Overview
Main Menu Name: CRUT
This calculation determines the donor's deduction for a contribution to a charitable remainder unitrust. Specify whether the trust lasts for a term of years, a single life expectancy, or a joint life expectancy (up to five ages). It also calculates the deduction as a percentage of the amount transferred.
In this article:
Background
This calculation determines your deduction for a contribution to a charitable remainder unitrust. It also calculates your deduction as a percentage of the amount transferred.
When a charitable remainder unitrust is established, a donor transfers cash and/or property to an irrevocable trust but retains (either for himself or for one or more noncharitable beneficiaries) a variable annuity (payments that can vary in amount, but are a fixed percentage) from that trust. At the end of a specified term, or upon the death of the beneficiary (or beneficiaries, and the donor and the donor's spouse can be the beneficiaries), the remainder interest in the property passes to the charity the donor has specified.
The principal difference between a charitable remainder unitrust and a charitable remainder annuity trust is that a unitrust pays a varying annuity. In other words, the amount paid is likely to change each year. The payable amount is based on annual fluctuations in the value of the trust's property. As it goes up, so does the annuity paid each year. If it drops in value, so will the annuity.
A gift to a charitable remainder unitrust will qualify for income and gift tax charitable deductions (or an estate tax charitable deduction) only if the following conditions are met:
 A fixed percentage (not less than 5% nor more than 50%) of the net fair market value of the assets is paid to one or more noncharitable beneficiaries who are living when the unitrust is established. The charity's actuarial interest must be at least 10% of any assets transferred to the trust.
 The unitrust assets must be revalued each year, and the fixed percentage amount must be paid at least once a year for the term of the trust, which must be a fixed period of 20 years or less, or must be until the death of the noncharitable beneficiaries, all of whom must be living at the beginning of the trust.
 No sum can be paid except the fixed percentage during the term of the trust and at the end of the term of the trust, the entire balance of the trust's assets must be paid to one or more qualified charities.
The donor receives an immediate income tax deduction for the present value of the remainder interest that will pass to the charity at the end of the term.
Because a charitable remainder unitrust is exempt from federal income tax (the income and gains of the trust are only taxed when they are distributed to the noncharitable beneficiaries as part of the fixed percentage of trust assets distributed each year), they are frequently used to defer income tax on gains about to be realized. For example, if a donor has an appreciated asset that is about to be sold, the donor can give the asset to a charitable remainder unitrust, reserving the right to received a fixed percentage of the value of the trust for life, and for the life of the donor's spouse as well, and the asset can then be sold by the trust and the proceeds of sale reinvested without payment of any federal income tax on capital gains. The capital gains will be taxable to the donor (or the donor's spouse) only as they are distributed to the donor as part of the annual distributions from the trust.
A variation of the CRUT (which pays a fixed percentage of the value of the trust assets, regardless of income) is the netincome CRUT, or "NICRUT," which pays either the fixed percentage or the income actually received by the trust, whichever is less. A variation of the "NICRUT" is the netincomewithmakeup CRUT, or "NIMCRUT." This can be used if the income is less than the fixed percentage, the deficiency can be paid in a future year, as soon as the trust has income, which exceeds the fixed percentage. An additional variation is a "flip" unitrust, which is a trust that changes from a NIMCRUT to a regular CRUT upon the occurrence of a specific event, such as the sale of a specific asset that was contributed to the trust and was not expected to produce much income. However, NICRUTs, NIMCRUTs and "flip" CRUTs are valued in the same way as a regular CRUT for the purpose of determining the income, estate, and gift tax charitable deduction.
Types of Trusts
 Term: If a trust is distributed for a term of years, the trust provides periodic distributions to a noncharitable beneficiary for a period not in excess of 20 years.
 Life: If a trust is distributed for life, the trust provides periodic distributions to a noncharitable beneficiary for a period not in excess of the life expectancy of the individual. If you choose a life trust, the program can calculate up to five lives.
 Shorter: If a trust is distributed for shorter, the trust ends immediately at the donor's death or end the term, whichever is less. If you choose a shorter trust, the program can calculate up to five lives.
Getting Started
When a charitable remainder unitrust is established, a donor transfers cash and/or property to an irrevocable trust but retains (either for himself or for one or more noncharitable beneficiaries) a variable annuity (payments that can vary in amount, but are a fixed percentage) from that trust. At the end of a specified term, or upon the death of the beneficiary (or beneficiaries, and the donor and the donor's spouse can be the beneficiaries), the remainder interest in the property passes to the charity the donor has specified.
