Atlanta Financial Blog
Save $10,000 on Taxes by Helping Georgia’s Rural Hospitals
April 3, 2018
When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 took away Georgians’ ability to deduct their paid state income taxes on their 2018 returns, it sent filers scrambling to maximize the deductions that remain. A new deduction which debuted this year offers a maximum tax credit of $10,000 and a chance to help save Georgia’s financially struggling rural hospitals.
Qualification is easy. Married, filing jointly taxpayers who donate up to $11,111 and spend about three minutes to apply for the Rural Hospital Tax Credit online can receive an offsetting tax credit of $10,000.
Since 2010, 83 rural hospitals have closed nation-wide, causing patients in rural America to wait months to see a doctor and travel considerable distances for care. Georgia has been declared “Ground Zero” for the nation’s failing rural hospital system with six acute care facilities closing since 2013 and hundreds more at risk. Georgians’ higher incidences of obesity, diabetes and hypertension, the state’s decision not to expand Medicaid and the high percentage of residents who live at or below the poverty line created the perfect storm of conditions threatening the state’s 49 rural hospital organizations.
To apply for the Rural Hospital Tax Credit, complete the one-page form that can be found on the Georgia Heart Hospital Program website. Make a maximum donation of $11,111 to any of the state’s 49 eligible rural hospital organizations. If you have no preference as to where your donation should go, let the online wizard automatically select a healthcare organization for you.
The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (“SECURE”) Act was signed into law on December 20, 2019. With all of the discussion in the news around the political uncertainty, impeachment, and the looming trade war, one of the largest changes to retirement savings laws in recent years was passed with very little fanfare. However, some of the changes will be significant. I have tried to highlight what may impact the majority of our clients and readers.
The Act has a lot of positives such as simplifying rules and making 401k plans potentially available to more workers, pushing back the RMD age, and allowing contributions to IRAs past age 70. The negative impact I see is the elimination of the stretch IRA which is a clear move by the government to raise tax revenues by forcing money out of inherited IRAs sooner. I will discuss in more detail below, but this should be a time to review beneficiaries and discuss whether any change in your legacy planning should be made in response to the new laws. What do you need to pay attention to?
A few months ago, I saw a sale sign in front of my neighbor Gina’s house. She’s lived on my street even longer than I have, so I was surprised that she was selling her home. I bumped into her a week later at the supermarket and asked her where she was planning to move. She told me (with some regret) that she was downsizing to a less expensive house. The alimony payments she’d been getting from her ex-husband had ended last year, and she hadn’t prepared for the loss of that income. She soon realized she could no longer afford to live in her home.
I’d like to believe that everyone understands the value in a year-end review of their personal finances. Statistics that I’ve seen indicate that over half of people who make resolutions indicate a change to household finances and saving money is a priority in the new year1. What is a bit of surprise to me is that so many put off (or neglect all together) actually reviewing their finances before year’s end. My conclusion: one of the biggest deterrents is the time it takes to get things organized.
When it comes to being successful with money, strong organization will empower you more than anything else you can do to take control of your finances moving forward. With my personal and professional understanding of the challenges of this process, I’ve put together an 8-step checklist to get your finances organized, take inventory of where you stand, and ultimately get you ready to close the books on 2019.