NEWS & PRESS RELEASES
Couple gives farm to help students
Gifts to help students at Baptist Bible College & Seminary are made in a variety of ways beyond checks and online giving. A recent gift by Fred and Betty Harris of Whitney Point, NY, was one such contribution.
The couple spent most of their adult lives farming over 100 acres of land near the Binghamton area community. Recently, they decided to hang it up -- the tools that is -- and retire.
But they faced an issue: capital gains tax on their land and property. The Harris' wanted to minimize the amount of money owed in taxes upon the sale of their farm, maximize their retirement income, and had a deep desire to help student prepare for career ministry.
"Ever since I became a Christian, I've been exposed to the students and graduates of Baptist Bible College & Seminary," said Fred. "I worked with the children and young adults in our church for years. I've always wanted to do something special for BBC&S to help their students."
Giving accomplishes multiple goals
The Harris family accomplished all of their goals -- decreasing their capital gains tax, increasing their income, and giving a substantial gift to BBC&S -- at the same time. They started to discuss the situation with BBC Foundation who came up with a solution: a charitable remainder unitrust.
Unitrusts have been a part of the IRS tax code since 1969. Appreciated property is placed into the unitrust, creating an income tax deduction. The assets are then sold, eliminating the capital gains tax due at the sale because the unitrust is a charitable vehicle.
The donors then receive an income for their lives or a certain number of years, depending on the agreement they created. Upon their passing, the unitrust makes a charitable gift to the ministries identified by the donors. Unitrusts are an effective way to avoid taxes, increase income, and make tax-smart gifts to charities.
"We helped the Harris family create their legal agreement and will be trustee of their unitrust," said Mark Robbins, a CPA and President of BBC Foundation.
Helping students for life and ministry
The Harris family will receive an income for the rest of their lives through their unitrust. Upon their passing, the funds remaining in the unitrust will help ministry students at BBC&S.
In addition to farm land, they placed their farm equipment and other tools in the unitrust before selling them at auction. BBC Foundation employees helped them before and during the auction.
The Harris family is now living in a newer home only a few miles away from the farm, are satisfied with the result.
"This is much better for us," Betty said. "Fred still has a large garage for the tools he kept, but this home is much more manageable for us. We also have the money we need to retire comfortably. I'm so happy that we have been able to help the students at BBC&S."
For more information on setting up a charitable remainder unitrust, click here.
To learn more about other planned gifts and their financial benefit, click here.
BBC Foundation assists individuals with biblical retirement and estate planning and builds financial resources for Baptist Bible College & Seminary and other biblically-based ministries. For details, go to www.bbcfoundation.org or call 800.451.8668.
Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers 38 academic programs, from a one-year Bible Certificate to PhDs. Programs are available through the Clarks Summit campus and several distance learning options. To learn more, go to www.bbc.edu or call 570.586.2400.
Posted on: 9/12/2008 9:13:45 AM
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