income pushing post, here we discussed in great detail a  simple technique that is often forgotten but may at least defer your income taxes. If you can hold off on realizing this income of the next 30 to 40 days you will at least possibly get 15 to 16 months to pay these taxes — we will be glad to help if you have any questions!

Donation maximization and optimization

  1. Accelerate or push out your donations
  2. Watch the phase out-certainly push out if you are in a phaseout situation your deductions
  3. Cash is a great donator, concentrated stock may be better
  4. Other options include donor advised funds, letting up your own foundation-these are more complexCharitable donations

In our donation optimization post will  we discussed the various options for maximizing your donations, always staying well within the boundaries of the tax laws, but focusing on maximization is our goal!

Give us a call if you have any confusion/questions! Do not try any of these techniques without first visiting with you professional advisor!

Rates to be raised

October’s unemployment report gave Janet Yellen, head of the Federal Open Market Committee-FOMC, a green light to raise rates. While we do have another economic report, November’s at week end – it appears the economy is moving in the direction the Fed wants it to, and the FOMC will be able to raise rates.

What’s neat about this possible movement, which is different from September, is the markets-and market participants, seem to be prepared and are happily welcoming an interest rate increase!

Fed Funds rate 1947 - 11 of 2015


I am completing this video and post over the Thanksgiving weekend holidays. It’s interesting to think that we are worried about raising rates .25%, when during this weekend, several conversations were about receiving a one year CD at 17% annualized rate – wow what a long way we have come. We welcome the rate increase, look forward to it, and think that it may actually have a more positive effect than many think-time will tell!

Have a Great Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225JK Street Cents Logo

Charitable Donations Optimized – Veterans Day

Last week in our end of the year tax strategies, we spoke of the IRA Distribution, the week prior a Roth Conversion  to maximize your tax deductions. This weeks topic is a donation related technique to maximize your tax savings.Charitable donations

Optimizing your Charitable Donations! 

Charitable Donations Optimized

  1. Accelerate or push out to next year your donation IF you have the flexibility to, once again jump as high over your standard deduction as possible
  2. If you may be phases out of deductions for any reason, consider waiting until next year
  3. Cash is great, highly appreciated or concentrated stock may be better
  4. If you want a larger than ordinary charitable donation, consider a donor advised fund or setting up your own charitable foundation – these complex strategies are beyond this discussion, but available

These are sophisticated techniques and may require estimates, planning and professional council —  Reminder — this post is not a recommendation, only  a reminder of what is available –

A Special thanks to all Veterans on your honored day – No way we can ever fully pay you for your duty – Many thanks and much appreciated!

Have a Great — Less Taxable — Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225