If you are already charitably inclined there are two gifting strategies that you should be aware of, Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) and gifting appreciated stock. To realize tax benefits for 2023, both need to be done before the end of the year.

Qualified Charitable Distributions:

If you are an IRA owner and are age 70.5 or older, you are eligible to make QCDs. Most people take the standard deduction since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increased it, and if you’re not itemizing you lose the ability to deduct charitable contributions. QCDs are gifts to charities made directly from your IRA. Normally, money that you take out of an IRA is taxable income, but QCDs are excluded. So, you are getting money out of your IRA tax-free to give to charity.

Once you’re subject to RMDs (currently at age 73), QCDs are even more beneficial because they count towards satisfying your RMD. If you’re between 70.5 and 73 there is still an extra advantage in that the QCD decreases your IRA balance, which may reduce required minimum distributions in future years.

Let’s say that you are 71 years old, are already gifting to charities every year, and have an IRA. You have social security income which you supplement with money from your investment accounts, all of which is taxed before it hits your checking account. You’re writing checks to charities throughout the year – giving away money that you have already been taxed on. Making QCDs allows you to fulfill your charitable goals with money that you are not taxed on. And because you are reducing the balance of your IRA with these gifts, your RMDs will be lower than they otherwise would have (all else equal) when you turn 73.

There are a few things to note about QCDs, such as annual limits and which charities can accept QCDs. Determining charitable giving strategies is one way that we partner with clients. We can help you determine if QCDs are right for your situation.

In Strategies for Charitable Giving – Part 2, we discuss the strategy of gifting appreciated stock.

Call us to review your investment approach (404) 941-2800.