2009-09-25 / Columns

Your Owen County Community Foundation

Year-End Planning & Your IRA
Mark Rogers, Executive Director

I just looked up and "surprise" another year is racing to a close.

Trick-or-treaters will be knocking at the door just before we look up and realize the turkey is done. Then we'll finish clearing the Thanksgiving dishes in time to notice there are still presents to get under the tree before the kids arrive for Christmas, and as we stuff the last torn wrapping paper into the trash, the hors d'oeuvres and bubbly to ring in 2010 will be going on the table as the ball drops in Times Square.

So with all the year-end planning before us, why not include planning your charitable gifts to your list of things to do?

One very advantageous option available to those older than age 70 and a half with individual retirement accounts (IRA) is the charitable distribution. This option is still available but only through December 31, 2009.

The IRA charitable distribution, available for gifts in any amount from a few dollars up to $100,000, allows IRA owners to have their IRA custodian (bank, investment advisor, broker, etc.) to make a distribution directly to a qualified charity (hint: your Owen County Community Foundation is a qualified charity).

The charitable distributions can help meet your minimum required distribution from your IRA for the year. If you are thinking you will need to take that minimum distribution and pay the tax on it even though you don't really need the cash, here's another option. Have part of that gift sent directly to a charity you want to support.

You will not receive the normal charitable deduction for this gift but you will avoid the normal tax on an IRA distribution.

This charitable option is also a good one for those who don't itemize deductions on their tax return and don't get to take a charitable deduction for their donations to charity. The IRA charitable distribution allows you to avoid the normal taxes and direct that money to a non-profit you support instead of the good ol' IRS.

If you choose this option here are just a couple of important points: DO have your IRA custodian make out a distribution check to the charity of your choice. DO NOT have the check made out to you (you'll be taxed). Just check with the person who handles your IRA and they can help you fill out the form to request a charitable distribution.

So don't wait for the trick-or-treaters, make your year-end giving plan today.

The Owen County Community Foundation is committed to help make our communities better places to live, grow, and work. We value community involvement and charitable spirit.

If you would like to know more about the IRA charitable distribution option, we'll be glad to help. Give us a call at 829-1725, e-mail us at info@owencountycf. org, visit online at www.owencountycf.org or stop by our office located on the second floor in the Owen County State Bank building.

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