For calculations involving a term, the length of the economic schedule is limited to that term. Otherwise, the economic schedule illustrates the trust for life expectancy. If the number of lives is greater than one, then the length of the economic schedule will be determined by the joint life expectancy of the first two ages provided by the user. Single life cases will use the single life expectancy. The economic schedule will end if the trust is depleted of funds prior to the end of the schedule.
The principal difference between a charitable remainder unitrust and a charitable remainder annuity trust is that a unitrust pays a varying annuity. In other words, the amount paid is likely to change each year. The payable amount is based on annual fluctuations in the value of the trust's property. As it goes up, so does the annuity paid each year. If it drops in value, so will the annuity.
A gift to a charitable remainder unitrust will qualify for income and gift tax charitable deductions (or an estate tax charitable deduction) only if the following conditions are met:
 A fixed percentage (not less than 5% nor more than 50%) of the net fair market value of the assets is paid to one or more noncharitable beneficiaries who are living when the unitrust is established. The charity's actuarial interest must be at least 10% of any assets transferred to the trust. (See 26 U.S.C. §664(d)(2)(A).)
 The unitrust assets must be revalued each year, and the fixed percentage amount must be paid at least once a year for the term of the trust, which must be a fixed period of 20 years or less, or must be until the death of the noncharitable beneficiaries, all of whom must be living at the beginning of the trust.
 No sum can be paid except the fixed percentage during the term of the trust and at the end of the term of the trust, the entire balance of the trust's assets must be paid to one or more qualified charities.
The donor receives an immediate income tax deduction for the present value of the remainder interest that will pass to the charity at the end of the term.
Because a charitable remainder unitrust is exempt from federal income tax (the income and gains of the trust are only taxed when they are distributed to the noncharitable beneficiaries as part of the fixed percentage of trust assets distributed each year), they are frequently used to defer income tax on gains about to be realized. For example, if a donor has an appreciated asset that is about to be sold, the donor can give the asset to a charitable remainder unitrust, reserving the right to received a fixed percentage of the value of the trust for life, and for the life of the donor's spouse as well, and the asset can then be sold by the trust and the proceeds of sale reinvested without payment of any federal income tax on capital gains. The capital gains will be taxable to the donor (or the donor's spouse) only as they are distributed to the donor as part of the annual distributions from the trust.
A variation of the CRUT (which pays a fixed percentage of the value of the trust assets, regardless of income) is the netincome CRUT, or "NICRUT," which pays either the fixed percentage or the income actually received by the trust, whichever is less. A variation of the 'NICRUT' is the netincomewithmakeup CRUT, or "NIMCRUT." This can be used if the income is less than the fixed percentage, which creates a deficiency that can be paid in a future year, as soon as the trust has income, which exceeds the fixed percentage. An additional variation is a "flip" unitrust, which is a trust that changes from a NIMCRUT to a regular CRUT upon the occurrence of a specific event, such as the sale of a specific asset that was contributed to the trust and was not expected to produce much income. However, NICRUTs, NIMCRUTs and "flip" CRUTs are valued in the same way as a regular CRUT for the purpose of determining the income, estate, and gift tax charitable deduction.
Entering Data
 Transfer Date: Enter the month and year.
 §7520 Rate: The program automatically shows the correct §7520 discount rate, as well as the rates for the two previous months, if you have kept the AFR Rates Manager uptodate. If the AFR Rates Manager is not uptodate, the program shows a 30% value for the selected transfer date. The program automatically rounds the rate to the nearest 2/10 of 1% as required under §7520, and automatically selects the rate that should result in the largest charitable deduction, but you can override that selection if you wish.

 Note: For May or June of 2009, you have the choice of using mortality Table 90CM or 2000CM (see https://www.irs.gov/irb/200920_IRB). After June 2009, the program will automatically use Table 2000CM. For dates before May 2009 and after June 1999, the program will use Table 90CM. For May or June of 1999, you have the choice of using Table 80CNSMT or Table 90CM. For dates before May 1999 and after April 1989, the program will automatically use Table 80CNSMT. For dates before May 1989, the program uses Table LN from Treas. Reg. section 20.20317A(d)(6).

