If you are 70 ½ or older and planning your IRA withdrawal strategy, you may want to consider making charitable donations to the church through a Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD).
A QCD is a direct transfer of funds from your IRA payable to a qualified charity. QCDs can be counted toward satisfying your required minimum distributions (RMDs) for the year, if certain rules are met. In addition to the benefits of giving to charity, a QCD excludes the amount donated from taxable income, which is unlike regular withdrawals from an IRA. Keeping your taxable income lower may reduce the impact to certain tax credits and deductions, including Social Security and Medicare. Also, QCDs don’t require that you itemize, which due to the recent tax law changes, means you may decide to take advantage of the higher standard deduction, but still use a QCD for charitable giving.
Qualified charitable contributions must be made by December 31 each year in order to exclude that amount from taxable income.