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We look forward to continuing to help individuals and families achieve their ideal retirements.

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QCDs and RMDs: Today’s Q&A Mailbag


Can you please advise regarding the following:

I’m 63 years old and am required to take a yearly RMD [required minimum distribution] from my deceased Mom’s IRA (BDA).  In order to save on taxes, am I allowed to have my financial institution send the RMD directly to a charity even though I’m not 70 ½ yet ?

Also, when I’m retired and not able to itemize, is there any way to give charitable contributions to save on taxes if standard deduction is $12,000?

Thanks in advance!!!!




Hello Pat,

When you reach age 70½, you’ll become eligible to make a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) from your IRA. Although not deductible, a QCD is not included in your income.

A QCD must be paid directly from the IRA to charity, may be as large as $100,000, and can be used to satisfy RMD requirements.

At this point in time, there is no way to predict what the income tax rules might be regarding deductions and charitable contributions when you retire several years in the future.




I have been researching and see that you can have a charitable contribution replace your IRA RMD but cannot find the same regulation regarding a 403(b) RMD.

Is there any initiative to have all the retirement plans treated the same as the IRA in regards to the charitable contribution?





Hello Dave,

When you describe a charitable contribution as replacing an RMD, we assume you are talking about qualified charitable distributions (QCDs).

QCDs cannot be made from a 403(b) plan under current law, and possible future law changes are speculative.

However, the tax law does allow funds to be rolled over from a 403(b) plan to a traditional IRA.  To the extent you move funds into an IRA, you become able to use QCDs and meet RMD requirements with them.

Note that while the law allows rollovers from 403(b) plans to IRAs the terms of your particular 403(b) plan may place restrictions on such rollovers. Consult with your plan’s administrator about details.


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