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I wish to make a Qualified Charitable Donation from my IRA. For federal tax considerations does the date on the check or the date I mail the check determine the tax year?
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It's my understanding that a Qualified Charitable Distribution must be done by your IRA custodian directly to the qualified charity. If you make a withdrawal from your IRA and then write a check to a charitable organization, I'm not sure that that satisfies as a Qualified Charitable Distribution.
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https://www.ecfa.org/Content/Timing-of-a-Contribution

It is better to make the postmark and date on the check in the same tax year. November isn't over. There is plenty of time to mail a QCD for the 2020 tax year.

Remember that QCD doesn't show up on the 1099-R. You need to track QCDs and to notify your tax preparer if you are using a tax preparer.
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It's my understanding that a Qualified Charitable Distribution must be done by your IRA custodian directly to the qualified charity. If you make a withdrawal from your IRA and then write a check to a charitable organization, I'm not sure that that satisfies as a Qualified Charitable Distribution.

Some IRA administrator's provide a checkbook for the IRA making it possible to write a check directly from an IRA to a charity.
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As already noted, the distribution must go directly from the IRA to the charity. It can’t go from the IRA to you and then to the charity.

Another error in the thread is the reporting. QCDs are reported on a 1099-R. On your return, you have to report the full distribution, then enter zero for the taxable amount (or report only the taxable portion if you also took taxable distributions).

Because of the way QCDs are reported, it would be best if the payment is actually withdrawn from the IRA before year end. If you have an IRA with check writing privileges, I would make sure the check arrives in plenty of time for the charity to deposit it before year end.

—Peter
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Remember that QCD doesn't show up on the 1099-R.

Just for clarity, the full amount of the charitable distribution is reported on the 1099-R. It is up to the taxpayer to exclude it when reporting the taxable amount of distributions.

—Peter
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As already noted, the distribution must go directly from the IRA to the charity. It can’t go from the IRA to you and then to the charity.

It should be noted that some custodians (including Vanguard) will issue a check made out to the charity but mailed to you that you then must mail to the charity. This may add a week or so to the process of getting the check to the charity.
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Another error in the thread is the reporting. QCDs are reported on a 1099-R. On your return, you have to report the full distribution, then enter zero for the taxable amount (or report only the taxable portion if you also took taxable distributions).

Your explanation is clearer. It is what I was attempting to say but apparently didn't.
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I wondered if I had left out important information about my situation - and Bob you hit on part of the full issue.

My IRA is at Vanguard. As far as I know, the check must be made out by Vanguard to the charity so that the money is never in my hands. (The donation is deductible in either case, but I don't want to funds included in my gross income which will affect my Medicare Part B premiums.)

I am making the donation to this specific charity regardless. It just happens that a large corporation is offering a match for all donations until the total reaches a specific number of millions of dollars. There is a cut off date for the donation which pretty much precludes my getting a check from Vanguard with a January 2021 date. But I could easily get the check in December and mail it in January.
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