by Randy Fox, CFP®, AEP®, Two Hawks Consulting
We’ve all seen it…the perfect timing. The wide receiver running down the field. The quarterback releasing the ball before the receiver has even started his break. The perfect cut. The receiver breaking free just as the ball arrives. The clutch grab. The critical, last minute, game winner. Sports teaches us a great deal about timing. The importance of doing things in the proper order with enough time allotted to each critical step. Much of this applies to planning. As we come to year end and the on rush of charitable gifts, timing is also critical.
Currently, I am fortunate to be engaged with several business owners who are either going public or are considering private sales. We are discussing various types of pre-sale gifts to maximize their end capital while minimizing their taxes. As focused as they are on positioning and negotiating and adding value to their enterprises, they also need to focus on the timing of their gifts. If they pull the trigger too soon, they may be left with their shares given away and a “no sale”. If they wait too long, the risk is greater. “Assignment of income” or “step transaction” doctrine may disqualify their gift as mere tax avoidance with no intent to make a gift. The result is a lot of tax and no assets with which to pay.
Of course, we won’t let that happen but it’s a slippery slope and even though we don’t want to Nag, cajole, push or “sell too hard, it’s extremely important that we stay vigilant and, as much as possible, in the loop of what’s happening with the sale. Yes, owners are busy making multi-million dollar decisions but if we are to add value, and it’s often a lot of value, we must overcome the normal reluctance to keep us informed. It’s a big deal.
It’s always the perfect time to contact Two Hawks Consulting. We look forward to hearing from you.