Wispact Newsletter Fall 2021
Wispact Newsletter Fall 2021
Wispact: Improving the Lives of People with Disabilities
Each day, Wispact strives to enhance the well-being of people of all ages with disabilities across Wisconsin through the management of special needs trusts by promoting more choice and opportunities.
This year, we increased our staff of Beneficiary Specialists to sustain and improve our service to beneficiaries and advisors. Also Wispact implemented a new Customer Relation Management software to leverage new IT applications. Wispact strives to respond to client feedback to constantly improve.
Some of our beneficiaries may be aware that Wispact offers charitable grants to beneficiaries through our Retained Fund Grants program. In 2021 with increased use by beneficiaries impacted by the pandemic, Wispact is on track to provide $3.7 million in financial assistance in more than 4,300 individual grants to Wispact Beneficiaries through subsidy awards.
In 2021, Wispact launched a major new charitable initiative – the Wispact Foundation Endowment Fund and the Wispact Legacy Grant. The new foundation represents a legacy of service through the administrative efforts of Wispact managed by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. Wispact placed $3.2M at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and plans to distribute $168K in charitable grants in the 2021 grant cycle. These grants were awarded to a wide range of organizations across Wisconsin that work with individuals with disabilities. For more information on the first round of Legacy Grant awards, see the Wispact Foundation website.
As 2021 comes to a close, Wispact staff and Wispact Board are finishing work on our next three-year Strategic Planning goals. During this process, we gathered feedback from beneficiaries, advisors, collaborating attorneys, Board members, and staff on the challenges that lie ahead. We also marked our accomplishments from the previous three-year plan: transfer to a new Trustee, implement new IT technology, and match staff to handle the growth in the number of beneficiaries.
With the upcoming Holidays, we wish our community the best in season greetings and holiday cheer! Also – a year-end note of thanks to the Wispact Board members for their service to provide oversight and guidance to Wispact. Our continuing goal is to improve the service we provide to beneficiaries, their families and advisors, and the professionals who support them. In the coming year, we look forward to fulfilling our mission and improving our service to beneficiaries.
Kevin Hayde | Executive Director
Overview of 2021 Taxes
Tax season is approaching and we want to make sure all beneficiaries are prepared to file their taxes. It is anticipated that the tax information will be placed in the mail to beneficiaries on or before March 15, 2022 though the actual delivery date will depend on the U.S. Postal Service.
If you have a savings, checking account, or certificate of deposit, you are probably used to receiving a 1099 by 2/1 of each year noting the interest that has been reported to the IRS. Therefore, you may wonder why you don’t receive tax information from your Wispact Trust until mid to late March of each year. The short answer is that Wispact must first receive data regarding the securities that the Trust is invested in before our Beneficiary’s tax letters can be finalized. Since those third parties have until April 15th to file their data that we rely on for tax reporting, Wispact must wait to receive that information before preparing the Trust’s and beneficiary’s tax information.
However, in our continual effort to overcommunicate with you, we are also providing you the “long answer” so that you have some additional context as to what happens behind the scenes regarding tax preparation. Your Wispact Trust is invested in exchange traded fund (ETFs) which must report dividends and capital gains/loss information annually to the Wispact Trust. These funds have until April 15th to report their tax information, including any reporting regarding reclassification of dividends. That means Wispact must wait until we get all of this information from these third parties prior to finalizing the tax letters we provide to you. And, unfortunately, ETF companies may (and routinely do) reclassify dividend information right up until April 15th. If Trust tax information is submitted to Beneficiaries before we get all of this information, and an ETF company subsequently reclassifies dividend information, then amended tax information would have to be issued to Beneficiaries who may then have to amend their own personal 1040 tax returns. Our goal is to work towards avoiding having to issue amended tax information. Accordingly ETF historical information is reviewed during the first 30 – 60 days of each new year, to determine if it is likely that the ETF company will re-classify dividend information, and to determine a date when the tax preparation can begin.
