Just this month Congress passed the “Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008” (In Division C of H.R. 1424 Sec. 408(d)(8)(A)) extending an excellent charitable planning opportunity for both 2008 and 2009. This act permits an IRA owner age 70½ or older to make a direct transfer to charity. The transfer may be up to $100,000 in one year and this IRA rollover will exist for year 2008 and year 2009. If you have not yet taken your IRA withdrawal for this year this may represent a good opportunity to make a gift and minimize the taxable income resulting from the mandated withdrawal of IRA funds.
The donation must be a direct transfer to qualify and may be only a portion or all of the required withdrawal. Contact your IRA custodians to arrange for the IRA charitable rollover.