Legislative and regulatory issues of interest to our members. If you would like to view our archived articles, click here.
2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and its Effects on Charitable Giving
Each year, Congress adopts a concurrent budget resolution setting net spending, revenue, and debt limits on legislation emerging from each committee during the current session. This year, the path to tax reform began on October 5 when the House passed its budget resolution, followed by the Senate passing its Fiscal 2018 Budget (“FY18”) on October 19. On October 26, the House adopted the Senate’s version of the plan, allowing tax reform to increase our deficit by a maximum of $1.5 trillion over a 10-year budget period.
The House passed H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (“the Bill”) on November 16, and the Senate Finance Committee (“SFC”) approved its version on the same day. The Joint Committee on Taxation (“JCT”) estimated the Bill would cost approximately $1.414 trillion over the 10-year period.
New York Exempts Charities Issuing Gift Annuities from Cybersecurity Regulations
On February 13, 2017, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) adopted final regulations concerning cybersecurity requirements for financial services companies. The regulations took effect on March 1, 2017.
The DFS first issued the proposed regulations in September 2016. After a 45-day comment period, the DFS published updated proposed regulations in December 2016 and allowed 30 additional days for comments. The regulations, as drafted, would have applied to charitable organizations holding special permits to issue gift annuities in New York State. The regulations would have required charitable organizations issuing gift annuities to appoint a Chief Information Security Officer, or hire a third party to fulfill this duty, implement a written cybersecurity policy, develop a plan for disposal of nonpublic information, and conduct periodic risk assessments. Entities which failed to meet these extensive requirements would face undefined penalties. Most issuers of gift annuities outsource administration to banks or trust companies, which are themselves subject to the regulations. Requiring compliance from the charitable sector would create a redundancy.
The Legacy IRA HR 5171
The Board of Directors of the American Council on Gift Annuities is excited to join the remainder of the charitable community in announcing the introduction of HR 5171, The Legacy IRA.
This bill will extend the right of American taxpayers to use portions of their Individual Retirement Accounts to fund Charitable Remainder Trusts and Charitable Gift Annuities during their lifetime. This compliments and completes the provisions of the PATH Act of 2015 which made the use of IRA assets for lifetime outright gifts permanent.
Also begin immediately contacting your Congressmen and Senators and ask them to become co-sponsors of HR 5171. NOW IS THE TIME WE HAVE WAITED FOR DURING THE LAST SEVERAL DECADES!. You are a vital part of making The Legacy IRA a reality. Do your part now!
Click here to view ACGA”s letter to The Honorable Peter Roskam in support of The Legacy IRA.
Charitable IRA Initiative
YOU have the opportunity to take action that would be helpful to charities throughout the USA! The charitable community has the unique opportunity to focus the power of donors around the country on passage of legislation that will simplify the process and the tax liability when donating IRA assets to charity.
At the middle of 2014 it was estimated that $6,421,000,000,000 (that’s Trillions) was being held in IRA accounts. Estimates further indicate that approximately 47% of all households in the USA hold 25% of all mutual funds through their personal traditional IRA accounts.
Progress Report: Charitable IRA Initiative
The Charitable IRA Initiative is a 501(c)(4) organization created to pursue legislation that would expand and make permanent the Charitable IRA Rollover. Following is the first of periodic reports you may expect to receive regarding progress in achieving this objective.
This report has been drafted by Conrad Teitell, pro bono counsel to the Charitable IRA Initiative, who is leading the legislative effort. Conrad Teitell has served for many years as volunteer counsel to the American Council on Gift Annuities.
“The Charitable IRA Initiative continues actively to seek legislation that would make the expired direct Charitable IRA Rollover permanent and expanded to include life income gifts.
“Our recent activities: meetings in Washington D.C. in April and May with key legislators and their aides, plus a meeting with Ways and Means Committee staff members. We have also had two meetings with staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (“JCT”). These are hard-to-get meetings. Congress wants to know the cost (called “the score”) of the proposed legislation. The JCT gets over 10,000 requests per year for scores and, we are told, can only score a few hundred bills. The congressman and senator who have asked that our bill be scored have been told that we will have a score in June. We were fortunate in being able to meet the JCT and give them our reasons why the life income provision could have a neutral or positive score.
“It has been a cliché that the two things one should not see being made are sausages and laws. The U.S. Senate demonstrated this just recently by making the America Gives More Act (H.R. 644) passed by a two-thirds majority in the House and put on the Senate calendar – disappear from the face of the earth.
“How could that be? It takes 60 votes to be placed on the Senate calendar. The Senate was debating the Pacific trade bill, but didn’t have 60 votes. However, there was the America Gives More Act (that would make the direct Charitable IRA Rollover and a few other charitable provisions permanent) sitting on its calendar. PRESTO: the title of the bill was changed to a trade bill title, all of the charitable provisions were removed, and the trade provisions were substituted.
“Bottom line: There is no longer a bill passed by the House and before the Senate that makes permanent the direct Charitable IRA Rollover. For this reason, we believe our efforts to make permanent the expired law and expand it takes on additional and timely importance.
“We will be back in Washington for two days in June to press our case.”
