GPC Spotlight - Linda Thorne
Please share some of your background and tell us about your practice.
I was born and raised in West Covina, California. I served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hong Kong and absolutely loved it! After my mission I attended BYU and graduated with a master of accountancy in taxation and a JD in 1993. I practice as a CPA in tax compliance work and do most any type of tax return or tax planning. I am not an estate planner, nor do I practice law anymore. I realized some years ago that I went to law school because I saw too many episodes of L.A. Law back in the ’80s!
My CPA practice is focused on tax work for small business and individuals. I seem to have a large number of older couples and widows as clients. These cute older couples and widows find out that my mother lived with me for seven years, and that seems to be something they like! I enjoy making my clients laugh and helping them solve problems. I live and practice in Broomfield, Colorado, but have clients in many of the western states. I still maintain my Utah CPA license and am an “inactive” member of the Utah bar.
Why you are involved with the Gift Planning Council?
John A. Warnick invited me to attend my first Gift Planning Council Conference about five years ago. I had been referred to John as a CPA who might be willing to help one of his estate planning clients “catch up” on unfiled tax returns. We had to reconstruct records on several rental properties and then prepare federal and state tax returns for the seven previous years. We also prepared gift tax returns for the years that the client had created CRUTs. I have returned to the Gift Planning Council Conference because the classes are so interesting! They are much better than your standard tax class!
Can you share some of your favorite experiences that you’ve had in your involvement with the Gift Planning Council or at the conference?
As I mentioned, the conferences are very interesting, and the speakers are fascinating and tell the best stories or experiences with their own nonprofit organizations. You meet wonderful people and hear how the Church is changing lives with the donations to their various charitable funds. I have also enjoyed my involvement with all the staff at Philanthropies. They have provided help with gift tax returns for our mutual clients and have inspired me to change my own beneficiaries in favor of more charitable giving. I think my favorite speakers have been Elder Dale G. Renlund and Sister Ruth Renlund and Bishop W. Christopher Waddell. I have also enjoyed talks given by the heads of private foundations and legal counsel for various charitable entities. The conferences really are the most enjoyable CPE or CLE available!
Do you have a favorite experience regarding a client who gave to a Church entity?
In November 2019, in preparation for Colorado Gives Day, I assisted an elderly client who wanted to donate about $25,000 to various charities prior to the end of the tax year. I did some online research to see which charities were using the highest percentage of donations for program services. We found several good candidates for donation, both local and national. Then I started talking about last year’s conference and how the Humanitarian Aid Fund uses 100 percent of donations for program services and that none of the funds go to overhead. I called Philanthropies and got the information needed for this client, who is not a Latter-day Saint, to make her last $5,000 contribution to the Humanitarian Aid Fund. I was incredibly excited to help her decide on a charitable contribution that I knew would be used 100 percent in the service of those in need.