How The Wealthy Rock On Your Dime Part I — Private Charitable Foundations

Wealthy people can navigate the tax system in ways that are not available to middle class people. For example, this year, I am going to write a large check to Uncle Sam because I sold some investments. If I had a whole lot more shares to unload last year, I could have set up a charitable trust and donated publicly-traded stock to the trust, and as long as the ‘gift’ of stock was less than 20% of my adjusted gross income for the year, I could deduct the entire amount of my ‘gift’ from my income tax.  The ‘gift’ would not be taxed and I would not have to pay capital gains tax on it either.

Now, here’s where it gets good. I set up the foundation, and now I can put relatives in charge of the foundation, which is tax-exempt, and give them big salaries.  As long as I distribute 5% per year, everything is gravy.   Meals, travel, you name it can be part of the overhead.

Here’s an example of someone doing things right: Roger Staubach. I looked up the info on the Staubach Foundation. Even though his daughter runs the foundation, she doesn’t draw a salary, and program expenses are minimal. source,

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