How to Donate to Charity, Get a Tax Break and Have Income for Life

Laura Saunders

Tax breaks for charitable donations come in many flavors, and this year Congress has a new one for seniors called an IRA charitable gift annuity. It allows older owners of traditional IRAs to donate account funds to a charity and get tax breaks plus income payments for life. 

Brian and Deborah Smith of Park City, Utah, strategize to try this option next year. That’s when Deborah Smith turns 73 and has to begin required withdrawals from her traditional IRA. She will donate $53,000 of her $550,000 account to the Episcopal church where the couple is active and Deborah serves on the board. 

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