E-News – November 2019

Membership Update

We want to thank everyone for their patience in recent months when we suspended membership operations and migrated to a professional database. As a result, our operations will be more efficient and help us keep better track of our members and supporters. Since we resumed membership functions in October, many of you have chosen to ride with the Blackhorse. Thank you for your support!

We are about to update our membership structure and price; this is something that has not been done in recent memory. Currently, we have an annual and lifetime membership, along with an opportunity for associates (family members) and friends to join at a slightly higher price.

Starting January 1, 2020 as shown below, we will move to a structure that treats family members the same and on par as their Cavalry Troopers. The changes in categories and prices will help us advance our scholarship goals.
We are also excited once again to offer free membership to Soldiers currently serving in the 11th ACR at Fort Irwin. As always, membership for Gold Star Families is free.

Membership Schedule

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Scholarships

In 2020, we continue to honor the promise Colonel George S. Patton made to a dying trooper in Vietnam to “not let people forget us” and “take care of our kids”; we are providing 15-20 scholarships each year. Our recorded support now approaches $800,000, and we expect it to only grow stronger as we reinvigorate membership activities and implement our strategic plan.

Our vision includes active support to the Troopers in the Regiment. In 2020, we will open up a limited opportunity for Spouses of 11th ACR Active Duty Soldiers to apply for either a full-time or part-time scholarship. The scholarship is intended to support them as they continue their education while their Soldier serves training America’s Army at the National Training Center.

Look for the new application to be posted on our scholarship page. around the end of 2019. Our new Scholarship Director is Murphy Gagne; he can be reached at allonsllc@gmail.com.

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Using IRAs for Charitable Giving

Don’t forget to use the IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) provision for your year-end giving!  That’s right…your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) can support your favorite charities, like The Blackhorse Association!

The Tax Cuts and Job Acts makes the QCD even more appealing for taxpayers, because the standard deduction for 2019 is being raised to $13,650 for individuals age 65 or older and $26,800 for married couples age 65 or older. Higher standard deductions means that fewer taxpayers will be itemizing deductions. With no tax deduction available, donating through your IRA may yield the biggest tax bang for your charitable buck.

Retired Couple

With a QCD, regardless of your RMD amount, you can donate up to $100,000 annually to a qualifying charity from an IRA if you are 70 ½ years of age or older, without having to report the distribution as taxable income. Any amounts given to charity using a QCD will count towards your IRA’s RMD, but will not be included in your taxable income.

Normally, required distributions from Traditional IRAs are 100% taxable as ordinary income. Because QCDs are not reported as income, no charitable deduction on schedule A is claimed.

Although it seems like the results would be the same if you include the IRA distribution as income and then deduct the charitable contribution on your tax return, using the QCD is much better in many scenarios.

For example:
1.    Individuals who claim the standard deduction can benefit from the full charitable contribution even though they do not itemize.
2.    The full amount of QCD can be excluded from income even when the charitable contribution exceeds the 60% adjusted gross income (AGI) limit on charitable contributions.
3.    Distributions directly to charities keeps your AGI lower, which is beneficial when calculating other items such as: taxability of social security, medical expense floors, Medicare premiums, and the investment surtax.

If you support a charity like The Blackhorse Association at all during the year (and are over 70 ½), use your IRA rather than your checkbook.  Whether you give weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually, remember that you can instruct your IRA custodian to send checks on your behalf at any time, as well as periodically.  Maximize your stewardship potential through the truly unique QCD strategy today!