Late in the year, and at the last minute, on December 16, 2014, Congress has extended the ability of those over 70 1/2 to make direct charitable donations from their IRA’s of up to $100,000, as long as they haven’t already taken out the required minimum distribution for 2014 and do this charitable rollover by December 31. The way to do this is to tell your plan custodian to distribute up to $100,000 to a public charity of your choice from your IRA. (For a couple, this is 100K from each IRA.)
Although there’s no charitable deduction for a charitable rollover, there’s still a potentially big tax benefit for those who make them: the money that’s designated to charity does not count as taxable income to the donor, and that can help keep the donor’s taxable income below threshold limits for Medicare means testing, and other tax thresholds.
The current extension is for 2014, only, and is one of many temporary laws that were supposed to last only two years, but have been extended annually since the end of 2013.