Once we have made a reasonable determination that there is not likely to be any additional reclassifications and/or we receive this finalized ETF tax information, the information will be allocated/unitized among all Wispact Trust sub-accounts. After this unitization, the WisPACT Trust tax preparation can begin. And, once completed by our tax provider, we send the tax information to you so that you can file your taxes. .
What tax information is sent to beneficiaries?
- Grantor Tax Letters are issued to beneficiaries of self-funded accounts to incorporate the trust sub-account tax transactions on their personal 1040 income tax returns.
- A 1041 Fiduciary Income Tax return is prepared for 3rd party funded trust accounts and a K-1 tax document may be issued from this tax return to a beneficiary. The beneficiary then reports the K-1 tax information on the beneficiary’s personal 1040 income tax return. The IRS website publishes K-1 instructions for a beneficiary filing a 1040 income tax return. A beneficiary should wait to receive the K-1 tax form before filing their personal 1040 income tax return. If a beneficiary doesn’t wait for the K-1, there is the possibility that their 1040 income tax returns may need to be amended.
When will tax information be sent to beneficiaries?
It is anticipated that the tax information will be placed in the mail to beneficiaries on or before March 15, 2022 though the actual delivery date will depend on the U.S. Postal Service. However, there may be circumstances unique to a particular trust file(s) or data that may not be available in time that may cause the mailing of the tax information to beneficiaries to be delayed.
Could amended Wispact Trust tax information be mailed to beneficiaries after March 15, 2022?
Yes, if additional 1099’s are received, an estate issues a K-1 to a Wispact Trust whose tax preparation has already been completed, or amended tax information is received from ETF companies the Wispact Trusts are invested in, amended Wispact Trust tax information may need to be prepared.
The Wispact tax information is furnished by an accountant. Neither Wispact nor the Trustee, Capital First, or True Link are tax professionals and are not able to interpret the tax information or to advise a beneficiary as to whether the beneficiary meets the requirements to file a 1040 tax return. All beneficiary tax questions, and tax information received by a beneficiary, should be directed to the beneficiary’s tax professional to determine what information may need to be included on a beneficiary’s personal 1040 income tax return.
Beneficiaries and Advisors: Please Update Your Mailing Address
To ensure that you and your advisors get important trust statements and tax information, please make sure your address and your advisor’s address is correct and up-to-date. If you are unsure if Wispact has the correct address – please contact your Beneficiary Specialist to update your information (see the staff phone listing for contacts).
Wispact Staff Changes
Wispact has recently added staff. Please welcome our newest staff:
Trish Gorman – Beneficiary Specialist
Trish has proudly served in the Human Services Field for 10 years as a case manager and advocate for the disabled and elderly population. When she is not working, her passion is gardening, music and spending time with her children. Trish looks forward to sharing her knowledge with elders and people with disabilities to help them live a life of their choosing. Beneficiaries may contact Trish Gorman, Beneficiary Specialist at Phone: 608-268-6006 Ext.203
Winter Maintenance of Homes – as excerpted from Traveler’s Insurance https://www.travelers.com/resources/home/maintenance/winter-home-maintenance-tips.aspx
Your Heating System
Before you give your heating system a workout this winter, take the time for preventive maintenance:
- Have your furnace or boiler checked and serviced by a licensed contractor at least once a year, preferably before the heating season begins.
- Clean or replace the furnace filter on forced hot air systems.
- Have your chimney checked and serviced by a licensed contractor at least once a year. Pay particular attention to having creosote buildup removed from chimneys servicing woodstoves and fireplaces.
- Have your fuel tanks filled and keep an eye on levels throughout the winter.
- Set your heat no lower than 55 degrees as the temperature inside the walls where water piping is located is colder than the living spaces; open doors to unoccupied rooms to keep an even temperature throughout the house.
- Maintain your wood-burning or pellet stoves according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Is your insulation prepared to protect you from the cold? As an important line of defense from winter’s gusty winds and freezing temperatures, it is worth taking time to inspect and upgrade insulation and weather stripping before the season starts.
