A Tax-Saving Way to Help the University of Massachusetts Amherst

See Your Generosity in Action

Make a difference today and save on taxes. It’s possible when you support the University of Massachusetts Amherst through your IRA.

A Special Opportunity for Those 70½ Years Old and Older

You can give any amount (up to a maximum of $100,000) per year from your IRA directly to a qualified charity such as the University of Massachusetts Amherst without having to pay income taxes on the money. Gifts of any value $100,000 or less are eligible for this benefit and you can feel good knowing that you are making a difference at UMass Amherst. This popular gift option is commonly called the IRA charitable rollover, but you may also see it referred to as a qualified charitable distribution, or QCD for short.

Why Consider This Gift?

  • Your gift will be put to use today, allowing you to see the difference your donation is making.
  • Beginning in the year you turn 72, you can use your gift to satisfy all or part of your required minimum distribution (RMD).
  • 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.
  • Since the gift doesn’t count as income, it can reduce your annual income level. This may help lower your Medicare premiums and decrease the amount of Social Security that is subject to tax.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 gifts 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 Massachusetts Amherst. 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?
A. Yes, absolutely. Beginning in the year you turn 72, you can use your gift to satisfy all or part of your RMD.

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 no more than $100,000 per year. If your IRA is valued at more than $100,000, you can transfer a portion of it to fund a charitable gift.

Q. When do I need to make my gift?
A. We must receive your gift by Dec. 31 for your donation to qualify this year. If you have check-writing privileges on your IRA, please mail your check by Dec. 18 in order to give us time to process your gift before the end of the year.

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 per year. 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, they can also give any amount up to $100,000 from their IRA.

Q. Can I use the transfer to fund life-income gifts like charitable remainder trusts or charitable gift annuities?
A. Unfortunately, the law does not permit using a qualified charitable distribution to establish a charitable gift annuity or a charitable remainder trust.

Q. I’ve already named the University of Massachusetts Amherst 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 any amount 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.

For Those 59½ Years Old or Older

If you’re at least 59½ years old, you can take a distribution and then make a gift from your IRA without penalty. If you itemize your deductions, you can take a charitable deduction for the amount of your gift.

At Any Age

No matter your age, you can designate the University of Massachusetts Amherst as the beneficiary of all or a percentage of your IRA and it will pass to us tax-free after your lifetime. It’s simple, just requiring that you contact your IRA administrator for a change-of-beneficiary form or download a form from your provider’s website.

Tip: It’s critical to let us know of your gift because many popular retirement plan administrators assume no obligation to notify a charity of your designation. The administrator also will not monitor whether your gift designations are followed. We would love to talk to you about your intentions to ensure that they are followed. We would also like to thank you for your generosity.

An Example from UMass Amherst

John Spinney JrA first-generation college graduate, John Spinney Jr., Isenberg '87, worked hard to put himself through school. He credited his later success to the education he received at UMass Amherst. This gratitude as well as a deep desire to give back, led John to support UMass Amherst through a variety of gifts, such as naming UMass Amherst as a beneficiary of his retirement account.

This gift ensures his legacy will live on for future generations of students.

Read John's full story.

Not Sure How to Begin Planning?

Download our FREE Personal Estate Planning Kit

Next Steps

  1. Contact Joseph K. Jayne at 413-577-1418 or gift.planning@umass.edu for additional information on giving an IRA gift.
  2. Seek the advice of your financial or legal advisor.
  3. Ask your IRA administrator about making a direct transfer to UMass Amherst or have the administer send a check from your account to us. (To be tax free, the donation must go directly from your account to UMass Amherst without passing through your hands.)

Legal Name: University of Massachusetts Amherst
Address: 134 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01003-9270
Federal Tax ID Number: Please contact us for our federal tax ID number.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the University of Massachusetts Amherst a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I designate _________________ to the University of Massachusetts Amherst at Memorial Hall, 134 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01003-9270. I request this gift be used for __________________ (for instance, a specific department, college, school or program, a scholarship, or for general purposes of the campus)."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to UMass Amherst or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to UMass Amherst as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to UMass Amherst as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and UMass Amherst where you agree to make a gift to UMass Amherst and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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