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Friday May 14, 2021

Washington News

Washington Hotline

Emergency Plans for Summer Disasters

In IR-2021-101, the Internal Revenue Service reminded everyone about National Hurricane Preparedness Week and National Wildfire Awareness Month. With the risk of a hurricane, tornado, flood, earthquake or fire disaster this summer, it is an excellent time to update your emergency plan.

Your physical security is a good starting point for your plan. With a hurricane or flood, there is often advanced warning, allowing affected individuals to move to a safe location. However, tornados, wildfires and earthquakes occur with little or no warning. It is important to designate a secure location and prepare an emergency evacuation plan in the event of a natural disaster.

An emergency plan should also include methods to protect your important documents and information.

1. Securing Your Key Documents — The original documents for your tax returns, birth certificates, deeds, vehicle titles and insurance policies should be kept in a waterproof container in a secure space. It is also helpful to make copies of these documents and save those in a different secure location. Another option is to scan the documents and create electronic files. Those electronic files could be stored on a flash drive or secure online server.

2. Document Your Valuables — If you experience a natural disaster, you may need to provide photos to support your insurance claims. While there will be ample opportunity to take photos of the damaged structure or its contents after the disaster, it is helpful to have “before and after” pictures. You may choose to take pictures of the outside and the inside of your home. If you have high value items such as a collection, it is important to take pictures of these items in advance.

You may consider using the disaster-loss workbooks in IRS Publication 584 as a guide. These may be helpful in listing your more valuable or expensive property.

3. Rebuilding and Reconstructing — After you experience an earthquake, fire, flood, hurricane, tornado or other disaster, you may need assistance recovering and rebuilding your records. The Reconstructing Records webpage on IRS.gov may be helpful to you. It explains specific methods to show the nature of losses for your home, vehicles and personal property.

4. IRS Disaster Assistance — If the Federal Emergency Management Agency declares a national disaster in your area, the IRS will usually postpone your tax-filing and tax-payment deadlines. If you are impacted by a natural disaster, you may contact the IRS disaster-response team at 866-562-5227.

You may also wish to review IRS Publication 2194, Disaster Resource Guide for Individuals and Businesses.

Proposed Expanded IRA Charitable Rollover

On May 5, the House Ways and Means Committee passed a bipartisan retirement bill. The Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021 (H.R. 2954) was approved on a voice vote. It now will be sent to the full House for a vote.

The legislation is co-sponsored by House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-MA) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX). It received strong praise from both Democrats and Republicans, who usually refer to the bill as SECURE Act 2.0. It is an add-on to the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act passed in December 2019.

Representatives Neal and Brady introduced SECURE Act 2.0 to enable Americans to save more for retirement. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College indicates that nearly half of American households may not have sufficient funds to maintain their standard of living during retirement.

SECURE Act 2.0 includes a reduced version of the Legacy IRA Act. Section 309 of the SECURE Act 2.0 permits a one-time election for a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) to be made to a charitable gift annuity (CGA), charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT) or charitable remainder annuity trust (CRAT), all split interest vehicles. The one-time election under Section 408(d)(8) would enable an IRA owner to make a distribution of up to $50,000 to a CGA, CRUT or CRAT.

A standard payment CRUT or CRAT would qualify if it is funded exclusively by a QCD. A qualifying gift annuity must also be funded exclusively by QCDs and make payments of at least 5% starting within the first year of funding.

The QCD must be made to a qualified charitable organization. The charitable remainder trust (CRT) or charitable gift annuity income interest must not be assignable. All payouts from a CRT or gift annuity funded with a QCD will be ordinary income.

SECURE Act 2.0 would also increase the $100,000 QCD limit under Section 408(d)(8) (in multiples of $1,000) after 2021 to account for inflation.

Editor's Note: It is significant that the bill had strong bipartisan support. This will facilitate the move to the House floor, with an expected vote in June or July. If the House passes the bill, there could be a Senate vote in October or November. While the one-time QCD limit of $50,000 dollars is not likely to be used to fund CRTs, it will be attractive for many individuals who are interested in the fixed payments from a charitable gift annuity. While the distributions will be all ordinary income, this will be a popular charitable option for millions of American seniors.

Neal and Brady Support SECURE Act 2.0

Both Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) voiced strong support for SECURE Act 2.0.

