How to Report QCDs on Your Tax Return: The Tax Letter

Qualified charitable distributions, otherwise known as QCDs, can be tricky when it comes to tax reporting. We've got some pointers to help with filing.

Hands hold a symbolic heart
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Getting the right tax advice and tips is vital in the complex tax world we live in. The Kiplinger Tax Letter helps you stay right on the money with the latest news and forecasts, with insight from our highly experienced team (Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Tax Letter or subscribe). You can only get the full array of advice by subscribing to the Tax Letter, but we will regularly feature snippets from it online, and here is one of those samples…

If you made a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) from your IRA in 2023, reporting it on your 1040 or 1040-SR can be tricky. 

Individuals 70½ and older could transfer up to $100,000 in 2023 from a traditional IRA directly to charity. The cap for 2024 is $105,000 because the Secure Act 2.0 retirement law provides for annual inflation indexing of the $100,000 original cap, starting this year. These charitable gifts can count as all or part of your required minimum distribution (RMD). But you’re not taxed on them, and they are not added to your adjusted gross income. 

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

If you did a QCD in 2023, the 2023 Form 1099-R that you received this year won’t reflect the QCD. It will show only the total amount of distributions made from the IRA in 2023 because IRA custodians lack firsthand knowledge to discern whether a particular payout from a traditional IRA meets the QCD rules. 

When filling out your 2023 Form 1040 or 1040-SR, include on line 4a the total amount of distributions reported on Form 1099-R. Then you subtract the amount that was transferred directly to charity and report the remainder (even if it’s $0) on line 4b. Write “QCD” next to line 4b so the IRS knows why the numbers don’t match. If using tax software, a drop-down box for line 4b should give you a choice to click QCD. 

If you itemize on Schedule A, be sure not to deduct the QCD amount. That would be double-dipping.

Similar rules apply to tax-free rollovers from IRAs. Again, the 1099-R will show the figure rolled over from the IRA as part of total distributions. On your 1040, include the full distribution amount on the 1099-R on line 4a. Subtract the rollover and report the remainder, if any, on line 4b. Write “Rollover” next to line 4b. 

This first appeared in The Kiplinger Tax Letter. It helps you navigate the complex world of tax by keeping you up-to-date on new and pending changes in tax laws, providing tips to lower your business and personal taxes, and forecasting what the White House and Congress might do with taxes. Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Tax Letter or subscribe. 

Joy Taylor
Editor, The Kiplinger Tax Letter

Joy is an experienced CPA and tax attorney with an L.L.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law. After many years working for big law and accounting firms, Joy saw the light and now puts her education, legal experience and in-depth knowledge of federal tax law to use writing for Kiplinger. She writes and edits The Kiplinger Tax Letter and contributes federal tax and retirement stories to and Kiplinger’s Retirement Report. Her articles have been picked up by the Washington Post and other media outlets. Joy has also appeared as a tax expert in newspapers, on television and on radio discussing federal tax developments.