WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) reintroduced the Legacy IRA Act, legislation to increase the tax incentive of elderly middle-class Americans to give to charity. The senators introduced this bill in the last Congress. 

“Most nonprofit organizations rely on charitable donations to stay afloat and continue their missions,” said Senator Cramer. “Our legislation cuts the red tape in the tax code to make it easier for middle-class Americans to generously give their money to worthy causes.”

“Our charitable organizations are key parts of our communities and do such important work, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. These organizations depend on generous contributions from many American families, which is why we introduced our bill to make it easier for people to give to the charity of their choice,” said Senator Stabenow.

Senators Steve Daines (R-MT), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and John Cornyn (R-TX) joined as original cosponsors.

“We should be encouraging more charitable giving, not restricting it. I’m glad to support this legislation that will allow folks to give more to the causes that they support and as a result, raise up to a billion dollars each year for charities across our nation,” said Senator Daines.

“Now more than ever, the work that charitable organizations are doing is vital. They are helping to support Americans across our country, as well as a wide range of critical issues and causes,” said Senator Rosen. “This bipartisan legislation will streamline the process of allowing individuals and their families to give to charitable organizations through their IRA without facing taxation penalties. I will continue working alongside my colleagues to support Americans in their philanthropic endeavors.”

The Legacy IRA Act gives middle-income seniors more flexibility to make gifts to charities through their individual retirement accounts (IRAs). It would expand the IRA Charitable Rollover by enabling seniors age 65 and over to give up to $400,000 annually tax free to an annuity held by the charity of their choice.

Leaders of non-profit organizations which heavily rely on charitable donations like the American Heart Association and Alzheimer’s Association endorsed the legislation and issued statements in support of it.

“The legislation would encourage charitable giving to mission-driven organizations nationwide, enabling seniors to participate in the rich American tradition of philanthropy while continuing to draw needed income from their investments. With organizations like the American Heart Association struggling financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this legislation is needed now more than ever. We are grateful to Senator Stabenow and Senator Cramer for their ongoing leadership on behalf of the nationwide philanthropic community, and we urge broad congressional support for this important bill,” said Suzie Upton, Chief Operating Officer for the American Heart Association. 

“Art museums are more reliant than ever on charitable contributions, now that admissions and other earned revenue are largely off the table due to the pandemic. We offer our thanks to Sens. Stabenow and Cramer for introducing this important legislation,” said Christine Anagnos, Executive Director of Association of Art Museum Directors.

“We continue to applaud bipartisan efforts in Congress to expand charitable giving incentives,” said Eric D. Fingerhut, President and CEO of The Jewish Federations of North America. “The Legacy IRA Act introduced by Sens. Cramer and Stabenow builds on a successful giving incentive and can result in increased resources for charities throughout the country.”

"We are grateful to Sens. Stabenow and Cramer for their leadership to make it easier for American seniors to support philanthropic causes and charitable organizations. This important expansion of the current law will increase charitable giving across the nation, at a time when our nation's charities are stepping up to support American communities. Despite the ongoing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations including the Alzheimer's Association have continued to offer care and support to families, advocated on behalf of our constituents and provided much needed relief," said Robert Egge, Alzheimer's Association Chief Public Policy Officer.

“CASE’s member institutions and the communities they support all benefit from charitable giving in countless ways including through emergency aid, research and student scholarships. That is why we are grateful to Senators Stabenow and Cramer for introducing the Legacy IRA Act,” said Sue Cunningham, President and CEO, Council for Advancement and Support of Education. “This legislation will provide an additional incentive for giving that will transform the lives of students, faculty, and staff at schools, colleges and universities, and the impact of that transformation is felt across communities well beyond the educational institutions themselves.”