May 31, 2007

Recent IRA Gift from Lind Illustrates New Giving Opportunity


The University of Alaska is sharing in some of the benefits of a recent tax law change that makes gifts from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) advantageous to donors. Marshall Lind, a past Chancellor of both the University of Alaska Southeast and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, transferred funds from his IRA to the University of Alaska Foundation earlier this year to support student scholarship funds at both institutions and in support of the Georgeson Botanical Garden at UAF. 

Mr. Lind’s gift was made possible by a newly instituted provision of the IRS code that allows individuals to transfer funds from their IRAs to non-profits without realizing those distributions as income. Normally any distribution from an IRA causes those funds to be treated as income to the individual upon which a tax may have to be paid.  However, the IRS provision creates a one year “window” during which such transfers do not trigger an income tax liability.  The window closes on December 31, 2007.  It is open only to those individuals who are 70˝  at the time of the transfer and is limited to $100,000.  While the transfer is not eligible for a tax deduction as a charitable gift, avoiding the realization of the transferred funds as income can be a significant benefit to an individual depending upon their own financial situation.

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