Use Your IRA to Make Your Charitable Gifts
If you are 70½ or older, you can make a tax-free distribution from your Traditional or Roth IRA to Audubon Vermont. You can donate up to $100,000 each year of your Required Minimum Distribution without incurring income tax on your withdrawal - it's a win-win - for you and the birds you love.
Simply direct your IRA custodian to contribute any amount you choose of your IRA distribution directly to Audubon Vermont and you will avoid the income tax on your distributions and will see your gift used immediately to support Audubon Vermont’s vital conservation and education work.
For more information contact Jim Shallow at email@example.com or 802/434-3068.
- You must be age 70½ or older at the time of gift.
- Transfers must be made directly from a traditional IRA account by your IRA administrator to National Audubon Society. Funds that are withdrawn by you and then contributed do NOT qualify. Gifts from 401k, 403b, SEP and other plans do not qualify.
- Gifts must be outright. Distributions to donor-advised funds or life-income arrangements such as charitable remainder trusts and charitable gift annuities are not allowed.
Benefits — qualified charitable distributions
- Can total up to $100,000.
- Are not included in your gross income for federal income tax purposes on your IRS Form 1040 (no charitable deduction is available, however).
- Count towards your minimum required distribution for the year from your IRA.
Suppose Nancy has $500,000 in an IRA and she also wants to contribute $20,000 to Audubon Vermont. She can authorize the administrator of her IRA to transfer $20,000 to Audubon Vermont and $5,000 to herself. The $20,000 distributed to Audubon Vermont will not be subject to federal tax and will be counted toward her annual minimum required distribution.
As you plan your minimum required distributions for this year, if you do not need the money the government is requiring you to take, consider using it for a charitable gift using the IRA Charitable Rollover.
Questions and Answers
H.R. 2029, the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 has permanently extended the IRA Charitable Rollover. Originally passed in 2006 as part of the Pension Protection Act, the IRA Charitable Rollover allows individuals age 70½ and older to make direct transfers totaling up to $100,000 per year to 501(c)(3) charities, without having to count the transfers as income for federal income tax purposes.
Who qualifies? Individuals who are age 70½ or older at the time of the contribution (you have to wait until your actual 70½th birthday to make the transfer).
How much can I transfer? $100,000 per year. The provision no longer has an expiration date.
From what accounts can I make transfers? Transfers must come from your IRA's directly to Audubon Vermont. If you have retirement assets in a 401k, 403b etc., you must first roll those funds into an IRA, and then you can direct the IRA administrator to transfer the funds from the IRA directly to Audubon Vermont.
To what charities can I make gifts? Tax exempt organizations that are classified as 501(c) (3) charities, including Audubon Vermont, to which deductible contributions can be made.
Can I use the IRA Charitable Rollover to fund life-income gifts (charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, or pooled income funds), donor advised funds or supporting organizations? No, these are not eligible.
How will Audubon Vermont count the gift? We will give you full credit for the entire gift amount.
What are the tax implications to me?
- Federal — You do not recognize the transfer to Audubon Vermont as income, provided it goes directly from the IRA administrator to us. However, you are not entitled to an income tax charitable deduction for your gift.
- State — Each state has different laws, so you will need to consult with your own advisors. Some states have a state income tax and will include this transfer as income. Within those states, some will allow for a state income tax charitable deduction and others will not. Other states base their state income tax on the federal income or federal tax paid. Still other states have no income tax at all.
Does this transfer qualify as my minimum required distribution? Once you reach age 70½, you are required to take minimum distributions from your retirement plans each year, according to a federal formula. IRA Charitable Rollovers count towards your minimum required distribution from the IRA for the year.
Can my spouse also make an IRA Charitable Rollover, even if we are married and file jointly? Yes, every individual can use the IRA Charitable Rollover for up to $100,000 each year.
How do I know if an IRA Charitable Rollover is right for me? You are at least age 70½, and:
- You do not need the additional income necessitated by your minimum required distribution, OR
- Your charitable gifts already equal 50% of your adjusted gross income, so you do not benefit from an income tax charitable deduction for additional gifts, OR
- You do not itemize deductions, OR
- You are subject to income phase-outs on your income tax deductions.
What is the procedure to execute an IRA Charitable Rollover? We offer a sample letter you can send to your plan provider to initiate a rollover. Make sure that you contact us when you direct the rollover so we can look for the check from your IRA administrator.
For more information, please contact us.
How you can help, right now
Donate to Audubon
Help secure the future for birds at risk from climate change, habitat loss and other threats. Your support will power our science, education, advocacy and on-the-ground conservation efforts.
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Adults, preschoolers, foresters, photographers, sugarmakers and families will all find opportunities to connect with nature.