Thursday, 11 May 2017

Grants: Is This Taxable Income?

While grants are a great source of additional income for deserving individuals and businesses, it is important to realize that by and large these are in fact taxable money donations. This means that individuals and businesses and organizations receiving a grant, unless covered under the limited exceptions listed by the IRS below (such as an educational grant), must pay taxes on the money received.
Thus, the money received in a grant that is not considered tax-free, must be added to your gross yearly income, to which your taxes are calculated. Unfortunately because of the variance in personal income it is difficult to give an accurate estimate of how much tax you will pay on your grant. In fact, with so many factors taken into consideration in income taxes, it is very unlikely that any two people, even with the same salary, would pay the same tax.
As such it is a good idea to contact an accountant on this matter before spending the grant in its entirety, as you will probably need to set aside a projected amount to cover the taxes at the end of the year.
To find out if your grant is one of the few that is exempt from taxes read below on the information gathered from the IRS website.
According to the IRS at http://www.irs.gov/charities/foundations/article/0,,id=137396,00.html:
“Grants to individuals for travel, study, or other similar purposes (including loans made for charitable purposes, and program-related investments) are taxable expenditures, unless the following conditions are met:
  1. The grant must be awarded on an objective and non-discriminatory basis under a procedure approved in advance by the Service, and
  2. It must be shown to the satisfaction of the Service that one of the following requirements is met–
    1. The grant is a scholarship or fellowship and is to be used for study at an educational institution that normally maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly organized body of students in attendance at the place where the educational activities are carried on. For these purposes, there is no requirement that the grant recipients be limited to degree candidates, nor must the grant be limited to tuition, fees, and course-required books, supplies, and equipment. A recipient may use grant funds for room, board, travel, research, clerical help, or equipment, that are incidental to the purposes of the scholarship or fellowship grant.
    2. The grant qualifies as a prize or award that is excluded from gross income under Internal Revenue Code section 74(b), if the recipient is selected from the general public. For this purpose, the recipient may keep the prize or award, and need not authorize the foundation to transfer the prize or award to a governmental unit or to another charity.
    3. The grant’s purpose is to achieve a specific objective, produce a report or similar product, or improve or enhance a literary, artistic, musical, scientific, teaching, or similar capacity, skill, or talent of the grantee.”

Education Grants Hit Billions

Nineteen states are competing for a Race to the Top – the 10-15 winners will split $3.4 billion in education grants.
Some call it the “quiet revolution” in education. Obama’s newest project will fund improvements to education and support more autonomous charter schools. The 19 finalists compete for the $3.4 billion leftover in education grants, after $600 million was allotted to Delaware and Tennessee already.
The money will be put to cover adoption standards and assessments, improving low-performing schools, creating teaching jobs and building better data systems, Reuters reports. The 19 states elected to compete as finalists will be narrowed down to 10-15 states, depending on the size of the winners.
The money should be allotted to the winners in September of 2010. Among the finalists are Ohio and Maryland, who are two of the top contenders. Other financially struggling states in the competition include California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.

Personal Education Grants

If you would like to apply for an education grant, you will be happy to know you don’t have to jump through as many hoops.
  1. Download the grant application kit to guide you through the application process.
  2. Apply for an education grant, making sure to be accurate and correct, and to provide all the necessary supporting documentation.
  3. Receive your education grant check in 3-5 weeks and put it toward tuition, books, room and board, etc.

