Revisit the Qualified Charitable Distribution

Charitably inclined Americans are lamenting the new tax bill. That’s because most of them will no longer get a tax break from giving to charity. For the detail oriented, it’s not that the charitable deduction went away. But the much higher standard deduction means less people will be itemizing their deductions.

Fear not. There are new strategies emerging to help you get some tax benefit from generous charitable gifts. Actually, the one I’m writing about today has been around for years, but is now more attractive than ever for folks over the age of 70½. I even wrote about it last year. It’s the qualified charitable distribution (QCD).

A qualified charitable distribution is a gift made directly from your IRA to a charity. It counts towards your required minimum distribution but does not count as taxable income. That means you got a tax deduction for putting this money in your retirement account while you’re working and you don’t get taxed as you take it out. What a deal!

So, if you have been dutifully taking the required amount from your IRA each year and turning around to give some of it to charity, it’s time to reconsider your process. That worked fine under the old tax rules because you got a tax deduction for the gift. Now that’s worth double checking before you make your major gifts for the year. Let me know if you want help.

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