Making a Qualified Charitable Distribution from your IRA: If you are taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) each year you should be allowed in 2015 to gift up to $100,000 directly to charity and not pay income tax on the distribution. Congress, in its infinite wisdom, has not made this provision permanent and keeps reinstating it year-to-year, so many people are not aware of this option.
Here's how it works: If you are RMD-age, consider setting up a distribution from your IRA that goes directly to one or more charities (maybe even to one you would have gifted to anyway by writing a check from your checking account). You would not get a charitable deduction on the donation but you would not have to pay income taxes on the distribution from your IRA. The charity gets the money it needs and you likely come out ahead by lowering your taxable income. But remember that Congress has yet to reinstate this provision for 2015. They likely will but it might not be until late in the year. Start thinking about this now and stay tuned... I will keep you informed.