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Ways And Means Advances Bipartisan Charitable Giving Legislation

The House Ways and Means Committee today marked up a bipartisan legislative package, the Securing A Strong Retirement Act, which would help more Americans save for retirement. The bill was amended to include the text of the Legacy IRA Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA) and Mike Kelly (R-PA), which would 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.

“As the nonprofit sector rebuilds from the devastation of COVID-19, our bill would create an avenue for support which will benefit both seniors in retirement and charities that are so important to communities across the country,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “So many good institutions and organizations benefit from the Charitable IRA Rollover, and Congress can help support that work by passing this bipartisan legislation. I thank my colleague Congressman Kelly and the organizations backing this bill for their support.”

“Americans are some of the most charitable in the world,” said Rep. Mike Kelly. “We give to our churches, we give to our schools, and we give to our local community groups. Tens of millions of 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.”

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

The Legacy IRA Act is supported by a large coalition of charitable giving organizations, which recently sent a letter supporting the legislation to leaders of the Ways and Means Committee.

“According to Johns Hopkins' Center for Civil Society Studies, the nonprofit sector was down by nearly 1 million nonprofit jobs as of January, and it will take nearly two years to return to our pre-COVID level of employment. The Legacy IRA Act would encourage much needed charitable giving to organizations like ours, enabling seniors to participate in the rich American tradition of philanthropy while continuing to draw needed income from their investments,” said Suzie Upton, Chief Operating Officer for the American Heart Association.

"Bolstering the security of Americans’ retirement savings through the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021 will make people – and the nonprofits that serve our communities – more resilient, especially in the future,” said Daniel J. Cardinali, president and CEO of Independent Sector. “Also, the Legacy IRA Act will unlock much-needed, additional money for nonprofit charities at this historic moment of economic pain when relief for people and the rebuilding of our communities are so important.”

Independent Sector urged Ways and Means Committee leaders to pass the measure in a letter sent ahead of the markup.

Text of the Legacy IRA Act is available here.