Advertisement
income tax

How to Report an IRA Charitable Distribution on Your Tax Return

Your IRA administrator will send you a 1099-R, noting your entire distribution; you need to report it to Uncle Sam -- and call out what portion was used as a qualified charitable distribution -- on your 1040.

Question: I am 75 years old and had to take $6,300 in required minimum distributions from my IRA in 2018. In October, I asked my IRA administrator to send $5,000 to a local education foundation (as a tax-free qualified charitable distribution) and to send me a check for the remaining $1,300. I received a 1099-R from my IRA administrator, and it shows total distributions of $6,300. How do I report the $5,000 I sent to the charity so that money isn’t included in my adjusted gross income?

Answer: A lot of people have that question at this time of year. When you receive your 1099-R, your IRA administrator just reports the amount of money that was distributed from your IRA and doesn’t specify whether it was a withdrawal or a tax-free transfer to a charity. (After you turn 70½, you can transfer up to $100,000 each year tax-free from your traditional IRA to charity, which counts as your required minimum distributions but isn’t included in your adjusted gross income. This is called a qualified charitable distribution, or QCD.)

Advertisement - Article continues below

When you file your Form 1040, you report the total distribution of $6,300 on line 4a. Then report $1,300 on line 4b and enter “QCD” to indicate that the remaining $5,000 is a qualified charitable distribution, which is not taxable. (If you had contributed your full RMD to charity, you would write $0 and “QCD” on line 4b.)

Keep an acknowledgement from the charity showing that it received your contribution in your tax records. See The Rules for Making a Tax-Free Donation from an IRA for more information about the procedure and tax records to keep.

For more information about reporting the QCD when you file your income tax return, see page 29 of the Instructions for Form 1040 at IRS.gov.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

How To Buy a Roth IRA When You Make Too Much To Qualify For One
Roth IRAs

How To Buy a Roth IRA When You Make Too Much To Qualify For One

With their tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals, Roth IRAs are a great deal — if you qualify. If you don’t, well, there’s still a way to get into …
September 23, 2020
Social Security Recipients, Veterans Must Act Now to Get Extra $500 Stimulus Check
Coronavirus and Your Money

Social Security Recipients, Veterans Must Act Now to Get Extra $500 Stimulus Check

The deadline for seniors and veterans to request an additional $500 stimulus check for a dependent child is approaching fast. See how you can claim yo…
September 25, 2020
High-Tech Aids for Aging in Place
Caregiving

High-Tech Aids for Aging in Place

Apple Watch and other technology provides fast feedback, comfort for older users, and a powerful assist for caregivers.
September 23, 2020

Recommended

Child Tax Credit Would Go Up Under Biden Proposal
Politics

Child Tax Credit Would Go Up Under Biden Proposal

Some families would see their tax credit jump from $2,000 to $3,600 per child under Joe Biden's plan. But there are a couple of important catches.
September 18, 2020
Most-Overlooked Tax Breaks for the Newly Divorced
tax deductions

Most-Overlooked Tax Breaks for the Newly Divorced

Filing taxes after a divorce can add yet another problem to an already long list of challenges. But here are some tips to make your return to single l…
September 18, 2020
When Are 2020 Estimated Tax Payments Due?
tax deadline

When Are 2020 Estimated Tax Payments Due?

If you're self-employed or don't have taxes withheld from other sources of taxable income, it's up to you to periodically pay the IRS by making estima…
September 11, 2020
How to Create Income for Life
Financial Planning

How to Create Income for Life

Having a paycheck you can depend on in retirement is more important than ever.
August 26, 2020