Urgent and important
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  1. #1
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    Urgent and important

    Please be generous


    Friends and family of Dennis McGorty have established a website, McGortyFamilyFund.org, to help defray medical expenses and support the athlete's wife, Anita, and two young children following an accident that has left him paralyzed below the waist.

    An avid cyclist, McGorty was traveling east on South Avenue West shortly after 2 p.m. on Monday, May 20, when he was struck by a landscaping truck and dragged beneath its trailer.

    After more than a week at University Hospital, McGorty, who suffered severe injuries to his spine, was transferred to Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation, where he spent his 43rd birthday Wednesday May 29.

    A lifelong Westfield resident, McGorty is raising his own family—a son Declan, 5, and a daughter, Lorelei, 3,—in town. The McGorty Family Fund has been created to provide an avenue of assistance by friends and family, with support from Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Westfield, according to the site. One hundred percent of the donations collected will be disbursed to the McGorty Family.

    "We expect the funds to be used for medical expenses, or other appropriate expenditures at the family's discretion," it states.
    Donations can also be made by mailing a check payable to "Holy Trinity Church," with "McGorty Family Fund" in the "notes" section to:

    McGorty Family Fund
    P.O. Box 892
    Chatham, N.J. 07928.

    The site notes that this option is best for those who are eligible for company matching donations or for tax deductible purposes.
    Donations can also be made directly through the website via WePay. Though this option is currently not tax deductible, payments will be sent directly to the McGorty family for medical expenses. Nearly $22,000 has been raised to date. The website will be updated weekly to let donors know much money has been collected.

    In addition to raising funds, the site is also encouraging those who want to help to sign up to deliver meals to the McGorty family or plans visits with Dennis. A link, Mealtrain.com, allows volunteers to choose an evening to bring the family a dinner, which can be left in a cooler behind their home. A message board is also available for supporters to offer other services such as babysitting or landscaping to the family.

    For more information, visit The McGorty Family Fund or https://www.facebook.com/TeamMcGorty?fref=ts
    For questions about the McGortys, please contact Kathy Henning. For questions about the fund, please contact Deacon Tom. For questions about the site and WePay fund, please contact Kristen Moss.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegock View Post

    The site notes that this option is best for those who are eligible for company matching donations or for tax deductible purposes.
    Sorry to hear such a tragedy. People should note (and perhaps advise the family) that none of the donations they receive are tax deductible by the donor, even if they are "laundered" through the church. (Which is what the suggestion is.)

    Tax code is pretty clear that funds intended to benefit an individual recipient are NOT tax deductible. Sadly, I know a family that got into quite a mess doing exactly this. The problem comes home to roost when people start claiming tax deductions on their 2013 taxes... and the recipient is not claiming the same amount of money as having been received; nor are they a recognized charity. The family ended up getting audited and needing to pay income tax on all the money that was received.

    People should obviously give as they can... but don't try to take a tax deduction. It won't go well.
    "It ain't a teacup that the Queen gave you - it's a bike. Ride it!"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJP Diver View Post
    Tax code is pretty clear that funds intended to benefit an individual recipient are NOT tax deductible.
    yeap, my understanding as well from tax class.

    sorry to hear of this horrible situation for the cyclist and his family. best wishes.

    a couple of other things:

    . A GIFTER is allowed to give an amount ($13,000) without paying taxes. yes, GIFTER and not recipient. above this, the GIFTOR needs to file & pay taxes.

    . if someone wants to give more, i believe each person in the family is allowed their own $13,000 threshhold. so if you want to give $20,000, you can gift $13K to the wife and $7,000 to the husband or child WITHOUT requiring the gifter to pay taxes.. please double-check.

  4. #4
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    Not sure on this tax aspect...

    I am not sure on the Tax Code or the TaxRegs on this point. I suppose you should consult your tax adviser if you are donating a material amount.

    This is a tragedy and the family does need help now and in the future. My suggestion is to at least write a check in an amount that you could afford not to deduct.

    The truck driver has a court date in Westfield, NJ for careless driving at 9am on Thursday 6/20/13, btw.


    Quote Originally Posted by RJP Diver View Post
    Sorry to hear such a tragedy. People should note (and perhaps advise the family) that none of the donations they receive are tax deductible by the donor, even if they are "laundered" through the church. (Which is what the suggestion is.)

    Tax code is pretty clear that funds intended to benefit an individual recipient are NOT tax deductible. Sadly, I know a family that got into quite a mess doing exactly this. The problem comes home to roost when people start claiming tax deductions on their 2013 taxes... and the recipient is not claiming the same amount of money as having been received; nor are they a recognized charity. The family ended up getting audited and needing to pay income tax on all the money that was received.

