Anybody here want to weigh in on “charitable remainder unitrusts“?
From Dave Weigel, at Slate, news that (if I understand this correctly?) Romney cheats his church as much as every other entity he’s ever touched:
Bloomberg obtains new information about Mitt Romney’s taxes and… well, the story comes out when everyone is distracted by imminent disaster. It’s too bad, because this is as thorny and irritating a tale of tax law chicanery as you’re likely to read.
Romney used the tax-exempt status of a charity — the Mormon Church, according to a 2007 filing — to defer taxes for more than 15 years. At the same time he is benefitting, the trust will probably leave the church with less than what current law requires, according to tax returns obtained by Bloomberg this month through a Freedom of Information Act request.
In general, charities don’t owe capital gains taxes when they sell assets for a profit. Trusts like Romney’s permit funders to benefit from that tax-free treatment.…
From what I can understand, the loophole Romney took advantage of is legal, just sleazy even by tax-lawyer standards, because he’s essentially getting a payment every year from the ‘trust’ that gradually reduces the church’s principal to zero.
I know there have been persistent rumors that members of the Mormon hierarchy who’ve actually had to deal with Willard aren’t his biggest fans, so maybe this kind of financial three-card-monte hasn’t helped his popularity within the Covenant?