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Help America By Helping Vote Smart: A Tax-wise Window of Opportunity

29 June 2007
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With the 2008 Election Season swinging into high gear earlier than ever before, and campaigns shattering fundraising records, the battle against the misinformation coming from these campaigns is more important than ever. Obviously, the most important way that you can help to stop the "spin" from these campaigns is to be informed about the candidates running for office, and let others know about Project Vote Smart so that they can be informed as well. However, there is an new way that you can help to support the goals of Project Vote Smart.

If you are age 70 ½, have a traditional or Roth IRA, and want to help Project Vote Smart with an extra donation in 2007, consider this: Congress passed the "Pension Protection Act of 2006," which created a very attractive way of giving to charity from your IRA, but only for the tax years of 2006 and 2007.

Unfortunately, we did not find out about this until March 2007, when it was brought to our attention by one of our members, Julian Babad, of Tucson, who plans to take advantage of the Act's provisions this year to give a generous donation to the Project from his IRA. Julian urged us to share the following information with our members, in case some of you are able to follow his lead before the end of 2007.

The Act applies only to taxpayers who are 70 ½ years old and therefore required to make minimum distribution from their IRAs. This Charitable IRA rollover allows these qualified taxpayers to donate up to $100,000 from their Individual Retirement Accounts tax free in 2007 to charitable organizations. Key provisions of the legislation include:

· Donations must be in cash and must be made directly from your IRA by your IRA custodian-administrator to the charity. The check must be payable to the charity and mailed to the charity. The donor may not be a middle-man in this transaction. There is no limit as to the number of charities to which you may give, but the aggregate of all such giving by any one taxpayer may not exceed $100,000 in any one year.

· The donor suffers NO federal tax consequences in a Charitable IRA Rollover. A Rollover is 100% tax free, whereas a normal IRA distribution goes into your taxable account and is 100% taxable as ordinary income as part of your adjusted gross income.

· Project Vote Smart qualifies for receiving Charitable IRA Rollovers.

The bottom line is that taking advantage of this Charitable IRA Rollover in 2007 to make an extra donation to Project Vote Smart will likely benefit both you and the Project. And as we face the 2008 presidential election year with our plans to spend close to a million dollars to deliver the Voter's Self-Defense System into the hands of every American voter, there is no better time to give the Project that extra help. We could surely use it!

Julian has prepared several documents to help you plan and implement a Charitable IRA Rollover, and I would be happy to send you this information if you are interested. Contact me at aelm@votesmart.org, or (406) 859-8683. For more information, visit this web site: http://independentsector.org/programs/gr/IRArollover.html. Julian does urge you to consult your financial advisor for specific guidance. Thank you, Julian!

By: Adelaide Elm Kimball, Senior Advisor

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