Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kentucky’s Abused Children Deserve Our Care

By: Barry G. Allen- President and CEO

Recently a friend showed me a souvenir of the 24th anniversary of the organization of the Louisville Baptist Orphan’s Home held on June 30, 1893. It included a letter from Mary Hollingsworth, superintendant since its 1869 beginning. It stated “A year ago we had fifty-eight children dependent upon our charity; today we have eighty-two children to care for, and children are coming almost daily. This means additional burdens for us as a people, and we must do this noble work God has placed in our care, for to Him we are indebted for all that we have, and we must help these dear children by giving liberally of our substance. Our work is increasing each day, and of course our expenses of necessity will increase. We appeal to the friends of our Home everywhere, to give liberally for the support of the Home, as we need that help now.”

Just last week I received a communication from Dr. Bill Smithwick, President/CEO of Sunrise Children’s Services, successor of the Louisville Baptist Orphan’s Home, with some startling statistics about children today. Did you realize thousands of Kentucky children go to bed each night and wake up in homes where proper love and concern are absent, where physical, sexual and emotional abuse is common, and where the hope for a brighter tomorrow grows dimmer with each passing day? There have been more than 15,000 confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect, and Kentucky led the nation last year in the rate of child abuse and neglect deaths.

Since 1869 we Kentucky Baptists have been caring for children through this vital ministry. Last year more than 2,000 turned to Sunrise for help. Although the types of care required have changed since Superintendant Hollingsworth appealed in 1893 for financial support, the necessity of “giving liberally of our substance” has not changed. Please join my wife and me and make a liberal contribution to the Thanksgiving Children’s Offering on which this ministry depends. Make an impact for Christ’s sake and for the sake of these children.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Smart Giving

By: Barry G. Allen- President and CEO

Between now and the end of the year you very likely will be bombarded with appeals for financial assistance from the various worthy charitable organizations with which you are affiliated and from others seeking your affiliation and support.

As you prayerfully consider what the Lord would have you to do during this season of giving, let me commend to you the reminders of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 9:6-15:
∙ Giving is like planting seeds: “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” (v 6).
∙ Giving should be thoughtful, cheerful and with conviction: “each person should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (v 7).
∙ Giving is motivated by our thanksgiving to God: “Thanks be to God for His
indescribable gift!” (v15).

If you conclude the Lord is leading you to make a gift(s) out of your assets in addition to gifts out of your income, and you would like assistance in understanding the various charitable giving options available to you, please contact Laurie Valentine or me.

Perhaps a life income gift would be of interest to you. Such a gift provides you an opportunity to establish now a future, irrevocable gift for your favorite charitable organization(s) and the potential to increase cash flow to you and/or others for life or for a term of years. If you itemize deductions, you may deduct, in the year you establish the life income gift, the present value of the charity’s interest.

Or you may prefer to establish an endowment fund to provide perpetual support to your favorite charitable organization(s). You could establish it with a year-end gift and add to it in the future, including a bequest in your estate plan.

Whatever smart giving ideas you may be considering prayerfully, please give us the privilege of assisting you with information and consultation. Call us toll-free at 1-866-489-3533. (Kentucky only)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Year End Tax Planning

By: Laurie Valentine, Trust Counsel & Chief Operating Officer

With December 31 fast approaching, now is a good time to review tax planning actions that you have already taken this year and to discuss with your tax adviser other things you may be able to do before year-end to further reduce your 2010 income taxes.

If you will be in a lower tax bracket in 2011, it may be prudent to defer some of this year’s income until next year and to pay deductible items that you would normally pay in early 2011 before December 31, 2010.
Business and professional people who use the cash accounting method may be able to defer the receipt of income by not billing until year-end for services rendered in 2010. The receipt of a bonus that your employer is free to give or not give can be deferred into next year to lower your 2010 compensation income.

Pay real estate taxes and the January 15 installment of state and local income taxes before December 31 to accelerate these deductible items into the 2010 tax year. If possible, pay all medical bills, if the total will exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, before year-end to be able to use that expense as a deduction, if you itemize.

Another income tax deduction that is very easy to accelerate is the charitable deduction. You have total control on when this deduction will be available; all you have to do is complete your charitable gifts before December 31.

Your tithes and offerings are “charitable gifts” that can be deducted on your income tax return, if you itemize. You can also deduct gifts of appreciated securities, mutual fund shares, real estate, business interests, and life insurance policies to your church, Kentucky Baptist and Southern Baptist causes or other qualified charities.

Charitable income tax deductions are available for both outright gifts to charity and life income gifts such as charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts.
Make time for year-end tax planning with your advisers; it can beneficial to you and to the charitable causes you wish to support.

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice.  For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.