Charitable IRA Rollover

On October 3, 2008, Congress passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which includes an extension of the IRA Charitable Rollover. The extension allows individuals 70½ and older to donate up to $100,000 from their IRAs tax-free to Franklin College. This special opportunity is in effect for this tax year only so you must act by December 31, 2009 to take full advantage of the current legislation.

The provision permits distributions from traditional IRAs or Roth IRAs to qualified public charities and private operating foundations as described in IRC 170 (b)(1)(A). Whereas such distributions were previously income taxable, they are now excludable from gross income, eliminating the income tax penalty for such charitable gifts. The following limitations and restrictions apply:

  • The individual for whose benefit the plan is maintained must have attained the age of 70 ½ or older at the time of gift.
  • Qualified charitable distributions may not exceed $100,000.
  • The provision applies to the 2009 tax year only. Qualified distributions must be made by December 31.
  • Qualified distributions must be made directly to the charity by the plan trustee. Contact your plan trustee for information on how to initiate a transfer.
  • Qualified charitable distributions may be excluded from gross income for Federal Income tax purposes. However, no federal income tax deduction is available. Certain states may not exclude gift amounts withdrawn from an IRA for state income tax purposes.
  • Only outright gifts are eligible. Distributions to charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, pooled income funds and other split-interest arrangements do not qualify for special tax treatment.
  • Qualified contributions are not subject to the deductibility ceiling (50% of AGI) or the reduction rules for itemized deductions.
  • Gifts from retirement accounts other than IRAs—such as 401(k), 403b, and SEP accounts—are not eligible. Donors may be able to make qualified transfers of money from other accounts to their IRA, and then make a charitable gift from their IRA. Check with your tax adviser.
  • Distributions to Supporting Organizations as described in IRC 503(a)(3) and Donor Advised Funds as described in IRC 4966(d)(2) are specifically excluded.
  • Donors who do not itemize their Federal income tax returns may make qualified IRA gifts and exclude such gifts from their reportable income.

Who is Most Likely to Benefit?

  • Individuals who wish to give more than the deductibility ceiling (50% of AGI).
  • Individuals who are subject to reduction rules for itemized deductions.
  • Individuals whose major assets reside in their IRAs and who wish to make a charitable gift during their lifetime.
  • Individuals who intend to leave the balance of their IRA to charity at death anyway.