Transcript: Taxing Times
This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," December 26, 2005, that was edited for clarity.
STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: Four business days left in the year, but what you do with those days could be crucial for your 2005 tax bill.
Here with ideas that could literally save you a lot of money, Al Gobo, financial planner from U.S. Financial Services.
Let's run down the laundry list, shall we? What's number one?
AL GOBO, PARTNER, U.S. FINANCIAL SERVICES, LLC: Well, number one, 'tis the season to give. So, we have charitable contributions. There's a couple of days left. If you want to make any type of contribution to your favorite charity, your alma mater, church, synagogue, whatever, now is the time to do it. You can pretty much make unlimited contributions and get a full deduction...
VARNEY: I have a quick question about that. Supposing I write the check December 31, but it's not cashed until the first week of January, '06. Do I still get the deduction for '05?
GOBO: Yes. You write the check for the 31st, you put it in the mailbox, you will get the deduction for '05.
VARNEY: Next, a gift of your car.
We have heard this all the time.
VARNEY: Yes. We have.
GOBO: You hear the commercials, get rid of your clunker. You know, clunker could be $2,000, $3,000, $4,000 worth of automobile sitting in your driveway.
It used to be where you can give that car to a charity. The charity would then go and sell it. And you would get the deduction for the fair market value of the car. Be very careful, though, because the new rule says, if you give the car to a charity, and the charity goes and sells it, you will get the deduction for what they sold it for.
VARNEY: Oh. You don't get blue book value, for example. You don't get that.
GOBO: You don't get blue book. Exactly.
GOBO: So, if you find a bona fide charity that really needs the car and it's worth five grand, let's say, give the car away.
VARNEY: Right. I give some stock this week. What value do I get?
GOBO: Well, let me tell you the value.
There are some people, believe it or not, that have appreciated stock values. They have capital gains. If they were to go sell that stock today, they would pay a capital gains tax.
GOBO: Let's say they took that pile of stock, 1,000 shares of whatever, and gave it away. They would get a deduction for the full value of whatever the stock is worth.
VARNEY: The market value on the day you give it?
GOBO: The market value on the day you give it.
So, if I were to cash it in, pay my 20 percent, and then make the charitable contribution and, in effect, have to pay 20 percent, and the charity would get less. So, here, the charity is getting 100 percent of what I intended to give them.
VARNEY: Last one, contribute to your pension plan. I thought you got until April 15 to do that.
GOBO: In most plans, you have until April 15. In some, you even have until you file extension.
There are some plans, however, especially if you are self-employed, that, if you want to set up, for example, a profit-sharing plan, you must set up the plan before December 31.
VARNEY: Am I right in saying that tax avoidance is OK; tax evasion, not OK?
GOBO: You heard it here. Tax avoidance is perfect. Tax evasion is no good.
VARNEY: You're just setting out your stall to avoid a huge tax bill. That's legit, right?
GOBO: You know, what's legit — and you have heard from the accountants over time — was defer, defer, defer.
VARNEY: And the real deadline is December 31?
GOBO: December 31 is correct.
VARNEY: That's it.
GOBO: That's right.
VARNEY: No question. Al Gobo, good stuff. You made me save some money there. Thanks a lot.
GOBO: Thank you very much.
VARNEY: Appreciate it.
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