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Saturday May 21, 2022

Case of the Week

Gifts from IRAs, Part 10


Quentin Charles Douglas was the firstborn child in a large family. Throughout his childhood, Quentin's parents worked hard to put food on the table for their children. They also instilled in Quentin the value of hard work and saving money. Quentin took those lessons to heart, putting forth his best effort in school, finding a rewarding job and putting away as much in savings as he could. For many years, Quentin worked for a company that offered a 401(k) plan. During those years, he put as much into his 401(k) as he could afford so that he could maximize the benefit of his employer's matching contributions. Eventually, Quentin moved on to other employment and made a tax-free rollover of his 401(k) into an IRA. As he approached retirement, Quentin continued to contribute to his retirement savings by maxing out his IRA contributions each year.

With his lifelong penchant for saving money and some savvy investing, Quentin was able to retire comfortably at age 65. Now, a few years later, Quentin accepted a job doing what he loved. With this new job, he would like to continue to add to his traditional IRA even though he has reached age 72. He understands that he can make tax deductible contributions to his IRA, if he has taxable compensation. Quentin's required minimum distributions (RMDs) from his IRA have started. Given his lifetime savings, investment income and social security distributions, Quentin does not feel as though he needs the additional income that the IRA distributions will provide – especially with the increased taxes tied to that income.


Quentin would like to make tax deductible contributions to his IRA while he is working. These tax deductible contributions to his IRA will lower his taxable income. Quentin wonders if he could also use his IRA qualified charitable distribution (QCD) to lower his taxable income in the same year. While the idea is still fresh in his mind, Quentin sends an email to his trusted advisor asking if there are other options available that will allow him to save and continue to use his QCD.


After learning any tax deductible IRA contributions made after age 70½ will reduce the amount eligible for QCD treatment on his IRA charitable rollover gifts, Quentin receives an answer from his advisor with alternate options. If Quentin has not made any tax deductible IRA contributions after age 70½, he may want to consider contributions to a Roth IRA, instead of a traditional IRA. Quentin would be able to make QCDs to nonprofits and receive the typical QCD treatment where the distribution is excluded from taxable income. Contributions to Roth IRAs are not tax deductible or pre-tax contributions, but are nondeductible post-tax contributions. Quentin is able to contribute up to $7,000 to a Roth IRA, but the contributions are subject to certain income limits depending on his filing status. Because the Roth IRA contributions are not tax deductible, Quentin's IRA charitable rollover gifts from his traditional IRA will be subject to the usual QCD treatment. Quentin is very glad he reached out to his advisor to understand how his IRA contributions impact the tax treatment of his QCDs.

Published May 21, 2021
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Gifts from IRAs, Part 9

Gifts from IRAs, Part 8