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Beyer And Kelly Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Encourage Charitable Giving

Today Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA) and Mike Kelly (R-PA) introduced the bipartisan Legacy IRA Act, legislation to encourage charitable giving by American seniors. The bill would expand the Charitable IRA Rollover to treat donations made by retirees to gift annuity programs as pre-tax income.

“Our bipartisan legislation encourages American seniors to continue and increase their generous contributions to worthy charitable causes,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). “So many good institutions and organizations benefit from the Charitable IRA Rollover and increasing the financial security of retirees who donate to them will reap enormous benefits for our society. I thank my colleague Congressman Kelly and the organizations backing this legislation for their support.”

“Americans are some of the most charitable in the world.  We give to our churches, we give to our schools, and we give to our local community groups.  More than 77 million Americans volunteer their time, talent and energy to make a difference.  In addition to their time, Americans provide financial support to the more than 1.5 million charities in America.  Our legislation seeks to further encourage more charitable giving by providing additional tax incentives to seniors.  Because Americans give and serve, we all live a richer, happier, and healthier life,” Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) said.

“We thank Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA) and Mike Kelly (R-PA) for introducing the Legacy IRA Act which will go a long way in incentivizing seniors to make charitable donations while allowing them to retain their annual retirement income,” said March of Dimes President and CEO Stacey D. Stewart.  “Providing individuals with new giving options, like this one, will be particularly attractive to middle income seniors and help bolster our country’s proud legacy of charitable giving.”

Beyer and Kelly both serve on the House Committee on Ways and Means, which has jurisdiction over pensions and tax policy.

The American Heart Association: “This legislation is a win-win, both for seniors who want to support philanthropic causes and for charitable organizations that benefit from individual philanthropy. By building on the IRA Charitable Rollover, which has generated millions of dollars in new or increased contributions to local and national charities, this bill would allow more seniors to benefit from the rollover and make tax-free charitable contributions. We are grateful to Representatives Don Beyer and Mike Kelly for their leadership on this important bill.”

“We want to thank Rep. Beyer and Kelly for introducing the Legacy IRA Act, which improves the ability of middle-income seniors to continue their philanthropic efforts as they age. At The Salvation Army, nearly half of our operating budget each year comes from direct public contributions, and we couldn’t do the work we do, for more than 23 million Americans, without that support. Making it easier and safer for our senior donors to commit to this work will directly impact our ability to help those in need overcome the barriers of poverty and to serve in the name of Jesus without discrimination,” said David Hudson, National Commander of The Salvation Army USA.

Congress created the Charitable IRA Rollover in 2006 with the Pension Protection Act. The legislation created tax incentives for retirees over the age of 70 to make charitable donations directly from their IRA accounts.

“Expanding the IRA charitable rollover to permit donors to participate in gift annuity programs will provide significant benefits to America’s charities as well as help provide financial security to those who individuals who support these vital efforts to help the most vulnerable among us,” noted William C. Daroff, Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Director of the Washington Office of The Jewish Federations of North America. “The IRA charitable rollover has been a valuable charitable fundraising vehicle for over a decade and we applaud Reps. Beyer and Kelly for expanding the scope of this proven giving incentive.”

“The existing IRA Charitable Rollover has been extremely beneficial for charities overall, but many Americans cannot afford to give away their retirement income during their lifetime,” said Daniel J. Cardinali, President and CEO of Independent Sector. “The Legacy IRA Act would give prospective donors one more critical way to invest in the common good in a way that works for them. On behalf of our members—a diverse set of nonprofits, foundations, and corporations working to advance the common good—Independent Sector is proud to support this legislation.”

“This would allow seniors to continue to support the causes for which they care deeply, and to support them as generously as they can,” said Paul Gionfriddo, President and CEO of Mental Health America.

“Leadership 18, a coalition of CEOs from some of the nation’s largest human services organizations, strongly supports the Legacy IRA Act, which would allow seniors starting at age 65 to make tax-free IRA rollovers to charities through retirement strategy funds.  With new research just out from the Giving USA Foundation showing a drop in charitable giving among middle- and low-income donors as a result of recent tax reform that eliminated charitable deductions for non-itemizers, this offers an excellent incentive for middle-income seniors to continue to support the causes important to them and their communities. Americans are among the most charitable in the world and this value we hold should be reinforced through having all charitable giving not be taxed regardless of income or amount. By incentivizing all Americans to take part in our giving society, we are caring for one another so that all people in our nation can thrive and achieve their fullest potential,” added Susan N. Dreyfus, president and CEO of Leadership 18 and the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities.

“Art museums rely on charitable contributions to subsidize free and discounted admission, mount exhibitions, and provide education services to millions of schoolchildren every year.  We offer our thanks to Reps. Beyer and Kelly for introducing this important legislation, which will help museums provide these services to the public,” said Christine Anagnos, Executive Director of Association of Art Museum Directors.

“The Legacy IRA Act will incentivize seniors to give more to educational institutions from their individual retirement accounts while still providing the peace of mind of a lifetime income stream. The additional giving generated by this bill will support student scholarships, research, faculty and other academic programs, helping colleges, universities and independent schools transform lives and society. We applaud and thank Reps. Beyer and Kelly for leading the effort to enact this important legislation,” said Sue Cunningham, President and CEO of Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Text of the Legacy IRA Act is available here.