Physicians may consider a CLAT (Charitable Lead Annuity Trust) as a tax-saving strategy
The combination of a low key interest rate and a large influx of cash some physician-owners may experience, after, for instance, selling his or her private practice, could make a CLAT (Charitable Lead Annuity Trust) a desirable vehicle for tax- and legacy-planning purposes.
An illustrative case* involves a hypothetical physician-owner selling his practice and sheltering $500,000 of the proceeds in a CLAT. You can see, in the flow chart below, that the one-time contribution of $500,000 to the CLAT allows for an annual gift to the charity of his choice of $26,117 over the next 20 years, and then an eventual tax-free gift at the end of those 20 years of $864,158 to the beneficiary of his choice:
This is, of course, a hypothetical example not indicative of any particular client, with a 7% annualized growth rate assumption over 20 years. What makes this strategy relative is that it relies on a favorable IRS 7520 rate to take advantage of an arbitrage opportunity. Right now, the IRS 7520 rate is extremely low, but those rates do fluctuate, as you can see in the table below:
An IRS 7520 interest rate of 3.6% vs. 0.42% can impact the trust’s remainder value by almost $400,000 ($479,518 using December 2018’s rate vs. $864,158 using August 2020’s rate), as in our case study of the $500,000 CLAT.
Please contact our wealth management team in order to properly evaluate if this strategy is right for you and begin the financial planning process. Please speak to your tax professional to understand the cost and tax implications of your particular giving situation.
*All case studies and references are hypothetical examples developed by the CIG Capital Advisors team and the values shown are not intended to represent those of a client or known person. Assumes annualized growth rate of 7%.
Financial Resiliency Amid Disruption: Your Healthcare Practice
Your medical or dental practice may have to adjust to a “new normal” as states slowly return to broader care permissions after weeks or months of tight, lockdown restrictions. Have you taken advantage of the programs offered to help medical and dental practices survive and what changes can you make to help ensure your practice thrives in a post-lockdown environment?.
Here are some management aspects dentists and physician-owners may want to consider in planning for financial resiliency amid the global disruption brought by the pandemic:
Cash Flow Summary
With so much uncertainty, being able to visualize your cash flows for the next 12 months is crucial. Taking proactive measures to forecast your incoming cash flows will allow you to implement a strategy early on and to timely take appropriate steps. The process includes analyzing your historical revenue stream and collection rates with an objective to forecast your future collections. Reviewing your procedure mix will help you determine what the impact of delaying non-essential procedures will be to your top-line.
Expenses should be adjusted to reflect cost management strategies and cash inflows from government establishments and banking institutions should be factored in to estimate cash balances throughout the pandemic as well as into the recovery period. Conducting a sensitivity analysis may also be beneficial to envision best case/worst case scenarios.
During the COVID-19 crisis, CMS has significantly expanded access to telehealth services for Medicare beneficiaries. This includes the easing of many of the stringent regulations set place by various government entities. Time should be spent reviewing the latest changes, highlighting the different opportunities available to you, and researching different telehealth platforms to see which is most appropriate for your practice.
Due diligence should also be conducted to highlight services that you may virtually perform and bill via telehealth. Disseminating the service to your patients as well as the general public is key to optimizing this tool.
Insurance companies don’t typically pay out as fast as many dental and medical practice managers would like. Understanding tools available to healthcare providers during the crisis could allow you to speed up your collection process. For example, CMS is expanding its payment acceleration program and HHS has announced a provider relief program. Your billing staff may also be utilized to effectuate collections through aggressive A/R management.
Having a handle on your expenses is one key to sustaining a positive cash flow. A first step may be to look into your historical expenses as a percentage of revenue as well as the year-over-year trends. Recent changes should be taken into consideration as well to prudently forecast your budget.
Fixed expenses are typically the biggest threat. However, there may be options available to you depending on the language in your contracts. Review the contracts and agreements you have in place and look for ways to renegotiate with an objective to defer or abate payments. It may be in your best interest to terminate some agreements.
Grant and Loan Opportunities
Keeping businesses up and running is almost just as crucial to owners as it is to the economy. For that reason, there are many grants and loans available to assist you with perfecting your payroll, rent and other costs. Time should be spent pinpointing your situation, reviewing various programs available to you, and working with your financial institution and accountant to pursue loan programs, grants, and line of credits to supplement your cash reserves.
Business Continuity and Recovery Planning
Having a Business Continuity Plan in place is imperative not only to weather crisis times but also to transition back to what many are calling the new normal. This involves reviewing your remote work capabilities, adjusting staff tasks to keep them engaged, increasing oversight of vendors, and other organizational modifications.
Let us help
As experienced medical and dental practice business advisors, we can dig deeper into your numbers and show where you can make changes that will improve your practice’s bottom line. Let us help support your practice’s resiliency by scheduling an initial complimentary consultation with Brian Lasher.
Securing your wishes through charitable giving
Charitable giving plays an important role in many financial plans. However, many people tend to approach charitable giving as a quick exercise they think about once a year. In reality, it requires thoughtful planning, especially if you’re making larger charitable gifts, to ensure your wishes for your money both now and in the future are […]