Q&A: New Secure Act changes some retirement rules

Dear Liz: At age 70½, when I must withdraw money from my IRA, may I donate those dollars to a charitable organization without paying tax on the withdrawn funds?

Answer: The short answer is yes, but you should know there have been some recent changes to retirement plan rules.

Required minimum distributions now start at 72, thanks to the recently enacted Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (Secure) Act. If you turned age 70½ in 2019 and started your required minimum distributions, you should generally continue, but talk to a tax pro.

Also, you can now make contributions to your IRA after age 70½, as long as you’re still working. You must have earned income at least equal to the amount you contribute.

The law didn’t change when you can begin making qualified charitable distributions from your IRAs. Once you reach 70½, you can donate up to $100,000 each year directly from your IRA and the donated amount will not be included in your income.

If you make IRA contributions after age 70½, though, those contributions are deducted from the amount you can donate.

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