Sit…Stay…Now Roll Over

by Cathy McCann Gaskin,


I attended a conference of gift planners recently, and one of the big takeaways from the day is that we really still do not know the full effects the new tax law will have on most of us. We will see the impact only after we prepare our taxes for 2018.

What was clear, however, is that for many donors over the age of 70½, making charitable gifts through their IRA in 2018 will be advantageous due to the large increase in the standard deduction under the new tax law.

The IRA charitable rollover, or Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD), allows you to make a gift from your traditional IRA directly to charity and keeps those funds out of your adjusted gross income. You may donate up to $100,000 annually, but must be 70½ or older to be eligible. As an added bonus, the gift can count toward your required minimum distribution (RMD) if the QCD is made before satisfying your RMD for the year.

In essence, the QCD allows taxpayers claiming the standard deduction to receive a tax break for making a gift to charity. It’s a win-win.

Of course, only your financial advisor or tax planner can tell you definitively the best way to support your favorite charitable causes and keep your tax bill as low as possible, and I encourage you to explore your options with them.

As always, if you have any questions about making a gift to Willamette University from your IRA, please call me at 503-370-6492 or email For a Q&A on IRA QCDs, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Thank you for your support of our students.

  • Cathy McCann Gaskin JD, Associate Director of Gift Planning
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