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Advisors report increased interest in philanthropy

One in four professional advisors report an increase in clients enquiring about philanthropy, according to a survey conducted by the Community Foundation for Ireland.
“Trends in Irish Philanthropy,” is the first ever comprehensive survey conducted on Irish professional advisors’ views on philanthropy. Taking part were wealth mangers, tax advisors, solicitors and accountants representing some 40,000 high-net worth individuals and private clients.
Key findings of the report include:
— 27% of professional advisors reported an increase in enquiries about philanthropy in the last 12 months
— When asked how a change in the current tax would affect philanthropy in Ireland, 85% said a removal of the tax cap would increase giving
— When asked about their approach to the topic of philanthropy 58% of advisors had never discussed philanthropy with a client
— 43% believed that clients require assets in excess of €1m, excluding a principal residence, to start to think about philanthropy.
— 56% believe the level of giving could double to €1 billion by 2013
Speaking at the launch of the report Tina Roche, Chief Executive, The Community Foundation of Ireland said, “We are already well behind the USA and probably a decade behind the UK in fostering philanthropy in this country. We need to act now to remove the current restrictive climate.”
The Finance Bill 2006 introduced a new Section 485C that effectively capped the amount of tax relief that high income taxpayers can claim. The legislation, which came into effect in 2007, limited the tax relief on charitable donations and treats the donations like financial investments. The cap in essence has inhibited the making of substantial gifts to organisations such as The Community Foundation for Ireland, according to the organisation.
The report gauged the views of 75 professional advisors including wealth managers, stockbrokers, accountants, tax advisors, insurance brokers and solicitors from across the country representing thousands of wealthy clients, on their views of philanthropy in Ireland to date. The report was conducted in cooperation with the Irish Taxation Institute and The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Ireland.