Chairman Neal indicated that there is a "retirement crisis" in America that will worsen unless individuals are more diligent in planning for retirement. He highlighted the success of the passage of the SECURE Act in 2019. With that legislation, an estimated 600,000 or more new retirement accounts were created.

"But more work needs to be done," continued Chairman Neal. "And that is why I am pleased that Ranking Member Brady and I have come together to develop H.R. 2954, the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021, or SECURE Act 2.0. Building on the successes of the SECURE Act, H.R. 2954 will expand automatic enrollment in 401(k) plans by requiring 401(k), 403(b) and SIMPLE plans to automatically enroll participants in the plans upon becoming eligible, with the ability for employees to opt out of coverage."

Chairman Neal expressed strong preference for this legislation to become law in 2021. He concluded, "Let's not wait another decade to enact the important provisions in the SECURE Act 2.0. Today's bill goes a long way in addressing this country's retirement crisis. I urge all of my colleagues to support this much needed legislation."

Chairman Brady was also effusive in his support. He noted that SECURE Act 2.0 would accomplish several goals. "It promotes retirement savings earlier by automatically enrolling employees in their company's 401(k) plan. It allows employers to match their workers' student loan repayments with contributions to their retirement plans. It encourages small businesses to set up retirement plans for their workers by fully offsetting the paperwork costs and providing a per-employee credit of up to $1,000 for employer matching contributions."

Brady also supported passage of SECURE Act 2.0 in 2021. He concluded, "I look forward to working with you, Mr. Chairman, as we advance and refine this bill, the Securing a Strong Retirement Act, through the legislative process — in a bipartisan fashion — through the rest of this year."

Applicable Federal Rate of 1.2% for May — Rev. Rul. 2021-8; 2021-18 IRB 1 (15 Apr 2021)

The IRS has announced the Applicable Federal Rate (AFR) for May of 2021. The AFR under Section 7520 for the month of May is 1.2%. The rates for April of 1.0% or March of 0.8% also may be used. The highest AFR is beneficial for charitable deductions of remainder interests. The lowest AFR is best for lead trusts and life estate reserved agreements. With a gift annuity, if the annuitant desires greater tax-free payments the lowest AFR is preferable. During 2021, pooled income funds in existence less than three tax years must use a 2.2% deemed rate of return.

Published May 7, 2021
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Maria Poimenidou, 2020
Theodore Diamandopoulos
Memorial Scholarship

"I am currently a senior double majoring in biochemistry and economics and minoring in Innovation & Entrepreneurship. I cannot express enough how much I appreciate the Theodore Diamandopoulos Memorial Scholarship, without it, my Lawrence experience would not be possible. I have enjoyed being a mentor in the CORE freshman mentorship program, playing and working for the Women's Basketball team, competing in Model United Nations, interning as a lab assistant at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, hosting a pilot STEM program for young unaccompanied refugees in Greece, and volunteering through KidsGive during a field trip to Sierra Leone. Thank you so much for supporting me in doing the things I dream to do."

Jelani Jones, 2021
Marie Dohr Memorial Scholarship

"Being at Lawrence has and continues to be a joy for me. I feel that I have grown so much as a musician, a teacher, and a friend through the awesome community of professors and friends I have met here. I feel that I am blessed to have such an awesome violin professor, and all the faculty members in the education department are so amazing. I have come to see Lawrence and the state of Wisconsin as my home, and I wouldn't change a thing."

Maggie Wright, 2021
Margaret S. and W. Paul Gilbert Memorial Scholarship

The scholarships I receive at Lawrence allow me to experience anything that I want to. I can pursue my love of Biology and Chemistry in classes that are engaging, with professors who care individually about their students. These scholarships also give me the freedom to participate in numerous extracurriculars that Lawrence offers as well, like the Fencing Team and the American Medical Students Association. All of the opportunities Lawrence offers me remind me how grateful I am to have received the Margaret S. and W. Paul Gilbert Memorial Scholarship."