Grants Available To Women

Grants available to women are generally divided into two categories: public or private. Public grants are government backed and funded. For this reason, these grants are usually open to a broad spectrum of projects and applicants, often with relatively large awards. Conversely, private grant funding is offered by an individual or committee with a specific interest in the project at hand. This makes them more narrow in scope and typically for smaller amounts.
Travel Grants for Women is one example of a grant that is offered jointly by the National Science Foundation and the Association for Women in Mathematics. These grants offer up to $2,000 each for women performing research related activities in the specific area of mathematics. Research is normally related to conference attendance, however, other types of research may qualify as well. The purpose of the grant is to encourage research among female mathematicians by helping to defray any associated travel expenses. Similar programs offered by this Association include Education Research Travel Grants and Mentoring Travel Grants.
Closely related to mathematics, the science field also offers a variety of female specific grant programs. The Association for Women in Science has an annual Scholarship and Fellowship program offering awards and scholarships to high school seniors in the amount of $1,000 each. The NPSC (National Physical Science Consortium Fellowships for Women) offers grants to those more advanced in their education, in the form of graduate fellowships of varying amounts for women (and minorities) in the physical sciences and related fields of engineering.
While the fields of Science and Mathematics offer a wide range of funding for women, those interested in the Humanities have several options available, as well. The Arcus Foundation is a group focused on promoting diversity, social justice and tolerance. It offers varying amounts through The Arcus Fund, the Gay and Lesbian Fund, the Great Apes Fund, and the National Fund. Grants are typically awarded for activities related to social justice or conservation issues. Similarly, the Chicago Foundation for Women also works toward the achievement of social justice, through grant making and advocacy programs. Grant funding is typically awarded to those women seeking assistance with general economic security, freedom from domestic violence or access to health services. Grants range from $5,000 to $50,000.
While most of the programs mentioned thus far have been available to adult women, there are some programs open to girls, as well. For example, the Girls Going Places Entrepreneurship Award is given annually, in varying amounts, to girls between 12 and 18 who have demonstrated leadership, community or school activism, or entrepreneurship. Go Girl Go – Ambassador Team Awards is a program that doles out a total of $50,000 in grants, per year, to female sports teams that demonstrate outstanding community leadership.
Whether public or private, general or field specific, grants of all shapes and sizes are available to women. A bit of research is all that’s necessary to find potential funding, whatever the area of interest may be.

Grants To Pay For College

As the cost of education rises, college students increasingly rely on financial aid in the form of loans. While loans help students pay for college, those students are consequently already in debt upon graduation. One way to avoid, or lessen the debt, is to seek out college grants. Grants are financial aid monies that do not require repayment. There are many public and private grants available.
One of the most common public grants is the Pell Grant. This grant requires a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This form can be completed online and applying requires no additional steps beyond completing the FAFSA. The Pell Grant is based on income level, cost of college of attendance, and student status. Recently the maximum Pell Grant award was raised to $5645 annually.
Another public grant are those offered by individual states. These grants are often eligible to students attending state universities. Several states offer them to assist students with alleviating the cost of higher education. Most of these grants apply to in-state students but this is not always the case. These state-funded grants can be awarded based on need, merit and race. Some state grants require completion of FAFSA paperwork for application while others require further documentation. The grants vary from state to state so it is important to thoroughly research before applying.
In addition to public grants, privately funded grants are another source for paying a portion of college tuition. Some industries offer grants to students who focus their college studies on those fields of interest. Industries are invested in cultivating well-educated colleagues for the future. Some of these include agricultural, banking, hotel management, theater and journalism. Finding these grants requires some legwork but can provide portion of college tuition.
Aside from the industry-related grants, there are several student-specific grants. Female students, disabled students, non-traditional students and military students are some of the individuals who can benefit from privately funded grants. The various student-specific grants are often available through advocacy groups committed to improving the lives of people in the specific areas of focus. Each group will have its own procedures for applying for grants making it important to research them early ensure time to meet application deadlines.
Attending college is a worthwhile but costly investment. It is advantageous to investigate and apply for as many grants as possible. Grant awards range from a couple of hundred dollars to thousands of dollars in tuition a year. Any portion of college tuition funded by grant monies is only less money students will owe upon graduation. Therefore, it makes sense for students to put in the effort up front to locate and apply for eligible grants to save money in the long run.

Pell Grant Changes

President Obama came into office with about 6.1 million students receiving the Pell Grant, with a total annual disbursement of roughly $18 billion. In the intervening years, the maximum annual grant amount has gradually increased, and eligibility requirements have tightened. Discussions have remained focused on maintaining the core program objectives in an era of budget restraint.
Each Pell Grant approved by the U.S Department of Education applies to a 12-month period measured from July 1 to June 30. The maximum annual grant amount was $4,731 at the time of the president’s 2008 election. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus bill, raised the amount to $5,350 in 2010. After the next two years at $5,550, the grant limit is now at $5,635.
The Free Application For Federal Student Aid is required to start the grant process. The FAFSA application provides financial information about the student or the student’s parents in order to formulate the expected family contribution, if any. The EFC expectation can reduce the amount of net grant proceeds, and was set at a maximum of $4,617 by the stimulus bill. Maximum EFC went up to 5,273 for 2010 and 2011, followed by a drop to $4,995 in 2012. For eligible students with grants reduced by the EFC adjustment, the minimum amount receivable increased from $555 in 2011 to $577 in 2012.
The most sweeping legislation enacted in recent years affecting the Pell Grant was the Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed into law by President Obama in December 2011. Certain full-time students in accelerated programs had been able to receive two Pell Grants over a time period of twelve months. It was acknowledged that the estimated $8 billion cost for the year-round program was not achieving the desired results, and that a more important objective should be to maintain the existing levels of routine grants.
A more significant change brought about by the same appropriations bill was to reduce the number of semesters for which a student could receive the grant. The duration of eligibility for the grant had previously been the equivalent of 18 full-time semesters. The duration was cut by a third, to the equivalent of 12 full-time semesters. The change was retroactive, leaving some students in the lurch, finding themselves suddenly over the 12-semester limit.
An economy in recession, with fewer jobs, has created more students eligible for assistance. There were 9.1 million Pell grant recipients in fiscal year 2011, and 9.7 million recipients in fiscal year 2012. Total grants are roughly $36 billion annually and provide assistance to over one-third of baccalaureate students.

