Through January, you can still make one for 2012.

Give & receive a tax break. Schools, hospitals and other
non-profit organizations are welcoming the return of the charitable IRA
rollover – an opportunity that lets a traditional IRA owner aged 70½ or older
donate up to $100,000 to charity with a tax perk attached.1
This donation can accomplish two very significant
things: the IRA owner can subtract the gifted amount from his or her adjusted
gross income, and the donation can also count toward the IRA owner’s Required Minimum Distribution
(RMD) for that year. So even though an IRA owner can’t claim a tax
deduction through this move, it can play a big role in an estate planning strategy.1,2
Request an asset transfer; refrain from a withdrawal. Turn to a financial or
tax professional you know and trust for assistance with this, because it involves
some logistics.

If you just withdraw money from your IRA and give it
to a school or a charity, it is not an IRA charitable rollover. Any money that
you withdraw in this fashion will be taxed as regular income.
To arrange an IRA charitable rollover, you must ask
your IRA custodian to send the amount of the donation directly to a charity or qualified
non-profit organization. In financial parlance, this is known as a trustee-to-trustee transfer. This
requires a bit of paperwork, but the potential benefits of an IRA charitable
rollover far outweigh the minutes spent.

IRA charitable rollovers cannot be made to donor advised funds, private
non-operating foundations or supporting organizations. IRC Section 509(a)(3) defines
a supporting organization as a charity that will “carry out [its] exempt purposes by supporting other exempt organizations”; examples include university
endowment funds and non-profits providing essential services for hospital

You may still be able to make a charitable IRA rollover for 2012. When
Congress reinstated this provision as a byproduct of the fiscal cliff deal, it also
made it possible for a few IRA owners aged 70½ or older to make this move and
have it count as part (or even all) of their 2012 RMD. This is only possible if
a) you delayed taking your 2012 traditional IRA distribution until December and
b) you donate cash to charity between now and January 31, 2013.1,2,4


Eligible IRA owners can even reclassify cash amounts they gave to charities in December
as IRA donations, providing the donations were made after the IRA owner took his
or her RMD for 2012. Again, be sure to see a qualified tax or
professional about this if you are interested.4


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