Molly Chadwick Reese, 2020
Anne Prioleau Jones Tuition Scholarship in French

"Attending Lawrence is a privilege few are granted. Every moment spent at Lawrence solidifies a lifelong membership in a special group of peers, known as Lawrentians. The esprit de corps that Lawrence fosters makes the connection between students and mentors new and challenging, with both parties in a constant state of curiosity, respect, and encouragement. My experience as a language learner at Lawrence has not only helped my comprehension of the French language, but has enhanced my ability to communicate and connect with people in ways I never expected before attending Lawrence. As a French major and a student following a pre-medicine track, I have been afforded the privilege of diving into the sumptuous depths of the humanities, while satiating my hunger for scientific knowledge in concert. From this, I am able to fully appreciate the wonders of a liberal arts education. If not for the Anne Prioleau Jones Scholarship in French, I would be unable to join my peers in this quest for knowledge. I am very grateful for the donors' generosity."

Milwaukee-Downer Scholarships and Professorships

Some of the many recipients of Milwaukee-Downer scholarships gather for a photo with Carolyn King Stephens M-D'62 and Marlene Crupi-Widen M-D'55 in January 2014 at the annual scholarship luncheon.

Rosamund Victoria Bille Adler Scholarship
Dr. Charles E. Albright Scholarship
Helen Daniels Bader Scholarship
James G. and Ethel M. Barber Scholarship
Catharine Beecher Endowed Fund for Downer Women
Bessie A. Bell Scholarship
Berk Scholarship
Frederick C. Best Scholarship
Beta Study Club Scholarship
Lynde Bradley Scholarship
Lucia R. Briggs-Alumnae Scholarship
Edith Lange Brooks Scholarship
Anne Barman Caldwell Scholarship
Alice Miller Chester Scholarship
City of Milwaukee Student Funds Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1940 Fund
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1942 Fund
College Endowment Association Scholarship
Janet Cope Crawford Scholarship
Jessie Mabbott Daniels Scholarship
F. T. Day Scholarship
Rufus Dodge Scholarship
Julia P. Ely and Hannah R. Vedder Memorial Scholarship
General Endowed Scholarship - M-D College
Dr. Alfred W. and Mrs. Ada F. Gray Scholarship
Berenice E. Hess Scholarship Endowment
Lucille Ray Hibbard Scholarship
Belle Austin Jacobs Scholarship
Helen McDermott Jurack and Ronald J. Mason Scholarship
Marjorie S. Logan Scholarship
Nellie Maxwell Scholarship
S. Annabelle & Paul McGuire Scholarship
Memorial Scholarship Fund - Milwaukee-Downer
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1953 Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1955 Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1956 Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1957 Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1958 and 1959 50th Reunion Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Club Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer/Lawrence College Consolidation 50th Anniversary Scholarship
Francis Evelyn Kelley Morgan Memorial Scholarship
O'Neill-Anderson Family Scholarship Endowment
Elizabeth A. Olson Scholarship
Gilbert Haven Peirce, Sr. and Emma Elizabeth Manor Peirce Milwaukee-Downer Scholarship
Aleida J. Pieters Scholarship
Matilda Siefert Puelicher Scholarship
Elizabeth Ann Richardson Scholarship
William M. Ross Memorial Scholarship
Elizabeth Rossberg Scholarship
Charles Frederic Sammond Scholarship
Mildred L. Schroeder Scholarship
Sivyer Educational Fund for Women
Marion Merrill Smith Scholarship
Dr. Elizabeth A. Steffen Scholarship
W. Mead and Elizabeth McKone Stillman Scholarship
Strzelczyk Family Scholarship
Clare Scherf Sweetman Scholarship
Raymond H. and Jane K. Taylor Scholarship
Jerline E. Walfoort Memorial Scholarship
Barbara E. Wehr Fund
Harmony Weissbach Scholarship
Martha and Frances Wheelock Scholarship
James G. and Ethel M. Barber Professorship of Theatre and Drama
T. A. Chapman Professorship in Music
Alice G. Chapman Professorship in Physics
Alice G. Chapman Librarianship
Milwaukee-Downer College and College Endowment Association Professorship

Angela Small Fry Intia, 2019
Maurine Campbell Scholarship

"Thanks to the Maurine Campbell scholarship, I have been able to attend the amazing school that is Lawrence University. With the help from this scholarship, I have been able to pursue my dream career in chemistry working with the outstanding and extremely helpful faculty here. Even outside of chemistry I take the time for exploration into my interests and want to give back through my work as a resident life advisor, stock room assistant, and student supervisor at Bon Appetit. Everything I have learned here, academically or not has forever molded the person I am today."

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