Charitable IRA Initiative Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2015
(Washington D.C.) A group of national leaders in planned giving and philanthropy have formed the Charitable IRA Initiative, a 501(c) 4) non-profit organization with the sole purpose of encouraging members of the U. S. Congress and the President to enact permanent legislation enabling owners of IRAs to transfer their IRA assets to the American charities. IRA rollovers could be outright gifts up to $100,000 per year or life income agreements up to $500,000/year. There are no income taxes on IRA charitable rollovers.
Lindsay Lapole, Chairman of the American Council on Gift Annuities, is the president of the Charitable IRA Initiative; Michael Kenyon, President/CEO of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning is vice president; John Pierce, Senior Gift Planner, Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, is secretary; and Sister Georgette Lehmuth, President/CEO of the National Catholic Development Conference, is treasurer. Conrad Teitell serves as the volunteer legal counsel to the Charitable IRA Initiative.
Lapole says, “IRA rollover legislation, allowing outright gifts of IRAs up to $100,000/year, enacted in 2006. It has been periodically renewed and resulted in substantial gifts to America’s charities. The temporary nature of IRA renewal bills has dampened the growth of IRA gifts to America’s non-profit organizations. These are the very organizations upon which we all rely to deliver human services, provide education, health services, support the arts, conservation and so many other services that play key roles in providing the quality of life Americans hold dear.”
“Our dual agenda items are to first make the outright gift IRA rollover provision permanent. This will allow IRA owners 70½ years and older to give $100,000 annually in outright gifts from their personal IRA accounts without having to wait until late December to receive word from Congress and the White House. Further, the expansion of the legislation will also allow IRA owners 59 ½ and older to create life income agreements with portions of their IRA assets up to a limit of $500,000 annually. These agreements will pay income to those IRA owners and their spouses for life, often with a larger payout (5% minimum in the case of charitable trusts) than their IRA required minimum distribution (RMD). At the same time these donors will be taking the opportunity of having a phenomenally positive impact on America’s needy. Because these IRA rollover gifts are not deductible, we believe that permanent and life-income IRA rollovers will be revenue neutral or even positive to the Treasury.”
Click here to download a copy of the press release.
Call to Action: ACGA and NCDC Statement to the Senate Finance Committee on the Charitable IRA Initiative
The American Council on Gift Annuities, along with the National Catholic Development Conference, with the support of Conrad Teitell as volunteer legal counsel, submitted a statement to the Senate Finance Committee on the Charitable IRA Initiative. Click here to read a copy of the statement that was submitted.
The ACGA encourages each of you, our sponsors, to reach out and submit your own statement to the SFC by April 15th. Click here for an article written by Conrad Teitell in the April issue of Taxwise which includes information on how to submit your own statement.
Please contact us immediately if you have a relationship with a "working group" Senator in any of the following states. This will give the Charitable IRA Initiative the opportunity to follow up. The group’s co-chairs are Senators Grassley (R-IA), Enzi (R-WY) and Stabenow (D-MI). The other members are Senators Crapo (R-ID), Cornyn (R-TX), Toomey (R-PA), Schumer (D-NY), Nelson (D-FL), Menendez (D-NJ) and Bennet (D-CO).
Your participation in this effort can help make a difference.
IRA Charitable Rollover Legislation Signed
Today, President Barack Obama signed legislation to reinstate retroactively the IRA charitable rollover. While the timeline for making IRA charitable rollover gifts is tight (the reinstatement expires January 1, 2015), it is not too late to let your donors know that they still have time to take advantage of this gifting opportunity. The provision allows each IRA owner who is 70 1/2 or older to make direct transfers of up to a total of $100,000 per year to one or more qualified charities. The IRA charitable rollover is tax-free and not included in adjusted gross income. For more information and planning thoughts, please watch the video presentation from Emanuel J. Kallina II, J.D., LL.M., Managing Member of Kallina & Associates, LLC and ACGA Board member.
As a reminder, the IRA rollover provision excludes IRA transfers to fund charitable gift annuities.
Take Action TODAY - IRA Rollover Legislation
Urge Your House Member of Congress to Pass Legislation That Includes a Permanent Extension of the IRA Rollover Provision
We have learned that the House plans to place a standalone bill on the suspension calendar (a fast-track means of passing legislation) that would permanently extend the following three charitable provisions that were contained in the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (H.R. 5771):
- the IRA Rollover provision
- the deduction for gifts of food inventory and
- the deduction for conservation easement contributions.
In order for this bundle to pass the House, 50-65 Democrats are needed to vote in favor of the bill. Time is of the essence as we've heard that a House vote could come as early as today.
ACGA's Statement Regarding the House’s Tax Reform Bill
ACGA requests that the House’s tax reform bill:
- Make permanent the IRA/charitable rollover for direct transfers to public charities (expiring this year).
- Expand the IRA/charitable rollover to allow a rollover for charitable life-income plans for donors.
- Provide an option for donors to make charitable contributions by April 15 and elect to deduct them on the prior year’s income tax return (due by April 15 in the year that the election is made).
- For all new charitable remainder unitrusts and annuity trusts, decrease the minimum annual payment to three percent.
Click here to read the full statement.