How to report an IRA charitable distribution on your tax return

Did you take a required minimum deduction from your IRA last year and give a portion of it to a charitable cause? How do you report the charitable contribution on your taxes, even if your IRA administrator sends you the form showing the total distribution, and not the donation?

Kiplinger published this scenario:

Q. I am 75 years old and had to take $6,300 in required minimum distributions from my IRA in 2018. In October, I asked my IRA administrator to send $5,000 to a local education foundation (as a tax-free qualified charitable distribution) and to send me a check for the remaining $1,300. I received a 1099-R from my IRA administrator, and it shows total distributions of $6,300. How do I report the $5,000 I sent to the charity, so that money isn’t included in my adjusted gross income?

A: A lot of people have that question at this time of year.  When you receive your 1099-R, your IRA administrator just reports the amount of money that was distributed from your IRA and doesn’t specify whether it was a withdrawal or a tax-free transfer to a charity. (After you turn 70½, you can transfer up to $100,000 each year tax-free from your traditional IRA to charity, which counts as your required minimum distributions but isn’t included in your adjusted gross income. This is called a qualified charitable distribution, or QCD.) There are a number of ways to maximize tax benefits, including your QCD.

Read the full story at Kiplinger.
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