- Add extra insulation in the attic to help guard against ice dams. If too much heat escapes into the attic, it can warm the ice and snow on the roof. When it refreezes, it can cause an ice dam, which can lead to water damage inside your home or possibly even a roof collapse.
- Add weather stripping around doors and caulk windows to guard against drafts and heat loss.
- Remove screens from windows and install storm windows, if appropriate.
- Freezing temperatures can be especially damaging to your home’s water piping. Make sure your pipes are adequately prepared to withstand a cold snap and remember to take extra precautions if you are going to be leaving your home, including shutting off your water.
- Check for water leaks and fix problems immediately; wrap water piping in UL-Listed heat tape and insulate if it is exposed in unheated areas such as garages, crawl spaces or attics. Use only thermostatically-controlled heat tape if your water piping is plastic, and follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
- Learn how to shut off your water and know where your pipes are located in case they do freeze; you may be able to prevent water damage.
Your Winter Safety Measures
As you prepare for winter, following are some further safety measures that are especially important during the cold season:
- Trim trees and remove dead branches so they do not damage your home or injure someone if they fall because of ice, snow or wind.
- Keep gutters clear of leaves, sticks and other debris to help ensure melting snow can drain properly. Make sure downspouts direct water away from the foundation.
- Repair steps and handrails to make them safer in the ice and snow.
- Check smoke detectors, fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace batteries to ensure they are operating properly.
Your Key Supplies and Equipment
The first storm of the year can come sooner than you think. Stock up early and get key equipment, like snow blowers and generators, in good working condition long before you need them. .
- Make sure you have snow shovels and a roof rake on hand. Stock your ice melting compound to melt ice on walkways.
- Have your snow blower and generator serviced and any necessary repairs made.
- Keep fuel for snow blowers and generators in approved safety containers and away from heat or flame-producing devices. Do not store fuel in your basement.
It is important to make sure that if you plan to hire assistance with these services that you work with your Beneficiary Specialist ahead of time to make sure payment is a smooth and easy process. Professional businesses are preferred and will ensure an easy payment process. If you wish to hire a family member or friend be sure to speak with your Beneficiary Specialist to find out what types of services can be provided and paid for with trust funds. There are limits to how much can be paid to an individual in a quarter or a year. It may also be necessary to have the individual paid through a fiscal intermediary so you will want to be sure you get the enrollment process started before you start having services performed at your residence. Your Beneficiary Specialist can review your circumstances and help you understand which options will be best for you in your current situation.
In addition, you may be eligible to receive assistance from a Wispact grant to cover the cost of these projects. You can contact Wispact’s Retained Fund Grant Coordinator John Shaw for more information. John can be reached at 608-268-6006 Ext. 204. Information about Wispact Retained Fund grants can be found on our website at https://www.wispact.org/fund-grant/
Contacting Wispact Staff
Wispact’s office will be closed during the following days during the upcoming holidays: Nov. 25 and 26; Dec. 24 and 27; and Dec.31 and Jan.3 Please plan your distributions accordingly. Questions?, please contact your Beneficiary Specialist – for Caseload Assignments.
Wispact’s Office Location at 226 Corporate Dr., Madison, WI has limited access for the public. Please contact us before visiting. All Beneficiary Specialists are working remotely or in the office and processing distributions – if possible, submit documents directly via email or fax.
We realize how important our distributions are to you. Please be aware we can process distributions submitted via email and fax much more efficiently than those submitted via mail.
For a list of Beneficiary Specialists and staff, see https://www.wispact.org/staff/
If you have questions about your trust account, please contact your Beneficiary Specialist. For information about establishing a new trust account or general information about Wispact, contact our Director of Outreach, James Giese.
226 Corporate Drive
Madison, WI 53714
(608) 268-6006 | F (608) 252-8449
Wispact, Inc. is not a registered investment adviser, registered stock broker or broker-dealer and does not offer investment advisory services, programs or products. Any investment questions should be directed to qualified licensed professional financial advisers.