Forums Support Library CFP – Charitable Financial Planner Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT) Summary Report


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    • Kathleen Reynolds
      Post count: 428

      GRAT Summary\
      This calculation provides detailed analyses of the selected type of GRAT, showing required annuity factors, adjustment factors, and the “subtraction method” of computing the taxable gift value of the residual interest in trust.

      The gift tax value of the transferred assets is determined at the time the trust is created and funded using the “subtraction method.” The gift tax value is determined by subtracting the value of the annuity interest (and other retained interests, such as the right to have the assets revert back to the transferor’s estate if he or she does not live the entire term of the trust) from the fair market value of the assets transferred in the trust. How the annuity interest and any other retained interests are valued depends on who the remainder beneficiary (ies) is (are) and who retains the annuity and other interests relative to the transferor. There is a more restrictive and less appealing set of valuation rules when family members are beneficiaries and certain family members retain interests in the property both before and after the trust is created than when unrelated parties are involved.

      When unrelated parties are involved, all interests are valued according to their actuarial present values using the valuation rules of IRC §7520. These rules mandate the use of a discount rate based on the 120% Applicable Federal Annual Midterm Rate for the month in which the trust is created and funded. The mortality factors from Table 80CNSMT, Table 90CM or Table 2000CM, if the interests have a life contingency, are also used.

      The 120% Applicable Federal Annual Midterm Rate changes monthly and is reported in the IRS’s Cumulative Bulletin, in various tax services, and in various financial news publications such as The Wall Street Journal. (See Fed Interest Rates in the Money & Investing section, generally between the 18th and 23rd of the preceding month). You can also obtain this rate by visiting Brentmark’s Web site at

      If family members are involved, the gift tax valuation rules of IRC §2702 may apply. Under these rules, certain types of retained interests, such as the right to have trust assets revert to the transferor’s estate in the event of the transferor’s premature death, may be valued at zero when computing the gift tax value of the transfer. As a general rule, every retained interest but a “qualified interest” is assigned a value of zero for gift tax valuation purposes. In the case of a GRAT, a qualified interest is the right to receive “fixed amounts” payable annually, more frequently (a fixed annuity), or a qualified remainder interest. That is, any non-contingent remainder interest if all other interests in the trust consist of qualified retained interests (qualified annuities).

      The right to receive a “fixed amount” means the annuity must be a specified fixed dollar amount or a fixed percentage of the initial value of the trust payable each year rather than merely the income produced by the assets in the trust. Although fixed payments throughout the term of the trust are the norm, final regulations define the term “fixed amount” more liberally. They would permit the annuity payments to increase or decrease in a systematic manner each year without adverse gift tax consequences. However, the annuity amount may not increase by more than 20 percent over the prior year. For example, if the initial annuity payment is $1,000, the trust could provide that annuity payments in subsequent years increase by as much as 20 percent, to $1,200 in the second year, $1,440 the third year, and so on. If the transferor retains the right to the greater of a fixed amount or the trust income in each year for a term of years, the annuity will still be a qualified annuity. However, the right to the trust income, if any, in excess of the fixed amount is valued at zero for gift tax purposes. Thus, the retained interest is valued for gift tax purposes as if it did not include any rights to excess income.

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