Voluntary Philanthropy – Look to Your IRA

[Qualified Charitable Deductions] can be used to satisfy the RMD requirement for the IRA owner. This means that the IRA owner who doesn’t need his or her RMD for income can direct the distribution to the charity of his or her choice.

If you would rather be a “voluntary philanthropist” versus an “involuntary philanthropist,” then you need to take action regarding the Qualified Charitable Deduction (QCD). In short, it’s a very powerful tool for both charity and reducing the tax liabilities associated with IRAs. However, on December 31, 2011, will we see it disappear?

Jim Blankenship at Forbes has recently pointed out that the very popular QCDs are not legally extended beyond 2011. As a result, we ought to take stock regarding whether the option will be around in 2012. As you may know, a QCD allows you to forgo taking your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) by letting you redirect those funds straight to the IRS certified charity (or charities) of your choice. You can contribute as much as $100,000 per year.

It’s a pretty powerful tool for a “voluntary philanthropist,” if you don’t need the money from your IRA in the first place. Otherwise, taking the distribution just means more “T-A-X-E-S.” Note: Making this charitable beneficiary designation gives you an efficient way of contributing to charity and saving on your income taxes.

If you’ve taken advantage of the QCD this year, then you still have to ensure proper tax filing compliance.

Unfortunately, the only thing that can reinstate the Qualified Charitable Deduction is an act of Congress.

Reference: Forbes (November 7, 2011) “Last Chance for Making Charitable Contributions From Your IRA?


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