Lessons in Smart Charitable Giving

Mike Clauretie

Mike Clauretie

Mike Clauretie is an emeritus professor of economics at the Lee Business School who spent 22 years at UNLV preparing young business school students to make sound financial decisions. He was instrumental in founding the Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies; authored dozens of academic papers on finance, taxation, and eminent domain; and still serves as an expert witness in court cases involving valuation of business income and expropriation.

So, when Professor Clauretie says that it makes financial sense to make his annual gift to UNLV directly from his Individual Retirement Account (IRA), it's worth paying attention.

"Now that I'm past the age of 70½, I have to take a mandatory distribution from my IRA every year. By directing this distribution from my IRA as a gift to UNLV, I don't have to pay taxes on the distribution," he says. "More of my dollars go to UNLV, and fewer to Washington."

Clauretie has been a leadership donor to UNLV for more than 20 years. He also recently used money from his mandatory IRA distribution to seed an endowed scholarship fund.

"It's important to me to give something back to the university that's given so much to me," he explains. "UNLV supported my research, allowed me to teach courses that mattered to me, and helped me grow professionally."

He has also been a loyal supporter — financially and as a dyed-in-the-wool fan — of Rebel Athletics.

"It may seem funny now, but one of the things that drew me to Las Vegas so long ago was that I was a big fan of basketball," Clauretie recollects. "The Runnin' Rebels had fireworks at their games! I wanted to see that."

But it's not the fireworks that keeps Clauretie sporting the Scarlet and Gray.

"The best part of being a Rebel is meeting new fans at every game, and wherever we go. My wife Patty and I have met a family of fans who are the best people in the world."

Charitable IRA Rollover

If you are 70½ years old or older, you can take advantage of an easy way to make a gift to UNLV and receive tax benefits in return. You can give up to $100,000 from your IRA directly to a qualified charity such as the UNLV Foundation without having to pay income taxes on the distribution.

The transfer from your IRA to the UNLV Foundation generates neither taxable income nor a tax deduction, so you benefit even if you do not itemize your deductions. Your gift can be designated to a college, school, or program of your choice.

If you have not yet taken your required minimum distribution for the year, your IRA charitable rollover gift can satisfy all or part of that requirement. Contact your IRA custodian to complete the gift.

The UNLV Foundation recommends that you consult your tax professionals if you are considering a gift from your IRA. For information, contact Eric Schimmoeller at 702-895-2816 or eric.schimmoeller@unlv.edu.