Act Now to Take Advantage of Next Year’s Tax Changes

By Steven Zimmerman '72, CFPIf you are past the "venerable" age of 70 ½, you have until Dec. 31, 2014 to take advantage of an incredible tax break. President Obama recently extended the provision that allows IRA owners to make a tax-free charitable distribution from an IRA to a qualified charity of their choice. The distribution is excluded from your taxable income and maximizes the effectiveness of your charitable gifts.

While you would otherwise have to satisfy a required minimum distribution from an IRA, you may donate up to $100,000 of the required distribution directly to a qualified charity. This enables you to exclude the total amount of the donation from your gross income on your tax return, and it is not included when determining any deductions made to qualified charitable organizations.

You should confirm with your financial or tax advisor how much benefit you will receive from a tax-free charitable distribution.

Here are a few specifics on making tax-deductible IRA gifts in 2014:

  • To take advantage of this opportunity, distributions must be made by Dec. 31, 2014.
  • Tax-free charitable distributions may only be made from traditional IRAs and not other retirement plans. However, taxpayers can convert another retirement plan to a traditional IRA and then make a qualifying tax-free distribution.
  • Taxpayers who do not normally itemize their deductions will benefit from IRA tax-free charitable distributions since they are not included in Adjusted Gross Income. They get the benefit of a charitable contribution that they would not have received if they had simply made a contribution directly to a charity.

If you meet these criteria, don't let this opportunity to support your favorite charities slip away. If you have questions, you can contact your financial advisor or Jim Dwyer, director of planned giving at (320) 363-2116.