Almost anything: cash, publicly traded securities, the balance in your retirement account. Other assets can be very valuable but are more complicated to administer and must be reviewed by us before we can accept them as gifts: real estate, closely held stock and artwork.
3. What tax deduction will I receive for my gift?
It depends on the form your gift takes:
Outright gifts to MRC generate a full income-tax charitable deduction. Outright gifts of appreciated securities are deductible at fair market value, with no recognition of capital gains - a great tax benefit!
Gifts of personal property, like art, books and collectibles, are fully deductible so long as they are relevant to our mission. We can advise you on this point.
Bequests do not generate a lifetime income tax deduction. They are exempt from estate tax, however.
Similarly, life insurance distributions to MRC are not income-tax deductible, but are exempt from estate tax.
A lifetime gift of an insurance policy to MRC generates a deduction for the value of the policy. If you give a policy with premiums still owing, you may also deduct annual gifts that offset our premium payments (for more details on this point, see Question 5 below).
4. Can Media Research Center serve as the Executor of my estate?
No. State law, the limitations of our corporate powers, and our internal policies prevent us from taking such a role in your affairs.
5. I want to set up a life insurance policy, name MRC as beneficiary, but retain ownership of the policy. Can I deduct the premium payments I make?
No. The IRS would not consider that a "completed gift" - they'd say that, as the owner of the policy, you could change the beneficiary designation to a friend or family member. MRC must be made the irrevocable owner of the policy for gifts offsetting premium payments to be deductible.
6. Can I transfer my IRA to to
set up a life-income gift, and avoid income tax on the transfer?
New legislation gives donors aged 70½ and older an opportunity to direct lifetime distributions from their IRAs to us without incurring income tax liability on the withdrawal. The provision will be in effect for just the 2006 and 2007 tax years. Distributions can total $100,000 per year, and must be made outright — they cannot fund a life-income gift. Just e-mail us and we'll be happy to give you more information about this new charitable incentive.
7. I'd like to donate a painting. Will you determine its value for my income tax deduction?
No, we can't. The IRS requires that donors of artwork and collectibles secure an independent appraisal of the items to establish fair market value. The appraisal has to be related to the gift, too - an insurance appraisal won't suffice. We can assist you on this point.
8. I'm interested in establishing a charitable gift annuity. What financial provisions do you make for the income payments to me and my husband?
Your charitable gift annuity will be treated as a general obligation of the MRC, backed by all our assets. The Media Research Center is in full compliance with Virginia provisions regarding non-profits' offering of gift annuities. We have an unbroken record in making timely payments to our annuitants, and that ongoing responsibility is a key element in our financial policies. To demonstrate the strength of our asset base, we would be happy to send you a copy of our most recent audited financial statements.
9. If I create a bequest or life-income gift, will MRC continue to ask me for annual contributions?
Unless you specify otherwise, we will continue to suggest annual contributions because the commitments address two different needs.