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Can You Support Charity Through Your IRA?

Key Points
  • Supporting a charity through your IRA can make great financial sense
  • Charities support many worthy causes you can help
  • You can even make a charity a beneficiary when you pass

Are you able to support a charity through your IRA? Giving to charity is a wonderful way to show support for individuals who are struggling due to a variety of life-threatening circumstances. It’s a unique technique for assisting these people in surviving and living a decent and productive life.

It’s a means of giving back to society, but there are methods to make it easier while avoiding tax penalties. Giving to charity through your IRA is one option, and if you follow certain guidelines, it can be simple and tax-free. And that principle can be implemented relatively pain-free. Learn how you can assist a charity with your IRA without incurring tax charges.

The Best Ways to Donate to Charity Through Your IRA

It is possible to donate money to charity through an individual retirement account. When you reach a specific age, say 70½ years, you must take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from your traditional IRA, which requires tax payment. But you can, in many instances, make a donation that will limit or remove the taxable RMD total from your payment out.

The greatest option to avoid paying taxes, however, is to donate to charity through a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). To get the most out of these procedures, you must first comprehend what a qualified charitable distribution entails. So, what does it all mean?

This is primarily a transaction between your IRA and the eligible charity, with the owner of the funds not paying tax on the funds transferred. And in order to do so, you may need to follow the guidelines below.

  • To make a tax-free donation to the organization, the account owners must be 70½ or older. Only those who meet the age requirements are eligible to transfer up to the annual QCD.
  • The annual QCD limit per account owner is $100,000. If you open a joint IRA, your spouse can contribute up to $100,000 to charity. Couples can donate up to $200,000 to charity in this way. To avoid being taxed, qualified charitable distributions must be made by the 31st of December each year.
  • The funds must be moved directly from the IRA to the account of the charitable organization. If you withdraw money and then donate it to a charity, you will be taxed because it is considered income.
  • Traditional and rollover IRAs are the types of IRAs that qualify for a QCD. Because Roth IRAs do not allow distributions while the account owner is still living, QCD is not an option for them.
  • Select an eligible charity institution, such as a church, a nonprofit organization, or a school. The QCD does not apply to private charity organizations or donor-advised funds.

Other Ways to Donate to Charity Through Your IRA

Another approach to giving to charity is through strategic giving, which entails naming a charity as the beneficiary of your IRA. When you die, you can contribute all or a portion of your IRA account to your selected charity and leave the rest to your family, as specified in the beneficiary form. If you want to know if this form of donating to charity is right for you, talk to both the charitable organization and your IRA provider.


Before you make any of these donations, make sure to meet with your IRA provider before deciding to go over the various ways you can donate to charity and how it will affect your financial stability. Choose the strategy that works best for you and your IRA, whether it’s donating to charity or naming a specific charity as a beneficiary when you pass away. Contact IRA Financial now with questions!


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