American Alliance of Museums news: IRA Charitable Rollover Reinstated

This is great news for museums!

Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 3.40.21 PMHouse of Representatives Passes Bill Permanently Reinstating IRA Charitable Rollover

Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4719, legislation that would permanently reinstate three charitable giving tax incentives, among them the IRA Charitable Rollover provision. This strong, bipartisan vote came on the heels of an open letter from over 850 nonprofit organizations in support of these provisions. More than 220 museums spanning 47 states joined the Alliance in signing on.

“I congratulate the House of Representatives on passing this common sense legislation, and hope the Senate will act on it,” said Alliance President Ford W. Bell. “The IRA Charitable Rollover is a vital tool in museums’ efforts to deepen their economic and educational impact in their communities.”

The IRA Charitable Rollover provision helped Americans donate over $140 million from their retirement accounts to causes they believed in, including many museums, in the first two years of its existence. It has since expired temporarily on multiple occasions, creating unnecessary confusion for donors and organizations alike. See more details in our Issue Brief on charitable giving.

While we appreciate the efforts of Representatives who supported this bill, it should be noted that those who opposed it mainly voiced concerns about the cost of the provisions and the legislative process, rather than the substance. The outlook for this legislation is unclear, as a proposal to extend these provisions for two years is currently stalled in the Senate. However, the House vote is an important step in the process, and the Alliance will continue to monitor this issue.

House Committee Restores Arts and Humanities Funding

Last week, we asked you to help stop proposed $8 million cuts each to the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. This week, the Appropriations Committee unanimously adopted an amendment that reversed those cuts! Congratulations to the museum advocates who sent more than 800 letters to Congress, helping make this victory happen.