Posts Tagged ‘donation’

Eldercare Locator – A Free, Public Service For Connecting Older Adults and Caregivers with Community Resources

October 27, 2010

The Eldercare Locator is a service of the U.S. Administration on Aging.  It’s been around for nearly 20 years.  Its toll free number is 800-677-1116.  Its website is http://www.eldercare.gov.  It  provides information about long-term care alternatives, transportation options, caregiver issues and government benefit eligibility.  This information is also available in Spanish and other languages.  There is an extensive database of links, publications, and other resources.

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A Burning Issue . . .

April 8, 2010

“The fault of most men is not that they aim too high and miss, but that they aim too low and hit.”   – Michelangelo

An article in the Sunday edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel addressed an issue that is particularly relevant in our area. For some time it has been fairly common for owners of tear-downs to make a charitable contribution of the house to their local fire departments for a tax deduction. The fire department burns it down for practice. Lately that strategy has been under attack by IRS.

This is something that has been done for a long time, but IRS is looking at it differently now. For years, IRS allowed deductions for homes donated to fire departments, based on a 1973 court opinion interpreting the IRS code written in 1968. But the tax code changed in 1969 to specify that donating anything less than the entire interest in a property, such as its use, is not deductible as a charitable contribution. Around 2004, IRS started disallowing deductions for homes donated for fires.

The heart of the issue is the value of the house. Usually when you give to charity, you can deduct the fair market value of the property that is gifted. In this case, what is the value of something that is going to be destroyed anyway?

This article tells the story of a Chenequa couple that bought an old house on Pine Lake in 1996. In 1998, they let the Chenequa Fire Department burn it down and claimed a charitable deduction of $76,000. Replacement value was about $235,000. IRS disallowed the deduction, saying that because the home was going to be torn down anyway, it had negative value, or was worth approximately $1,000 if someone was willing to move it. The owner decided to fight the case. It was argued before a tax judge in 2005, but they’re still waiting for a decision.

If the U.S. Tax Court agrees with IRS, the decision will likely end the symbiotic relationship between owners of tear-downs and their local fire departments.

April is National Organ Donation Month

April 2, 2010

As of Monday, March 29, Wisconsin residents can sign up online to donate their organs on a new registry found at www.YesIWillWisconsin.com. The online registry will make it easier and more efficient for Wisconsin residents to sign up and support donation. Anyone 15.5 years old and older with a driver’s license or state ID can grant legal authorization to donate their organs, tissue and corneas upon their death.

Not only will this site will help get organs to recipients, it provides a lot of valuable information, including answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about organ donation, information for people interested in volunteering for the cause, and a calendar of events.

For decades, people have been able to show their willingness to donate organs with an orange dot on their driver’s licenses. But that system simply expressed the person’s intentions and left the final decision to the family. The new online registry gives legal authorization to donate one’s eyes, tissue or organs, and cannot be overridden if you are at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor.

This resource ties in well with DocuBank , which stores all healthcare directives, including living will, healthcare power of attorney, and organ donor information. Our office includes DocuBank as part of our client service package to ensure that all this important medical information will be available at the hospital when needed, 24/7/365.

The Wisconsin Donor Registry is authorized by s. 157.06(20) Stats., and maintained by the Wisconsin Department of Health Service in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.