Leave a Legacy


New Laws and Charitable Giving

$1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan Will Affect Giving Only Indirectly

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP), a $1.9 trillion package of initiatives aimed at facilitating the U.S.’s recovery from the health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ARP provides economic assistance to individuals in a variety of ways, primarily to Americans making less than $75,000/year (or couples making less than $150,000/year). It also extends the Paycheck Protection Program for businesses, creates block grants to help schools reopen and expand childcare, provides aid to state and local government, and much more.

What the ARP does not contain is any provision directly related to charitable contributions. For example, it does not extend further the charitable deduction for non-itemizers or the 100% of AGI limit election available for gifts of cash to public charities, both of which are set to expire at the end of 2021. Rather, the ARP’s effect on gift planning will depend on how much it hastens an end to the pandemic and catalyzes an economic recovery. The sooner those two things happen, the more confident donors will feel about their future and the more readily they will make outright and planned gifts.

We expect that Congress and the Biden Administration will turn their attention to a tax bill sometime in the next several months that, if passed, will assuredly have important implications for fundraising. Keep your eyes open for tax talk in Washington. We will be.
 

Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 Gives Special Tax Incentives for Giving

Congress has provided several economic incentives to help address the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including additional tax incentives to encourage charitable giving. We would like to bring to your attention temporary tax rules for charitable giving enacted by Congress late last year as a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. Note that these incentives are temporary and are scheduled to expire at the end of 2021.

You may deduct gifts of cash to most public charities to offset as much as 100% of your income! For the 2021 tax year, you may deduct cash contributions to The LeTourneau University Foundation and most other public charities to offset up to 100% of your income. Ordinarily, the income tax charitable deduction for cash gifts is limited to 60% of your income. This 100% limit allows especially generous donors to reduce their federal income tax to zero. If you are even more generous, you can carry forward unused cash contribution deductions for up to five years.

It may not be the tax-wise choice to deduct up to 100% of your income. Because federal income tax rates are progressive, it is not a given that it will be to your advantage to deduct 100% of your cash contributions. Check with your financial or other advisors to determine whether the 100% deduction makes sense for your specific circumstances.

If you don’t itemize you may reduce your taxable income by $300 for your charitable contributions in 2021. If you do not itemize your deductions you may reduce your taxable income for your charitable contributions in 2021. If you do not itemize your deductions, you can reduce your taxable income by up to $300 (or $600 for married couples filing jointly) for contributions of cash to public charities.

Qualified charitable distributions are still a great way to make contributions if you are 70½ or older. A qualified charitable distribution (“QCD” or “IRA charitable rollover”) allows you to make a tax-free gift of up to $100,000 to The LeTourneau University Foundation from your IRA if you are 70½ or older. A qualified charitable distribution is a great way to make tax advantageous contributions, especially if you don’t itemize your deductions. [The CARES Act suspension of the required minimum distribution from most retirement plans for 2020 does not appear to have been extended into 2021.]

You have important priorities for your family and loved ones, and we know that their health and financial well-being comes first. When you are ready, we will be here to help you shape a charitable gift plan that suits your needs and allows you to keep helping with our important work. Please contact Thomas E. Bevan at leavealegacy@letufoundation.org or call 903.233.3833 to learn about the many ways you can support The LeTourneau University Foundation.

“Estate and Legacy Planning” – Does it Really Matter?

Think about this: early in the life of Israel we see the Lord repeatedly reminding them about the importance of passing on to “their children and their children’s children” God’s testimony of faithfulness (Deuteronomy 4:9 and following).  God went on to tell the children of Israel that He wasn't’t talking directly with their children, but rather with them – because “their eyes had seen” all that the Lord had done (Deuteronomy 11:2-7). 

Estate planning, when done with intentionality and by including a narrative of one’s life, can be an incredible means of motivating future generations.  Further empowering such planning with tax wise strategies that endow heirs as well as those ministries that have had an impact upon you and your family assures there is a means by which that consistent behavior is facilitated!

Watch for our next installment where we will purpose to unpack …

  • what estate and legacy planning is
  • why it’s important
  • what it looks like

and most importantly,

  • how it can be a compelling motivation for succeeding generations when it is empowered with an integrated level of charitable gift planning

As always, if we can be of service to you in this area, or for any questions you may have, please do not hesitate to email us at leavealegacy@letufoundation.org or call us toll-free at 903-500-2972 and ask for Tom Bevan.

And always a proper disclaimer: When considering what we might point to by way of a benefit to you in any given situation, always assure to consult your legal and tax advisor for what qualifies as the actual tax treatment of that scenario in your unique situation.

Scholarships play a major role in the lives of LETU students. More than 90% of the student body receives financial assistance from scholarships, grants, and loans. But with graduating seniors incurring significant financial debt, it is our goal to lessen the burden and increase our scholarship aid. Endowed scholarships play a vital role in decreasing the debt burden on students.

Why do LETU alumni and friends choose to establish Endowed Scholarship Funds?

  • To perpetuate the memory or legacy of a loved one;
  • To honor positive role models who have significantly influenced others;
  • To invest in today's students who will influence every workplace and every nation for Christ tomorrow.

Endowed Scholarships provide significant impact:

  • Equip leaders for tomorrow today;
  • Recruit and retain outstanding students seeking the hands-on, Christ-centered education that has for decades been the strength of LETU;
  • Recognize and reward outstanding performance by students with demonstrated financial need.

Endowed professorships, chairs, programs and schools are also available. Call 903.233.3833 to establish your endowment today.

Many companies will match their employees' charitable gifts. Some will even match the donations of retirees or employees' spouses! You can make your money double or even triple and at the same time invest in students' lives.

If your company is eligible, request a matching gift form from your employer's Human Resources department. Complete, sign and send in the completed form with your gift- every time you give a gift! Inform your employer of your donation and give them LeTourneau University's mailing address (2100 S. Mobberly Ave. Longview, TX 75607) so they can make the match. We will do the rest.

Giving a cash gift isn't the only way you can support LeTourneau University students. All you have to do is sign up for all the programs below and then let your shopping do the donating. It's that easy! Your normal, everyday shopping will help the LETU Annual Fund provide scholarship aid to deserving students. Thank you!

Give by Shopping

You're going to buy things anyway, right? Here are some ways your purchase can benefit LeTourneau University.

Amazon Smile
Start your shopping at smile.amazon.com, choose LeTourneau University as your selected organization, and the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases.

Kroger
If you are a KrogerPlus member, Kroger's Community Rewards program donates a portion of your eligible purchases to the organization of your choice. Choose LETU! Visit https://www.kroger.com/topic/kroger-community-rewards-3 to enroll with your membership card and choose LeTourneau University (NPO# 84780). Don't forget to re-enroll each year to continue in the Community Rewards program.

Tom Thumb
Tom Thumb's Good Neighbor Program allows customers to direct donation dollars to a favorite church, school or other non-profit organization. Visit the courtesy booth at your local store to link your reward card to our account (use our Charity# 9090).

Give by Donating Goods (Gifts-in-Kind)

CONTACT:

Breaking News: New legislation has passed that can grant continued tax incentives for giving in 2021.
Click here for info.  

800.259.LETU [Toll-Free]

903.233.3801 [Fax]

Email
leavealegacy@letufoundation.org

Mailing Address
Office of Development
LeTourneau University
P.O. Box 7333
Longview, Texas 75607-7333