Tax Return Non-Itemizers Cannot Deduct Charitable Contributions, Unless …

By Robert Fragasso, Treasurer, Animal Friends’ Board of Directors

Taxpayers who itemize deductions can deduct charitable contributions within specified limits. Standard deduction users cannot. Even the itemizers may find their charitable contribution deductions limited by various
other IRS regulations.

There is a technique available to all that can shelter distributions from an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or an IRA rollover account for both categories of a taxpayer. This is especially meaningful if the taxpayer is in a Required Minimum Distribution mode, meaning the tax code requires systematic withdrawals from retirement accounts. It is termed a direct distribution from an IRA or IRA rollover account to a qualified charity, such as Animal Friends, and can be made up to an annual $100,000 limit.

If this sounds technically beyond your capabilities, don’t worry. Your tax return professional will code it correctly on your return to shelter on your IRA distribution from taxation while you benefit the charitable cause that is dear to you.

What you need to know is the flow and intent. Your financial institution housing your IRA account would be directed in writing by you to distribute the amount you wish directly to the charity. At the same time, advise the charity that the distribution is coming from your institution. Then advise your tax professional at tax filing time that this was accomplished. That’s it. You fulfill your required distribution requirement and it isn’t taxed. Most
importantly you enable the lifesaving work that Animal Friends performs for the animals in our community and the people who love them.

First check with your tax professional for applicability to your situation and then do the paperwork. It is quick, simple and direct. We can help guide you in this. If you have questions about making a year-end contribution to Animal Friends, contact our Director of Development, Melissa Ernst, at 412.847.7095 or

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