PHOTO: From left are Steve Zipper (JD, Gevurtz Menashe) , OJCF Executive Director Julie Diamond, Amy Kutzkey (CPA, Perkin’s & Co.), Erick Hormel (CPA, Perkins & Co), Marshal Spector (JD, Gevurtze Menashe), and PAG co-chairs Josh Blank and Brian Suher.

Two things were clear from the Professional Advisors Group of the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation’s program on the recent tax reform that passed Congress: There will be winners and losers, and the IRS has a lot to sort out.

The first major tax reform in 40 years was written in just 5½ weeks with many details scrawled in the margins when Congress passed the measure. More than 85 CPAs, attorneys, wealth advisors, donors and nonprofit leaders gathered for lunch and learning about the new tax law on Feb. 15 at the Multnomah Athletic Club.

Guest speakers were Amy Kutzkey and Eric Hormel from Perkins & Co. Accounting Firm, and Marshal Spector and Steven Zipper from Gevertz Menashe Attorneys at Law. OJCF notes that their collective expertise illuminated the changes in the new tax law and the impact on families, divorce settlements, businesses and more.

Presenting a series of case studies, Amy and Eric discussed how people with similar incomes will see different impacts on their tax bill based on a variety of factors.

“Everything is extremely fact specific,” said Eric.

Doubling of the standard deduction will benefit some taxpayers. For instance a family of five with three children qualifying for the child credit who rent their home and earn $90,000 in wages, will pay $3,000 less in taxes under the new law, explained Amy.

With the standard deduction doubling under the new tax law, Eric says “more people may take the standard deduction;” though 30% typically itemize deduction, under the new law that may fall to 5% under the new law. He says that could have a direct impact on charitable giving. “Whether you give $1 or $13,000 to charity, your tax bill is the same if you claim the standard deduction.” One way around that is to “bunch your contributions into one year.” Since donations are deductible in the year they are put into a donor advised fund, he said one option is to double or triple contributions to your fund in one year and itemize, then take the standard deductions for one or more years while you continue to support the charities you want from your fund.

The PAG lunch was sponsored by Barg Singer PC; First Republic Bank; Geffen Mesher; Brian Suher, senior vice president of RBC Wealth Management; and West Bearing Investments, a division of Ferguson Wellman.

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