Use your IRA to Help the Gardens Grow!

For the charitably minded IRA owner who wishes not to take the required mandatory distributions into income, a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) from an IRA can be an advantage. In the past, a taxable transfer from an IRA was offset by the charitable tax deduction on a gift of an equal amount to charity; today QCDs provide additional benefits since the distribution is not included in adjustable gross income (AGI). As a result:

  • QCDs avoid possible income tax increases on Social Security benefits;
  • QCDs may avoid potential limitations on charitable deductions since AGI is not increased;
  • QCDs may avoid other deduction limitations created by a higher AGI; and
  • QCDs may avoid Medicare insurance premium increases.

Are there requirements?

Yes.

  • A QCD may be from an individual retirement annuity, a Roth IRA or an IRA; but NOT from a SEP, a simple retirement account or an inherited IRA;
  • The taxpayer must obtain a contribution acknowledgment from the charity similar to what is required for a charitable income tax deduction; The taxpayer/donor must be 70-1/2 years of age;
  • The distribution must be made by the IRA trustee directly to a public charity;
  • The distribution cannot be to a donor-advised fund, a supporting organization or to a charitable remainder trust or charitable gift annuity; and
  • The donor cannot receive any goods or services in return, including membership.

How is it done?

If you are interested in using your QCD to give to Denver Botanic Gardens, the following steps are required:

  • Contact the development team at Denver Botanic Gardens to alert them of your intention and inform them of the trustee so the Gardens can look for the distribution and credit it correctly to you.
  • Instruct your IRA trustee or custodian to send a check from your account directly to the Gardens. (Most IRA trustees or custodians have done this before and have forms and procedures in place.)
  • Give the trustee/custodian enough time to process your request during the calendar year - prior to December is a good time to start the process.

Your contact at Denver Botanic Gardens is Johanna Kelly, Director of Development, at 720-865-3517.