Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

Six Important Facts about Tax-Exempt Organizations

by Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, GRI

  Every year, millions of taxpayers donate money to charitable organizations. Here are six things you should know about the tax treatment of tax-exempt organizations.

1. Tax returns are made available to public. Exempt organizations generally must make their tax return available for public inspection. This also includes the organization’s application for exemption. These documents must be made available to any individual who requests them, and must be made available immediately when the request is made in person. If the request is made in writing, an organization has 30 days to provide a copy of the information.

2. Donor lists generally are not public information. The list of donors filed with Form 990 is specifically excluded from the information available for public inspection. There is an exception for donors to private foundations and political organizations, which must make their donor list available to the public.

3. How to find tax-exempt organizations. The easiest way to find out whether an organization is qualified to receive deductible contributions is to ask them, as most will be able to tell you. You can also search for organizations qualified to accept deductible contributions in IRS Publication 78, available online at IRS.gov.

4. Which organizations may accept charitable contributions. Not all exempt organizations are eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. Organizations that are eligible to receive deductible contributions include most charities described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and, in some circumstances, fraternal organizations described in section 501(c)(8) or section 501(c)(10), cemetery companies described in section 501(c)(13), volunteer fire departments described in section 501(c)(4), and veterans organizations described in section 501(c)(4) or 501(c)(19). For more general information on the rules for Charitable Contribution Deductions, you can go to the IRS Publication 78 Help page, Part II, which is linked from the Search for Charities page on IRS.gov.

5. Requirement for organizations not able to accept deductible contributions. If an exempt organization is ineligible to receive tax-deductible contributions, it must disclose that fact when soliciting contributions.

6. How to report inappropriate activities by a charity. If you believe that the activities or operations of a tax-exempt organization are inconsistent with its tax-exempt status, you may file a complaint with the Exempt Organizations Examination Division by completing Form 13909, Tax-Exempt Organization Complaint (Referral) Form. The complaint should contain all relevant facts concerning the alleged violation of tax law. Form 13909 is available at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Links: * IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions (PDF)
Search for Charities Using Publication 78
Form 13909, Tax-Exempt Organization Complaint (Referral) Form (PDF)

Are You Facing Foreclosure?

by Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, GRI

FEATURED PROPERTY

 

 

The housing industry, as everyone knows, is facing some trying times, so if you are facing foreclosure I have a new program to offer Des Moines, Iowa homeowners. If you need help, have questions or just need some guidance, please visit my new website - Save Iowa Homes.

There are countless hardships that can turn home ownership from a joy into a burden.  The loss of a job, medical bills, or an unexpected hike in monthly payments can all make a mortgage unaffordable.  But ignoring the bills will not make them go away, it will only make things worse.

If you would like to explore the possibility of a short sale for your property, avoid foreclosure, and potentially save your credit rating, please visit Save Iowa Homes today.

Determining the Value of Your Home

by Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, GRI

In today's real estate market every homeowner is asking the same question - What is the value of my home?  Jon Smith of Iowa Realty says that this is probably the number 1 question a homeowner will ask.  Most homeowners are not sure how to determine the value is this unsettling real estate market.

Being informed and know what your home will sell for today will should be the first step in preparing to sell your home.  A home is worth what someone will pay for it. Everything else is an estimate of value. To determine a property's value, most people turn to either an appraisal or a comparative market analysis.

An appraisal is a certified appraiser's estimate amenities, energy efficiency, the quality of the of the value of a home at a given point in time. To make their determination, appraisers consider square footage, construction quality, design, floor plan, neighborhood and availability of transportation, shopping and schools. Appraisers also take lot size, topography, view and landscaping into account.

The list price is the price tag put on a house in a real estate listing; it usually is only an estimate of what the seller would like to get for the property. The sales price is the amount a property actually sells for. It may be the same as the listing price, or higher or lower, depending on how accurately the property was originally priced and on market conditions.

A seller may need to adjust the listing price if there have been no offers within the first few months of the property's listing period.

The appraisal value is a certified appraiser's estimate of the worth of a property, and is based on comparable sales, the condition of the property and numerous other factors. Lenders require appraisals as part of the loan application process; fees range from $200 to $300. Appraisers use several factors when estimating value including historical records, property performance, condition of the home and indices that forecast future value.

Market value is what price the house will bring at a given point in time. A comparative market analysis is an informal estimate of market value, based on sales of comparable properties, performed by a real estate agent or broker. Because brokers and agents are not state-certified appraisers, they may not perform appraisals in most states. Instead, they estimate the value of a property using a CMA.

You can do your own cost comparison by looking up recent sales of comparable properties in public records. These records are available at local recorder's or assessor's offices, through private companies or on the Internet. Neither of these services produce official appraisals. They also don't factor in market nuances or other issues a certified appraiser or real estate professional might in assessing the value of your home.

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

Share This Page

Contact Information

Photo of Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, SRES, SFR Real Estate
Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, SRES, SFR
Iowa Realty
3521 Beaver Ave.
Des Moines IA 50310
515-240-2692
Fax: 515-453-6404
 

 

 

Licensed in the State of Iowa