Briefing on the Secure Act for Fundraisers

Ok, I’m ready to give a briefing on the surprise new law – The Secure Act!

There were a lot of major changes to IRA planning in the new law, making charitable IRA giving or charitable IRA beneficiary designation more attractive than ever!

Join us for this special 1 hour briefing for fundraisers on the relevant law changes to nonprofits and planned giving.

Date: January 15th, 2020

Time: 12 noon EASTERN

Webinar – sign up and you will receive both the live webinar link and the recording link – as well as the PowerPoint handout.


Finally something new! The Secure Act of 2019 and Planned Giving

Without a lot of fanfare, Congress actually passed something and it was signed into law by the President!

One of my clients alerted me to this new law – not sure if that says more about me or the stealthiness of this one slipping through.

In any case, the Secure Act will be law as of January 1, 2020, and a few of its changes may impact Planned Giving!

Here is my quick overview of the items that may impact Planned Giving as well as general giving to nonprofits:

  1. No more stretch inherited stretch IRAs – the new law requires non-spouses to withdraw inherited IRA funds within 10 years.  That may not sound so exciting but it may have an impact on planned giving in a few ways.  Firstly, in my first speech (to a small board) as a planned giving officer in 1998, I started talking about how IRAs are so heavily taxed and how people should at least consider leaving them to charity – I was promptly interrupted by an experienced attorney who said the stretch IRA was the answer to over-taxation of IRAs (end of that point).  And, he was right…until this new law.  Inherited IRAs, some of which might be very large, could be subject to a lot of taxes (in fact, I think this will likely be a cash windfall for the government as many will just live with the new rule).  Time to step up education efforts on this – why should so much of your IRA go to the government in taxes?
  2. Charitable Remainder Trusts and Charitable Gift Annuities are actually one solution for those looking to replace the stretch IRA!! – Incredible as it may seem, but Charitable Remainder Trusts in particular are being touted as an option for those looking to create a lifetime income stream for heir from IRAs.  Basically, leave your IRA to a CRT (or CGA) to your heir and they can receive income for life!  No income tax on the funds going into the CRT, only income tax on the income payments (probably all ordinary income – another decent deal for the government).  More to come on this soon (probably in a new webinar).
  3. IRA RMDs (Required Minimum Distributions) now don’t start until age 72 (up from age 70.5) – This basically means that people are not forced to start withdrawing from their IRAs for an extra 2 years (not sure how this effects other retirement accounts – probably applies to 403b and 401k accounts, too).  I would say this is good news for charitable IRA beneficiary designations – maybe people start withdrawing later and leave more for charities. Maybe. I wonder why they put this in – it’s the opposite of getting rid of the stretch IRA, less tax money assuming many decide to wait.  Hmmm.
  4. Removal of age limits to contributing to IRAs – The rule was once you reached age 70.5, you could no longer make contributions to regular IRAs. Now, there is no age limit.  Meaning:  planners may come up with reasons for older people to continue to contribute to their IRAs into their 70s and up.  For those over age 50, you can contribute up to $7,000 a year to your IRA and get above-line tax deduction!  With all of the deduction loses from the 2018 tax bill, you may still have people looking for ways to reduce immediate taxes. All of this could lead to even larger IRA accounts, and presumably larger charitable IRA beneficiary designations.
  5. Possible side effect for IRA qualified charitable distributions(warning – this is a quote from, not a particularly trustworthy source and I couldn’t verify if this was true)  “After reaching age 70 1/2, you can make qualified charitable contributions of up to $100,000 per year directly from your IRA(s). These contributions are called qualified charitable distributions, or QCDs. Effective for QCDs made in a tax year beginning after 2019, the $100,000 QCD limit for that year is reduced (but not below zero) by the aggregate amount of deductions allowed for prior tax years due to the aforementioned Secure Act change. In other words, deductible IRA contributions made for the year you reach age 70 1/2 and later years can reduce your annual QCD allowance.”

After I spend a few days digging into this new law, I will see if I have enough material for one of my webinar tax briefings. Stay tuned!!!


The State of Planned Giving in 2020 and Beyond

I am pleased to announce a special event – The State of Planned Giving in 2020 and Beyond – will be happening on December 16th, including live on-site presentations in Newark, NJ, as well as opportunity to participate via your computer anywhere in the world!
This is the first live, onsite conference I’ve offered in several years.  And, anyone from around the world can participate virtually, too!  The conference will start at 9 am (light breakfast, i.e. coffee) and shmoozing, and the actual presentation will start at 9:30 am!
Here are the topics being covered:
  • Is the Great Wealth Transfer Finally Here? Jonathan will go over the latest data points on giving and planned giving from various sources (Giving USA, VSE, and more) to determine if we are finally seeing the beginnings of the Great Wealth Transfer as predicted in the mid-90s.
  • Itemizer misery or not? Wild predictions of doom for nonprofit fundraising were made in light of the 2018 tax law changes. We will review both historical and the latest IRS data on itemizer giving to finally see what the impact of that law was and how it may impact fundraising going forward.
  • Outlook for Planned Giving in 2020 and Beyond – Based on the data presented, Jonathan will discuss the biggest planned giving opportunities going into 2020 and beyond for fundraisers to focus on, as well as other trends that we should all be on the watch for.
The program will go through 11:00 am, and live attendees can hang around to schmooze more!
The presentation portion will be recorded for all registrants. Virtual registrants will be able to watch the program from any location in the world via their computer, tablet or even smart phone.

Real Estate and Planned Giving

Recently, a client of mine set up some sort of widget on their website to encourage gifts of real estate – and guess what – we have too many leads, most of whom are not connected to the charity and were just looking online for ways to gift their unwanted real estate.

Apparently, a lot of people have property that they would like to give away (most of which sane charities may reject for various reasons).  But, this phenomenon may be hint to big opportunities being overlooked by most in the fundraising world.

Our latest new webinar – Real Estate and Planned Giving – is scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday 9/25 at 12 NOON EASTERN).

In this session, we will cover the basics of real estate gifts, and then go through Bargain SalesLife EstatesCRTsCGAs and Lead Trusts as vehicles for creative planned gifts funded with real estate.

Our goal for this session is to expose you the breadth of creative ideas for real estate while showing you how to present these ideas to your donors.


Also, our next Planned Giving Boot Camp dates are set:

And, finally, check out the recordings for our recent sessions for September 2019:

  • Interested in our prior webinar: Is the Great Wealth Transfer Finally Here? (my annual search for the $41 trillion dollar wealth transfer as predicted in the mid-1990’s).  In over 50 data slides, I reviewed all of the latest fundraising and planned giving numbers from Giving USA, the VSE, the IRS (focusing on the itemizer question), and updated demographic projections. Just $35 for the recording and PowerPoint (so you can create your own presentations with the data).  CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE THE RECORDING
  • Interested in our prior webinar: Planned Giving for High Net Wealth Prospects?  This is a new session devoted entirely to planned giving vehicle discussions with High Net Wealth individuals (assets of $5 million+). We will go through tax and planning issues facing this level of prospects and offer a handful of new approaches to Planned Giving that should spark their interest in a structured gift.  CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE THE RECORDING
As always, thank you for considering our programs and services!  Please feel free to email me if you have any questions.
Best regards,
Jonathan Gudema, Esq.
Principal, Planned Giving Advisors, LLC