Gift option eliminates tax on IRA income

| December 10, 2013

The season of giving is here and if you’re thinking about how to reduce your 2013 tax liability through charitable contributions, you might consider asking your financial advisor about rolling over any IRA required minimum distributions you are required to withdraw this year.

If you’ve already given this way — and many have, says development’s Gloria Higginbotham, who’s processed at least six RMD contributions in the past 30 days — the College thanks you. While the end-of-year deadline is near, Sweet Briar’s director of planned giving Margie Lippard says there’s still time to do it.

Patti Pusey hoists a trophy at the Class of 1960’s 50th reunion. The class won both the Participation Award and the Centennial Award in 2010.

“For those alumnae and friends of Sweet Briar who are ages seventy and a half and above, a special window of opportunity exists until Dec. 31, 2013, to give up to one-hundred thousand dollars directly to Sweet Briar from your IRA and eliminate income taxation on the distribution,” Lippard says. “The charitable IRA rollover is a tax-savvy form of giving: You’ll make a difference to Sweet Briar and to your 1040.”

For retirees such as Patti Powell Pusey ’60 and her husband, Bill, donating some of their required individual retirement account distributions has become a staple since reaching 70 1/2, when the IRS requires that IRA owners begin withdrawing money. The direct charitable rollover has been an option since 2006, although the provision is set to expire at the end of this year. Congress can renew it, as it has in previous terms — but there is no guarantee lawmakers will, according to Forbes magazine.

“I use the IRA required distribution for most of our gifts. No sense increasing our taxable income if I can gift it to SBC,” Pusey says, with the admonition that a tax advisor should be consulted.

Pusey, who graduated cum laude with a degree in modern European history, is an ardent supporter of Sweet Briar for what she calls “lifetime contributions” to her life with Bill and their children, Patricia, Margaret and William “Biff” Pusey.

“Two trends stand out that began while at Sweet Briar,” she says. “Aside from the outstanding academic background, I learned that I was considered a leader. This realization has allowed me to take on many volunteer challenges. It also gave me the courage to establish a twenty-eight-year career as a security-licensed insurance broker with Connecticut Mutual Life/MassMutual. Learning how to learn at SBC made this possible.

“Secondly, my college contacts have been invaluable to me, as Bill and I have lived in various cities. Whether it was San Francisco, two stints in Richmond, or Arlington, [Sweet Briar] women have welcomed us, introduced us to their friends and made each place a marvelous home for us and our family. We have been truly blessed by this fabulous female network!”

Because of her gratitude, Pusey has actively supported Sweet Briar in many ways, including working on each five-year reunion, chairing the National Reunion Gift Committee — through which she made friends in other class years — and serving eight years on the board of directors.

“What fun it has been and continues to be today,” Pusey says.

Of course, Pusey wasn’t a passive observer during the four years she spent as a student — and she remembers them fondly. She excelled academically and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Among her many activities, she played basketball for four years, making varsity captain as a senior; sang in the choir; served on numerous committees; and was Reid Hall president her sophomore year and her senior-year SGA vice president. She even edited photos for Briar Patch and was tapped as a Q.V. — not coincidentally an honor bestowed on the most enthusiastic and spirited members of the first-year class.

She also took part in past and still-treasured traditions — such as the now-gone May Court and the Ring Game, which is still happening today. That’s how she announced her engagement to Bill.

“The marriage is still going strong after fifty-three years,” she says.

Thanks to Pusey and donors like her, so is Sweet Briar.

Tags: ,

Category: Alumnae and Development