Charitable IRA Rollover Gifts

Tax-Free Gifts From Your IRA
In December 2010, Congress passed a wide-ranging package of income tax and estate tax changes known as the "Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010." The legislation extends through 2011 the law permitting donors to arrange direct gifts from their IRAs to non-profit organizations. Charitable IRA Rollover gifts count toward a donor's required minimum distribution, thereby reducing taxable income.

How to Make a Gift From Your IRA
Instruct your IRA trustee or custodian to transfer your desired gift amount directly to KQED Inc. Please also contact Sinclair Crockett, Director, Major Giving Operations at (415) 553-2156 or, so that we may ensure proper transfer and receipt of your contribution. For your convenience we provide a sample letter to request the transfer and a sample letter to inform KQED of your Charitable IRA Rollover Gift.

Charitable IRA Rollover Gift Guidelines:

  • Donors must be age 70½ and older AND own an IRA--other retirement plans such as pensions, 401(k) and 403(b) plans are not eligible.
  • Individual donors may make gifts up to $100,000 through 2011.
  • Only the IRA trustee or custodian can transfer the gift. If a donor withdraws funds and then contributes them separately, the withdrawn amounts will be included in the donor's gross income.
  • Gift amounts are not included in the donor's taxable income. Accordingly, a charitable deduction is not allowed.
  • Transfers can only be made to public charities such as KQED. Please use our formal name "KQED Inc."
  • IRA gifts cannot be used to fund "life income gifts" such as charitable gift annuities or charitable remainder trusts.

Estate Gifts from IRAs Still a Great Idea
While Charitable IRA Rollover Gifts allow donors to further their philanthropic goals and reduce taxable income, designating charitable organizations as beneficiary of IRA, 401(k), pension or other retirement plans also has its benefits. For many years advisers have been telling clients that IRAs are the very best asset to leave to worthwhile organizations in their estate plans. Income taxes and --for large estates-- estate taxes and generation-skipping transfer taxes can markedly reduce the retirement savings accounts of many people at death, leaving a much reduced amount for heirs.

A more satisfying option might be to designate a charity as a beneficiary of all or part of your retirement account and preserve the gifted funds free from estate and income tax, while leaving other, more favorably taxed assets for heirs. To make KQED a beneficiary of your retirement plan, simply ask the trustee or custodian of your account for a beneficiary designation form and list KQED Inc.

Please contact Sinclair Crockett, Director, Major Giving Operations at (415) 553-2156 or, with any questions about planning gifts from your IRA.