Did you know the gift of a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) benefits donors aged 70½ and up?

The Qualified Charitable Distribution is an excellent way to show your support for ECAD and receive tax benefits in return. As you plan your charitable giving for this year, consider using your IRA account to make the most of your charitable giving. You receive a tax benefit even if you take the standard deduction!

It’s important to consider your tax situation before deciding whether to make a charitable contribution from your IRA. Be sure to share this gift plan with your financial advisor.

To qualify

  • You must be 70½ or older at the time of gift.
  • Distributions must be made directly from a traditional IRA account by your IRA administrator to ECAD. (Click here for a template to help you request the Qualifited Charitable Distribution)
  • Gifts must be outright, meaning they go directly to ECAD. Distributions to donor-advised funds or life-income arrangements such as charitable remainder trusts and charitable gift annuities do not qualify.
  • Gifts from 401k, 403b, SEP and other plans do not qualify. Ask your financial advisor if it would make sense for you to create a traditional IRA account so you can benefit from an IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution.

Tax Benefits

  • IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions are excluded as gross income for federal income tax purposes on your IRS Form 1040.
  • The gift counts toward your required minimum distribution for the year in which you made the gift (please note that RMDs are not required in 2020 due to covid).
  • You could avoid a higher tax bracket that might otherwise result from adding an RMD to your income.


Olivia is 71 years old and wants to make a gift to ECAD. She has $500,000 in her IRA and wants to gift $20,000. She can authorize the administrator of his IRA to distribute $20,000 to ECAD. Because the IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution is excluded from income, Olivia will not be eligible for a charitable income tax deduction — but she still receives tax savings.

Questions and Answers

What’s the IRS Rule?

The QCD allows individuals 70½ and older to make direct distributions up to $100,000 per year to 501(c)(3) charities without having to count the distributions as income for federal income tax purposes. No charitable deduction may be taken, but distributions will qualify for all or part of the IRA owner’s required minimum distributions.

Who qualifies?

Individuals 70½ or older at the time of the contribution (you have to wait until 6 months after your 70th birthday to make the transfer).

How much can I distribute?

$100,000 per year. The distribution must be outright to charity. (Click here for a template to help you request the Qualifited Charitable Distribution)

From what accounts can I make transfers?

Distributions must come from your IRAs directly to ECAD. If you wish to help us with a gift from another retirement asset such as a 401k, 403b, etc., you must first roll those funds into an IRA. Then you can direct the IRA administrator to distribute the funds from the IRA directly to ECAD. (Click here for a template to help you request the Qualifited Charitable Distribution)

Can I use the QCD to fund life-income gifts (charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, or pooled income funds), donor advised funds or supporting organizations?

No, these are not eligible.

How will ECAD count the gift?

We will give you full credit for the entire gift amount. You will also receive a letter, which states that the gift qualifies as a QCD to use for tax reporting purposes.

What are the tax implications to me?

  • Federal — You do not recognize the distribution to ECAD as income, provided it goes directly from the IRA administrator to us. Therefore, you are not entitled to an income tax charitable deduction for your gift.
  • State — Each state has different laws, so you will need to consult with your own advisors. Some states have a state income tax and will include this distribution as income. Within those states, some will allow for a state income tax charitable deduction and others will not. Other states base their income tax on the federal income or federal tax paid. Some states have no income tax at all.

Does this transfer qualify as my required minimum distribution?

Yes. Once you reach 72, you are required to take required minimum distributions from your retirement plans each year according to a federal formula. QCDs count toward your minimum required distribution for the year in which you make the gift (Note RMDs are not required in 2020).

Can my spouse also make a Qualified Charitable Distribution?

Yes, every individual who is the owner of a traditional IRA can use the Qualified Charitable Distribution for up to $100,000 each year.

How do I know if a Qualified Charitable Distribution is right for me?

Share this information with your financial advisor. Our office can provide additional information and examples of this gift plan. 

What is the procedure to execute a QCD?

  1. We offer a sample letter you can send to your plan provider to initiate the distribution.
  2. Please let your plan administrator know this gift must be sent prior to December 31 to qualify as a charitable distribution for the tax year.
  3. Make sure you contact Carrie Picard at [email protected] or (860) 489-6550 when you direct the distribution so we can look for the check from your IRA administrator.
Important: Be sure to check with your financial advisor to determine whether this gift plan is right for you. This information is not meant as tax or legal advice.