Retirement Plan – Lifetime Gifts:

Questions Donors Ask

How do I arrange a gift from my retirement plan?

Donors should contact their IRA administrator and request a copy of the Change of Beneficiary Form. This can be filled in as the donors wish and include your organization for a portion or all of the remainder of their plan’s assets.

What are the tax implications of a gift of retirement plan assets?

When donors designate your organization as the beneficiary for all or part of their qualified retirement plan assets, those assets pass to you free of any tax. However, when these assets are passed to the donors’ heirs (other than their surviving spouse), they are subject to federal income tax and may also be subject to federal estate tax (depending upon the value of their estate) as well as various state income, inheritance, and estate taxes. Because retirement-plan assets are typically the most highly taxed assets after one passes, they are the ideal choice for charitable gifts. Designate other assets to the donors’ heirs.

Can I avoid income tax on withdrawals used to make a donation?

All withdrawals from pre-tax-funded retirement accounts will be subject to income tax unless the donor is at least 70½ years old and eligible to make a Charitable IRA Rollover under applicable law. A subsequent charitable contribution of amounts subject to income tax will yield an income-tax charitable deduction, often yielding a “wash” for tax purposes.

Is my contribution tax deductible?

Yes, it will be deductible as a cash contribution unless the gift was funded with a Charitable IRA Rollover under applicable law. In that case, donors will not report the amount as taxable income, nor be able to claim an income-tax charitable deduction.

Will a contribution count toward my MRD (Minimum Required Distribution)?

Yes. Any withdrawal from a retirement plan after age 70½ will count toward the donor’s MRD, regardless of whether the donor later contributes the withdrawn amount to charity. The amount will be taxed as ordinary income to donors unless the contribution was made according to the Charitable IRA Rollover rules.