For the past several years, clients who are 70-1/2 years of age or older have been able to make charitable donations of up to $100,000 directly from their IRAs. These donations, known as qualified charitable distributions (QCDs), can serve as required minimum distributions, thus reducing the donor's reported income.

These QCDs allow non-itemizers to get a tax benefit from an otherwise non-deductible donation. High-income taxpayers who would lose their tax breaks to phaseouts may also get some tax relief, since the amount of the QCD is not included in their reported income.

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