    People should obviously give as they can... but don't try to take a tax deduction. It won't go well.
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  5. #5
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    With respect to tax aspects, I suggest consulting IRS Publication 526 Page 6 or IRS Tax Code Section 170.
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    Colnago Superissimo steel 1992, 9 speed Chorus, Ksyrium Equipe, dented top tube

    Colnago C-50, 10 speed carbon Record compact, Reynolds MVC 32's, Salsa skewers, Acros headset, Dura Ace pedals, Conti 4000's, Barmac integrated bars, white, red, and green tape, LED on NiMh AAAs, Dorkly left barend convex mirror

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegock View Post
    I suggest consulting IRS Publication 526 Page 6...
    "You cannot deduct contributions to specific individuals, including the following....

    Contributions to individuals who are needy or worthy. You cannot deduct these contributions even if you make them to a qualified organization for the benefit of a specific person. But you can deduct a contribution to a qualified organization that helps needy or worthy individuals if you do not indicate that your contribution is for a specific person."

    As mentioned above, if you do as is being asked (donate to church, with note that it is for this particular individual) you cannot deduct the donation.

    To be clear, I am not suggesting that people shouldn't donate. I would just hate to see the family have their tragedy compounded - as my friend's did - by being audited and having to pay taxes on the money they received. Best to go under the radar on this sort of thing. All you need is a few well-intentioned, but ill-informed, people claiming deduction on their taxes to trigger an audit
    "It ain't a teacup that the Queen gave you - it's a bike. Ride it!"

  7. #7
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    RJP, thanks for quoting me back my own citation above.

    The IRS will not tax the recipient of a gift but the giver of the gift would be required to file a return if the gift to any person in a single year exceeds $14,000. I reached out to a CPA who has practiced tax accounting for 30 years. He confirmed my understanding of the theory of the law that any tax liability falls on the person giving the gift if the IRS construed a donation to not be a charitable contribution. This makes sense if you understand that the gift tax is, in effect, closing a loophole that might have been used by someone trying to avoid the inheritance tax. Taxation attaches to control and the giver of a gift has more control than the recipient.

    He also stated that donations made to Holy Trinity Church on behalf of the McGorty Family fund are unlikely to be challenged as a deduction on the giver’s return in the sense that the IRS is unlikely to challenge the Church. That’s good news. I would consult your tax adviser if you have questions.

    Moral of story: Don’t take tax advice from someone on the internet.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegock View Post
    RJP, thanks for quoting me back my own citation above.
    No problem. I thought you might want to actually read it. (It's pretty clear.)

    Quote Originally Posted by thegock View Post

    He also stated that donations made to Holy Trinity Church on behalf of the McGorty Family fund are unlikely to be challenged as a deduction on the giver’s return in the sense that the IRS is unlikely to challenge the Church. That’s good news.
    Your mileage - like the advice from your tax advisor - may vary. Your CPA might be a great guy. But you've confused him with the gift thing. He's right on his understanding of gift tax. And that's how donations to this worthy cause should be handled by the donor.

    On the other hand, if you do as the story/article/website suggests, and write a check to the church with "For the McGorty Family" on the check or in a note accompanying the check... it is not tax deductible. And it's not the church that would be "challenged" since the tax violation would be on the part of the donor, not church.

    As for a CPA who suggests that committing tax fraud is OK because you're unlikely to get caught... well I'd have someone else do my taxes if I were you. And, as referenced above, I can assure you from my friend's experience, that if the IRS does happen to figure out that there was a coordinated effort on the part of the family to circumvent tax laws... someone's going to get audited and they will end up paying tax, interest, and penalties. Sadly, in my friend's case it was his widow who ended up spending every last penny on their battle against brain cancer... only to then end up owing the IRS even more money. But I'm sure she'll be happy to know that your CPA says that was unlikely to have happened. Maybe he can help her get her house back from the family she had to sell it to?

    Again, I'm not doing this to stir up an argument. I'm just telling you that the family should simply stop perpetuating the matching gift/tax deduction thing here. (The matching gift thing is a whole nother hornet's nest, since companies that matched those gifts could be subject to audit, and in fact donors who claimed them could actually lose their jobs for submitting their "donations" to match.) I would hate to see them end up as my friend's family did. It doesn't need to happen.
    Last edited by RJP Diver; 06-18-2013 at 06:02 PM.
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  9. #9
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    RJP, I am sorry for the loss of your friend and his widow’s situation.


    As I indicated above, everyone should consult their own tax advisor regarding material issues with respect to their tax return. There are differences between the Regs, the Code and actual practice that I am certainly unaware of.


    Out of an abundance of caution about my friend’s situation, I reached out to an attorney who advises clients regarding charitable donations. I did this in case I had “confused (the CPA above) with the gift thing.” as you wrote.


    This highly experienced attorney confirmed my understanding of the theory of the law that any tax liability falls on the person giving the gift if the IRS construed a donation to not be a charitable contribution. This makes sense if you understand that the gift tax is, in effect, closing a loophole that might have been used by someone trying to avoid the inheritance or estate tax.


    He also stated that donations made to Holy Trinity Church on behalf of the McGorty Family fund are unlikely to be challenged as a deduction on the giver’s return because the IRS is unlikely to challenge a donation to the Church. This is consistent with the advice of the CPA above. I would consult your tax adviser if you have questions.


    Thanks for raising these important questions.
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