A tax law that makes it easy to give?
A way for you to experience tax savings and benefit the church you love? Yes!
If you are 70 ½ or older, and have a traditional IRA, giving directly to your congregation or to your SW MN Synod from that IRA can provide tax advantages for you when that gift is given directly from your IRA account to your congregation, the synod, or any of the many ministries of the ELCA.
As you know, the federal tax law changes adopted at the end of 2017 led more people to use the standard deduction and not deduct their charitable giving. However, those who have a traditional IRA and are 70 ½, can designate all or a portion of their required minimum distribution (RMD) as a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) and not pay income taxes on the amount directed to your congregation or to the synod.
The key is to make sure the money goes directly from your IRA (not from you) to your congregation or synod.
We encourage you to check this out and talk to your financial and/or tax advisor about how this may affect your personal tax situation. The process is not complicated, and those who have taken advantage of this way to give see it as win-win for them – and for the church they love.
If you have questions about this, please feel free to email Pr. Keith Pearson, our new ELCA Foundation Regional Gift Planner, at Keith.Pearson@elca.org or call him at #612-718-4197. Pastors – I encourage you to be in touch with Keith in terms of what this can mean for your congregation. I have found it to be a wonderful opportunity for our people who want to be generous, and who now have an additional pathway to do so.
Thanks for considering this way of giving to support the ministries of your congregation or synod.
+ Pr. Dee Pederson, D.Min.
Director for Evangelical Mission
Southwestern Minnesota Synod, ELCA
“I have a passion for my church, its ministry, and the good work it does for our members and the community. I learned that instead of taking my retirement fund’s minimum required distribution (which becomes taxable income), I can donate all or part of it directly to the church. Because you never receive the money, it is not taxable as income. You then get a tax break and you support the things you have a passion for. It insures that those dollars will support the church you love. Ask your tax advisor for more information – it really is a simple process.”
– Bruce Regan, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, St. Cloud