A Tax-Saving Way to Help the University of Colorado

See Your Generosity in Action

If you are 70½ years old or older, you can take advantage of a simple way to benefit the University of Colorado and receive tax benefits in return. You can give up to $100,000 from your IRA directly to a qualified charity such as CU without having to pay income taxes on the money.

This law no longer has an expiration date so you are free to make annual gifts to our organization this year and well into the future.

Why Consider This Gift?

  • Your gift will be put to use today, allowing you to see the difference your donation is making for CU students.
  • You pay no income taxes on the gift. The transfer generates neither taxable income nor a tax deduction, so you benefit even if you do not itemize your deductions.
  • If you have not yet taken your required minimum distribution for the year, your IRA charitable rollover gift can satisfy all or part of that requirement.

Sample IRA Designation Letters

Donor to University of Colorado Foundation - IRA Designation
Donor to Plan Provider - IRA Designation

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I've already named the University of Colorado as the beneficiary of my IRA. What are the benefits if I make a gift now instead of after my lifetime?
A. By making a gift this year of up to $100,000 from your IRA, you can see your philanthropic dollars at work. You are jump-starting the legacy you would like to leave and giving yourself the joy of watching your philanthropy take shape. Moreover, you can fulfill any outstanding pledge you may have made by transferring that amount from your IRA as long as it is $100,000 or less for the year.

Q. I'm turning age 70½ in a few months. Can I make this gift now?
A. No. The legislation requires you to reach age 70½ by the date you make the gift.

Q. I have several retirement accounts—some are pensions and some are IRAs. Does it matter which retirement account I use?
A. Yes. Direct rollovers to a qualified charity can be made only from an IRA. Under certain circumstances, however, you may be able to roll assets from a pension, profit sharing, 401(k) or 403(b) plan into an IRA and then make the transfer from the IRA directly to the University of Colorado. To determine if a rollover to an IRA is available for your plan, speak with your plan administrator.

Q. Can my gift be used as my required minimum distribution under the law?
A. Yes, absolutely. If you have not yet taken your required minimum distribution, the IRA charitable rollover gift can satisfy all or part of that requirement. Contact your IRA custodian to complete the gift.

Q. Do I need to give my entire IRA to be eligible for the tax benefits?
A. No. You can give any amount under this provision, as long as it is $100,000 or less this year. If your IRA is valued at more than $100,000, you can transfer a portion of it to fund a charitable gift.

Q. I have two charities I want to support. Can I give $100,000 from my IRA to each?
A. No. Under the law, you can give a maximum of $100,000. For example, you can give each organization $50,000 this year or any other combination that totals $100,000 or less. Any amount of more than $100,000 in one year must be reported as taxable income.

Q. My spouse and I would like to give more than $100,000. How can we do that?
A. If you have a spouse (as defined by the IRS) who is 70½ or older and has an IRA, he or she can also give up to $100,000 from his or her IRA.

Q. Can a rollover gift be used to fund a charitable remainder trust or charitable gift annuity?
A. No. The donor can receive no benefits in return for the gift. This includes life income plan payments.

Q. Can a rollover gift be used to maintain or improve a donor's standing in the Buff Club?
A. No. While a charitable IRA rollover gift can be made to Athletics, the donor is not permitted to receive any Buff Club privileges in exchange for the gift. Otherwise, the gift will not be a qualified charitable IRA rollover.

Q. Are there any benefits that a donor can receive?
A. The only permissible benefits from a charitable IRA rollover gift are those that would not reduce the tax deduction for which the donor would have otherwise qualified. At CU, a charitable IRA rollover gift is allowed to count toward naming opportunities and toward recognition society memberships.

It is wise to consult with your tax professionals if you are contemplating a charitable gift under the extended law. Please feel free to contact the Office of Gift Planning at (303) 541-1229 or giftplanning@cu.edu with any questions you may have.


Personal Perspectives

Wayne F. Cascio

"The advantages to giving to CU Denver directly from my IRA are numerous — the ease of doing this and the tax benefits are terrific! I can support the School of Business and simplify my taxes."
— Wayne F. Cascio, PhD

Marilyn Rowe

"The forms CU provides for a direct charitable distribution through my IRA make it really easy. If it increases your tax break, I'd rather give it to the School than the government. My gift is going to a worthwhile cause—student scholarships."
— Dr. Marilyn Rowe

Terry and Charlotte

"When we reached age 70½ we decided to use our IRAs to fund student scholarships using the IRA Charitable Rollover. CU Boulder worked with us to set up a scholarship program for College of Engineering students and Leeds School of Business students. Seeing the students put the scholarships to work for their education has truly been a humbling and rewarding experience. We have enjoyed getting involved with activities at CU, and are looking forward to continuing the scholarship program for many years to come."
— Terry and Charlotte

Bonnie Camp

"If you plan to do any charitable giving, it makes good sense to donate your required minimum distribution (RMD) directly to a charity because the funds are not considered income and no minimum has to be exceeded. The CU Foundation is an excellent recipient, promptly providing recognition of the gift, offering a wide array of important activities that need financial support, and splitting the gift to support more than one activity if desired. In addition, it has been an easy way for me to initiate funding for activities I think the University should be undertaking. I have used this mechanism to support the John J. Conger, PhD Endowed Visiting Professorship in Child Mental Health Policy and more recently, the newly inaugurated Ruth L. Fuller, MD Endowed Visiting Professorship, celebrating diversity and remembering the struggles of women entering the field of medicine."
— Bonnie Camp, MD

Al and Carol Ann Olson

"The qualified charitable distribution (QCD) is the perfect vehicle for gifting to our favorite charities. The money has already been set aside on a tax-deferred basis, and for those of us over 70 ½, the QCD lets us use it for charitable purposes…With this gift, we are able to allocate support to three segments: the Leeds School Olson Family MBA Entrepreneurship Scholarships; The Anschutz Alzheimers Research Fund; and CU Boulder's Center of the American West."
— Al and Carol Ann Olson

Jane Dillon

"Giving from my IRA makes such good financial sense and it is incredibly easy to call my plan administrator and complete the gift. Not only can I support the areas at UCCS that I love, but gifting directly from my IRA saves income taxes and helps reduce my minimum required distribution."
— Jane Dillon

Pat and Marsha Dawe

"We have made several gifts to CU Denver from each of our IRAs and appreciate the ease of this type of giving and the tax benefits we receive in return. We are able to save on income taxes and support our favorite areas on the Denver campus. It's definitely a win-win situation for everyone!"
— Pat and Marsha Dawe

IRA Rollover Gift Jump Starts Finding a Cure for Type I Diabetes

Peter Gottlieb and his wife, Gabriela, made a contribution from their individual retirement account to create an endowment, which will provide research support for Type I diabetes for years to come.

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