 CRUT Type: Enter "Normal" for a CRUT that makes the annual distribution regardless of trust, "NIMCRUT" for a trust that is "net income with makeup," meaning that distributions are made only out of trust income, but past deficiencies in distributions can be "made up" if there is additional trust income in a year, "Flip CRUT" for a trust that switches from a NIMCRUT to a normal CRUT (and loses all makeups) upon the lapse of time or the occurrence of a particular event or "NICRUT," which pays either the fixed percentage or the income actually received by the trust, whichever is less.
 Year to Change/ "Flip": Enter the number of years until the investments are changed for a NIMCRUT, or the "Flip" CRUT switches from a NIMCRUT to a normal CRUT.
 Trust Type: Select a type of trust (Term, Life, Shorter) If you select Life, the Economic Schedule runs from year one until the Life Expectancy or until the remainder is zero (whichever happens first). If you select Term or Shorter, the Economic Schedule runs from year one until the end of the Term or until the remainder is zero (whichever happens first).
 FMV of Trust: Enter the initial Fair Market Value (FMV) of the assets placed in the trust when established.
 Growth of Trust: Enter a growth percentage or investment yield for the assets of the trust for the purpose of the economic schedule.
 Term If you chose a term or shorter trust, enter the number of years that the trust will last.
 Percentage Payout: Enter the payout (percentage) that will go to the beneficiary during the life of the trust. This rate must be no less than 5% and no more than 50%
 Payment Period: Select the number of payments that will be made during a normal full year to the beneficiary (Annual, Semiannual, Quarterly, Monthly, and Weekly).
 Months Valuation Precedes Payout: Enter the number of full months by which the valuation date (for the assets of the unitrust) precedes the first payout in the first full taxable year of the trust (not the short first year). The program will only allow valid input values according to which Payment Period was selected in the previous entry field. Growth is applied on the payment schedule before payments are calculated unless Months Valuation Precedes Payout is zero. This does not pertain to the planning period before the trust goes into effect.
 Lives: If you choose a life or shorter trust, enter the number of lives (up to five) used to determine the charitable deduction.
 Ages: Enter the age(s) of the person(s) whose life is being used to measure the term of the trust as of the nearest birthday. You may enter up to five ages (Valid ages are 0109.)
 Optimize: Click this button to have the program calculate the highest payout rate that passes the 10% test for the AFR you selected. The feature is useful in creating a new trust if you have not designed one before.
 Growth and Income (Before Change): Enter the principal growth rate (capital gain) and the income rate to apply to the economic projection during the period before any change or "flip."
 Growth and Income (After Change): Enter the principal growth rate (capital gain) and the income rate to apply to the economic projection after the change or "flip."
Results
The Summary Tab displays the deduction permitted to a donor who establishes a charitable remainder unitrust. The deduction is shown both as a dollar amount and as a percentage of the amount transferred. The results also show the trust's payout sequence factor and adjusted payout rate, along with the Remainder factor.
If the transfer date is greater than 7/97 and the Charitable Remainder is less than 10% of the initial FMV, a message appears stating "Fails the 10% minimum Charitable Benefit Test." If the transfer date is greater than 7/97, and the Charitable Remainder is less than 10% of the initial FMV, a message appears stating "Does not pass the 10% Test. (Donor's Deduction is set to 0.) When this message appears, the result entry Donor's Deduction as Percentage of Amount Transferred appears on the Summary tab. There are actually three error messages regarding the 10% test that can appear. This is because of the fact that with charitable remainder trusts, the user has the option of using an AFR from the transfer month or from one of the previous two months. The wording of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 does not make it clear which AFR should be used for valuing the remainder interest when performing the 10% test. The software performs the test using both the transfer month's AFR and using the AFR the user selected, and informs the user if either (or both) of these tests are failed.
If a calculation is of the "Life" or "Shorter" type, if there is more than one noncharitable beneficiary, and if their interests are all "vested" and not subject to revocation by the grantor, then there may be a taxable gift equal to the present value of all noncharitable interests other than any interests retained by the grantor. The program assumes that the first measuring life is that of the grantor and shows the value of all succeeding noncharitable interests, which is calculated by subtracting the present value of the interests retained by the grantor (calculated using only the first measuring life) from the total present value of all noncharitable interests.
Note: The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 added a requirement that the remainder interest be at least 10% of the initial fair market value of all the property placed in trusts to charitable remainder trusts. The 10% Minimum Charitable Benefit Test applies to transfers made after 7/28/97.
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