Eco And Green Grants

Fossil reserves are not endless, and cause considerable damage to the planet. Using renewable energy (Eco and Green) helps to mitigate the damage of fossil fuel to the planet by decreasing energy expenditure. Eco and Green energies are renewable energies and are replaced by a natural process. During the renewal, the energy source is not completely depleted.
Despite how serious you are about implementing the Green initiative, the out-of-pocket costs can be too great. To offset these costs, government and special interest groups offer Eco and Green Grants. These are cash back incentive programs for exchanging current non-renewable energy methods for an Eco or Green (renewable) energy methods.
Realizing the importance and necessity of Eco and Green energy use, local and federal governments, and special interest groups offer grant money to those companies, individuals, and organizations interested in the development and implementation of Eco and Green energy use. The amount allocated to the Eco or Green grant varies geographically, as does the total cost of each Eco or Green project. For the most part, however, 50% of the expenses related to the exploration and the purchase of equipment for a renewable energy system are covered. A vast database is available to query for grant application and information. You will find the database located in the grant information section of the Environmental Protection Agency’s web site.
With respect to individuals, at least some operating costs are subsided when exchanging an electric or gas hot water structure for a solar-powered energy system. In fact, most of the individual candidates received free Green grants. The amount of the grant varies, usually starting at a few hundred dollars. Grant workshops are available to educate the applicant on the specifics of Eco and Green Grant programs.
Energy effectiveness is the desired goal for Eco and Green grants. To do this, grants are available to large business and small industry owners. Whether your business is a farm located in a rural area, or a large electric company Eco and Green grants are available and geared toward the planning and the development of projects with green ecological plans. A variety of business may discover grant funding from a larger group, especially if your business focuses on converting solar, wind, or water into a power source. Moreover, let us not forget about the recyclers. Those businesses that utilize recycled materials such as green roofs, or rainwater collection are eligible for funding as well.
The purpose of these grants is to raise our awareness of the environmental impact and damage the use of fossil fuels has on our planet, and to focus on the use of environmentally-friendly energy conversion.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Green Grants To Fund Green Initiatives

The Obama administration allotted a $2.4 billion stimulus to the auto industry. The stimulus is meant to encourage the production of electric batteries for “green” cars.
The first recipient is a factory in the Midwest that will receive $151 million to begin production on electric batteries for auto manufacturers such as General Motors, Ford and Chevrolet, the president said last week. White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer openly criticized the Republican opposition.
“None of this would have been possible without the Recovery Act,” Pfeiffer said. “If [the Republicans] had their way, we would not be breaking ground. These industries would not be created here,” he said.
Republicans are calling the Democrats stimulus efforts a “job-killing spree,” noting that the unemployment rate has climbed by 2 per cent since Obama’s inauguration. However, President Obama hopes to create over 300 jobs in the receiving factory alone. Once the presence of electric cars increases on the market, more jobs will open up to meet the demand.
An administration report revealed last week that over 3 million jobs have been “saved or created” by the stimulus, so far.

How You Can Get A Green Grant

Green grants from the government are the best way to fund any environmentally friendly changes to your home or car that you need . Currently, if you retro-fit your home to be “green” you can apply for a green grant to fund it. Some appliances offer rebates if you buy “green” ones.
As the government continues with its stimulus plan, the available green grants will increase, playing a significant part of the government’s expenditures and maximize the number of Americans they can assist.