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Congress Makes IRA Charitable Transfers Permanent

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Support Texas by making a direct gift from your IRA. It’s easy, and now is the time.

On December 18, 2015, Congress passed legislation to permanently extend the opportunity for Americans age 70½ or older to make direct transfers up to $100,000 from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to charitable organizations. You no longer have to wait until December every year to see if Congress will allow IRA transfers because they are here to stay. Now you can use this tool to make a difference at Texas at any time and save on your income tax.

Many alumni and friends have taken advantage of this opportunity to support The University of Texas at Austin since it first passed in 2006. Together, they have provided more than $17 million to support faculty experts and the brightest students who are working together to solve society’s biggest challenges.

These gifts have truly transformed UT Austin while allowing donors to give to a good cause and avoid paying income tax on their mandatory IRA distributions. You can designate your IRA gift to the people and programs you care most about at UT Austin.

How to Make IRA Transfers to UT Austin

To qualify for the IRA charitable transfer, the gift must come directly from your IRA administrator, should be made payable to The University of Texas at Austin, and mailed to:

University Development Office
Gift Planning Team
P.O. Box 7458
Austin, TX 78713-7458

Ask your IRA administrator to include your name and gift designation in the accompanying documentation. You may designate an unrestricted gift to UT Austin or give to a specific college, department, or program. If giving to a specific area, please include that information with your gift.

UT’s Tax Identification Number is 74-6000203

For the 2016 tax year, the check must be postmarked by December 31, 2016. If the IRA transfer will be made using stock or other securities, please contact Charlotte Hambrick at the University of Texas System at or (512) 499-4346 for stock transfer instructions.

Printable instructions available here.

Our Gift and Estate Planning Team is ready to answer your questions or to speak with your advisor. Call 512-475-9632, Toll-free: 800-687-4602 or email:

Thank you for your generous support of The University of Texas of Austin. Because of you, What Starts Here Changes the World.


Peter and Claire Buenz celebrating the 100th birthday of Dr. John McKetta, namesake of the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering

“For several years, I was able to make a transfer directly from my IRA to the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering to begin funding an endowed chair in my family’s name,” says Peter Buenz, a 1960 chemical engineering alumnus. “It was a smart way to give and make a difference for the institution that had given me the gift of education and been a conduit to my success.”

Peter R. Buenz, B.S. in Chemical Engineering 1960, and his wife, Claire, B.A. in Business, 1957


More About the IRA Charitable Transfer

Congress has permanently extended the opportunity for Americans to make direct transfers from their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to public charities for 2015 and beyond. While individuals may begin taking distributions from their IRAs as early as age 59½, they are required to begin taking them at age 70½. The mandatory distribution often creates a tax burden, even if the individual donates the money to charity. The IRA charitable transfer provision, established under the Pension Protection Act, allows those at least 70½ to donate up to $100,000 to charitable organizations directly from their IRA, without treating the distribution as taxable income.

This has the ability to help senior citizens who have often paid off their mortgage and therefore no longer file itemized returns. The provision neutralizes negative tax consequences and encourages charitable giving during one’s lifetime.

  • Eligibility Age. Taxpayers age 70½ and older are required to make annual distributions from their IRAs which are then included in the taxpayers’ adjusted gross income (AGI) and subject to taxes. The IRA charitable transfer permits those taxpayers to make donations directly to charitable organizations from their IRAs without counting them as part of their AGI and, consequently, without paying taxes on them. No charitable tax deduction is allowed because these IRA transfers involve assets that have never been taxed.
  • Annual Cap. A donor’s total combined charitable IRA contributions cannot exceed $100,000 in any one year.
  • Eligible Charities. Charitable contributions from an IRA must go directly to a public charity that is not a supporting organization. Contributions to donor-advised funds and private foundations, except in narrow circumstances, do not qualify for tax-free IRA contributions. Transfers to charitable gift annuities or charitable remainder trusts do not qualify either because the donor receives a benefit.
  • Eligible Retirement Accounts. Distributions can only be made from traditional Individual Retirement Accounts or Roth IRAs. Charitable donations from 403(b) plans, 401(k) plans, pension plans, and other retirement plans are ineligible for the tax-free treatment.
  • Directly to the Charity. Distributions must be made directly from the IRA trustee payable to the public charity.
  • No Gifts in Return. Donors cannot receive any goods or services in return for charitable IRA transfer contributions in order to qualify for tax-free treatment. The gift cannot be used to pay memberships or to retain or obtain preferred seating for athletic events.
  • Written Receipt. In order to benefit from the tax-free treatment, donors must obtain written substantiation of each IRA transfer from each recipient charity. UT Austin will provide a receipt.


IRS Circular 230 Notice: The University of Texas at Austin does not provide legal, tax, or financial advice. Consequently we urge you to seek the advice of your own legal, tax, or financial professionals in connection with gift and planning matters. This information is not intended to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding tax-related penalties.