The law was originally set to expire in 2007; however, the law was extended over the last few years, through 2014 in order to allow those taxpayers age 70.5 or older to make these charitable IRA rollovers. Then, in the Protect Americans From Tax Hikes Act of 2015, this law was made permanent. In 2016, this law remains an active part of tax planning. This is especially true for year-end tax planning matters for those individuals age 70.5 or older who have IRAs. The way that this process works is that the individual must direct the IRA trustee to make a distribution from their IRA directly to a qualified charity. Again, up to $100,000.00 can be excluded from the individuals gross income in 2016. If an individual is filing a joint return, then their spouse can also exclude an additional $100,000 in 2016 as well. You are not permitted to take a charitable contribution on your 2016 return. You are only permitted to reduce your gross income of up to $100,000 of a distribution from your IRA directly to a qualified charity. These distributions do qualify for your required minimum distributions that would otherwise have to be taken from your IRA. However, the key is that the distribution must come directly from the IRA trustee and be distributed directly to the qualified charity. The reason that this law is so important is that otherwise, individuals who would be receiving distributions from their IRAs would have to include that income on their income tax return, and then, if they made a subsequent gift to a charity, they may be able to take a charitable deduction if they itemized their deductions.
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