What is a Charitable Remainder Trust?

A charitable Remainder Trust is a trust that is used for estate planning. The trust allows you to transfer assets into the trust. The assets make income for your trust non charitable income beneficiaries.

You can also receive charitable income deductions and avoid capital gain taxes, estate taxes, gift taxes and donate your money to a charitable organization.


Does a Charitable Remainder Trust have to file form 1041?

Filing of a 1041 for a charitable remainder trust is not needed if none of the trust’s assets are producing income and the estate of the trusts annual income is less than $600.


Are Charitable Remainder Trusts Tax Exempt?

Under the IRC 664 a charitable remainder trust (CRT) is exempt from income taxes. A CRT does not pay taxes on ordinary income and allows you to transfer highly appreciated assets.

Assets can be transferred into your CRT for the purpose of disbursing income to your CRT income beneficiaries on a monthly, bi monthly or annual basis. With the CRT you can defer the capital gains taxes when you sell off the assets and then you can reinvest the monies into other investments for the benefit of your CRT.

The CRT is perfect for estate planning and asset protection purposes.


Can a Charitable Remainder Trust be amended?

Yes, under certain circumstances. If the Primary Trustee wishes to replace the non-charitable income beneficiaries, the Primary Trustee can remove the non-charitable income beneficiaries off the trust agreement.

Most states require that trusts to be registered with the Trusts Bureau.


Can a Charitable Remainder Trust be revoked or terminated?

A Charitable Remainder Trust can be revoked with the state. Generally, if a trust beneficiary is the owner of all interests in a trust (both the income and remainder interests), the trust terminates, and the beneficiary has access to the trust principal.

If the merger doctrine doesn’t apply under governing state law, a court order may be required to terminate the trust.


Can a Charitable Remainder Trust borrow money?

Yes, they can borrow money. They cannot however, lend out any money or the Charitable Remainder Trust will lose their tax exempt status.


Can Charitable Remainder Trust hold S Corp stock?

No, the IRS does not allow the Charitable Remainder Trust to hold any interest in the stock. But, the S Corp can be both the Grantor and the beneficiary.


Can a Charitable Remainder Trust own life insurance?

Yes, the Charitable Remainder Trust can purchase life insurance and can pay out the benefits. When the policy holder dies, the benefits can pay out to the trust beneficiaries.

If the policy holder wishes to cash out the policy through the trust it may do so and avoid any taxation on it.


Can a Charitable Remainder Trust own Real Estate?

Yes, the CRT can own Real Estate as long as it is free and clear. You can purchase or transfer the deed of trust into the CRT. The CRT then owns the property and pays all the property taxes, title and homeowners insurance. You need to register the property utilities under the name of the CRT as well register the property under the trust name with the county recorder.


Can an IRA be placed in a Charitable Remainder Trust?

The Primary Trustee can open an IRA at any traditional investment firm and the Primary Trustee or Grantor can transfer the assets into an IRA account then have the financial advisor invest the assets into stocks, bonds, CD’s, ETF’s, money market funds.


Can you fund a Charitable Remainder Trust with an IRA?

The name on the IRA account may be transferred to the Primary Trustee, Grantors /Beneficiary name. You can then donate/transfer the IRA’s assets into the trust account. The trust now legally owns the assets and can disburse payments to the trust non-charitable income beneficiaries.


Does a Charitable Remainder Trust have to file a tax return?

The CRT does not pay income taxes on ordinary income. Any payments disbursed the trust non-charitable income beneficiaries shall receive a K1 statement. The trust is required to file a A990 with the state attorney general’s office. W2 for any salaries earned.


Does a Charitable Remainder Trust pay any capital gains taxes?

No, the CRT does not pay any capital gains taxes on any of the assets that are transferred into the trust when they are sold. Capital gain taxes may be deferred by reinvesting the sales proceeds into something else can be disbursed to the trust income beneficiaries monthly, semi-monthly, or annually.


How are Charitable Remainder Trust distributions taxed?

Distributions are taxed by issuing W2, K1 on income that is disbursed to any of the Trustees that handle any of the administrative duties for the trust.


How are Charitable Remainder Trusts taxed?

Charitable Remainder Trusts do not pay tax on ordinary income or any assets that are sold under the trust. The only ways a CRT is taxed is if the trust makes income that is unrelated to the trust missionary objective.

For example, if the trust missionary objective is to help the poor with housing and then you invest the trust monies and assets into foreign currency trading then your trust assets and income will be subjected to unrelated business income taxation. Your trust will not be protected under the IRC 664 laws (Tax Exemption Status). Your trust shall issue a K1 statement to any income that is allocated to your non charitable income beneficiaries.

If you are a Trustee and you earn a salary for handling the administration duties for trust the Trustee shall receive a W2.


How does a Charitable Remainder Trust work?

A charitable remainder trust works by transferring highly appreciated assets such as a piece of real estate, cash, CD’s, Bonds, art into the trust. The Trustee shall receive a partial income deduction on the value of the assets that are transferred into the trust. Any income that yields off the value of the donated assets is disbursed to the trust’s income beneficiaries. Any of the assets are sold off the capital gain taxes can be deferred for the lifetime of the trust which is usually 20 years or when the Grantor/Primary Trustee passes away. The remaining interest of the trust’s assets are donated to a charity under 26 U.S. Code 170.


How to calculate a Charitable Remainder Trust?

Each year, the Primary Trustee must consult with a CPA or business consulting firm and conduct a valuation report on the trusts assets net fair market value. This report shall give a full valuation of what the CRT value is.


How do you file a Charitable Remainder Trust?

Filing a Charitable Remainder Trust is a multistep process best explained by visiting our blog post on “Steps to File a Charitable Remainder Trust”.


Is the Charitable Remainder Trust Income taxable?

No, ordinary income is not taxed. The only way a trust is taxed is unrelated business income or receiving income as a beneficiary or if the Trustee receives a salary.


When are Charitable Remainder Trusts Tax Returns Due?

April 15th of each year.


When does a Charitable Remainder Trust make sense?

A CRT makes sense if you are looking to protect your highly appreciated assets from judgement or liens. They make sense if you are looking to yield an income stream and receive tax deductions or tax refunds.


When would you use a Charitable Remainder Trust?

A Charitable Remainder Trust can be used and is a great choice for many different scenarios. Below are a few examples of scenarios in which a CRT can be used.

  • A CRT can be used if an individual is going to inherit money or a highly appreciated asset such as a house, life insurance money, etc.
  • If planning to retire or if desiring family members to receive a long-term income stream a CRT is a great option.
  • If looking to do estate planning with an investment portfolio or looking to reduce tax liability, then a CRT is a perfect option.

Who Administers a Charitable Remainder Trust?

The Primary Trustee duties for the CRT is to handle all the tax filings and asset valuation reporting to the IRS. They handle disbursing all the income to the trust income beneficiaries. The Primary Trustee can be the Grantor, Lawyer, Financial Advisor.


Who Controls a Charitable Remainder Trust?

The Primary Trustee or the grantor controls the Charitable Remainder Trust. The grantor is the party that transfers the assets into the trust.


Why create a Charitable Remainder Trust?

A CRT can protect your assets from creditors and judgements, provide long income to your trust beneficiaries, reduce your tax liabilities, estate plan for families, carry partial income deductions, make unlimited cash contributions to charity, and more.


Why use a Charitable Remainder Trust?

A Charitable Remainder Trust can be used to protect assets-wealth, provide long-term income for yourself and family, save money, and help charitable organizations.

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