Qualified Charitable Distributions: Using Your IRA to Give from the Heart

From Trish Arnold @ LPL Financial (2019 Dec 27)

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act roughly doubled the standard deduction ($12,200 for single filers and $24,400 for married taxpayers filing jointly in 2019) and indexed it for inflation through 2025. As a result, far fewer taxpayers will itemize deductions on their tax returns, and some people may be disappointed that they no longer benefit from writing off their donations.

If you are 70½ or older, you can use a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) to donate from your IRA and get a tax break, whether you itemize or not. Not coincidentally, this is the same age you must begin taking annual required minimum distributions (RMDs), which are normally taxed as ordinary income, or face a 50% penalty on the amount that should have been withdrawn.

QCDs satisfy all or part of any RMDs that you would otherwise have to take from your IRA. Better yet, QCDs are excluded from your income, so they help lower your adjusted gross income (AGI) as well.

How QCDs work

The IRA custodian must issue a check made out to a qualified public charity (not a private foundation, donor-advised fund, or supporting organization). In some cases, the IRA custodian may provide a checkbook from which you can write checks to chosen charities. Be aware that any check you write will count as a QCD for the year in which it is cashed by the charity, whereas a check from the custodian counts for the year in which it is issued.

You can take an RMD any time during the year you turn 70½, but you must wait until after you are 70½ to make a QCD. The QCD exclusion is limited to $100,000 per year. If you’re married, your spouse can also contribute up to $100,000 from his or her IRA. You cannot deduct a QCD as a charitable contribution on your federal income tax return — that would be double-dipping.

A QCD must be an otherwise taxable distribution from your IRA. If you’ve made nondeductible contributions, then each distribution normally carries with it a pro-rata amount of taxable and nontaxable dollars. With QCDs, the pro-rata rule is ignored, and taxable dollars are treated as distributed first.

Tax perks for givers

If you no longer itemize, you could reduce your tax bill by donating with QCDs from your IRA instead of writing checks from your standard checking account. And if you still itemize, QCDs might prove more valuable than tax deductions. That’s because they can help address tax issues that might be triggered by income from RMDs.

For example, an itemized deduction reduces your taxable income by the amount of the charitable gift, but it does not reduce your adjusted gross income. This is a key distinction because the 3.8% tax on net investment income, Medicare premium costs, taxes on Social Security benefits, and some tax credits are based on AGI.

Also, charitable giving can typically be deducted only if it is less than 60% of your adjusted gross income. But with QCDs, you may be able to give more than 60% of your AGI and exclude the entire amount (up to the $100,000 cap) from your taxable income.

Time for a rollover?

Qualified charitable distributions are available from traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs (with taxable amounts), and inactive SIMPLE or SEP IRAs, but they are not allowed from employer retirement plans such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s. Thus, you might consider rolling funds from an employer plan to an IRA if you want to take advantage of a giving strategy that involves QCDs.


Federal employees have the opportunity to help support their local Habitat for Humanity by donating through the yearly Combined Federal Campaign. The mission of the CFC is to promote and support philanthropy through a program that is employee focused, cost-efficient, and effective in providing all federal employees the opportunity to improve the quality of life for all.

Habitat is once again registered with the CFC to help support on-going home-ownership and home repair projects in Tulare and Kings Counties. Federal employees can find out more information at https://www.opm.gov/combined-federal-campaign/

Support Habitat for Humanity of Tulare/Kings Counties – #22213

Check out this short video for HFHTKC.

On July 26th and 27th, more than 20 volunteers from Leprino Foods (East and West), joined the Goldsmith family and Habitat for Humanity staff to start an amazing home remodel. The growing family of eight needed to add a bathroom and bedroom to provide room for 6 growing boys, and Leprino Foods jumped on board with financial a literal support. The volunteers started the demolition needed to add the new space to the existing house then built all the exterior walls for the addition.

The project will continue for the next couple of months and Habitat is scheduling volunteer teams now! Give us a call at 734-4040 ext 100 and ask for Anita. You can also sign-up today!

Check out pictures from the Construction Site!

Leprino Foods East-Video

Leprino Foods West-Video

Thank you so much to Leprino Foods, Pacific Western Bank for hosting the job-site and joining in to get dirty!



Tina was living in a room no bigger than a closet and paying for the privilege. She never thought that one day she would be able to leave that closet behind and become a homeowner through Habitat for Humanity of Tulare/Kings Counties. Check out her story.

Volunteers from Zeltmacher Structural Engineering helped Habitat for Humanity staff assemble a cute playhouse that will be the “Treasure Hunt” prize for the 26th Annual SpringFest at the Visalia Convention Center on Friday, February 8-9 & 10. Habitat for Humanity ReStore will  have items on display in a large booth on 1st avenue and will host the playhouse for guests playing the “Treasure Hunt” game during the event. All guests will be given a “Treasure Hunt” card when they arrive at the convention center and need to have their cards stamped by volunteers and staff at all the designated booths. These cards will be handed in when complete and a winner will be drawn on Sunday.

The ReStore, a building materials thrift store, is operated by Habitat for Humanity and sell usable, donated items for the home at a discounted rate. These sales then help support Habitat’s mission of building homes, community and hope. The ReStore is open to the public for shoppers and accepts donations of gently used household items during regular business hours.

Two locations to better serve you:

637 S Lovers Lane, Visalia, CA 93292
415 W Lacey Blvd, Hanford, Ca 93230


Much to Celebrate-More to Build
On January 17, more than 70 people gathered for Habitat for Humanity’s Annual Meeting and Volunteer Recognition event at the Wyndham Hotel.  Awards of recognition were given to volunteers who had donated more than 100 hours of their time serving Habitat for Humanity or the ReStore.  The event also focused on the start of a year-long celebration of 25 years serving hard-working, low-income families in Tulare and Kings Counties.

Since 1994, Habitat has helped 67 families become first time home buyers through it’s homeownership program, and 400 local families repair their homes, making them more affordable and safe. Starting with a volunteer board of directors they managed to raise the funds and build 3 houses before hiring the first executive director, Betsy Murphy, in February 1999.

The affiliate has grown from serving the City of Visalia to covering both Tulare and Kings Counties and now runs two ReStore outlets, in Visalia and  Hanford.

Habitat has accomplished a lot, but realizes that there is so much more to do. As they prepare to build two new homes in 2019, they are also building community by introducing businesses and individuals to Habitat for Humanity and encouraging them to come “Swing a Hammer” for Habitat.

Help support our future projects by DONATING ON-LINE. 


Almost 50 members of the local Porterville Community, joined Habitat for Humanity staff and new homeowner partner, to raise the first wall on Habitat’s newest project in Porterville. The Porterville Committee has been raising funds for this project for almost a year. Because of an amazing partnership with the City of Porterville, the donated property will soon be home to our newest homeowner and her four children. Staff from Bank of America, Eagle Mountain Casino, Dennis Townsend Architecture Group, and Harmony Magnet Academy were also on hand to help raise the first wall.  Ivan Lione, an architecture student from Harmony Magnet Academy, worked with Dennis Townsend Architecture Group, to design the floor plan for the new Habitat build. The City and Habitat hope that the project will be complete by the end of June 2019.

Join Habitat by volunteering for this project. Contact Anita a programasst@hfhtkc.org or call 559-734-4040 ext 100.


Community Builder Sponsors ~ Bank of America & Eagle Mountain Casino.

Roof Raiser Sponsors ~ Pacific Western Bank, Bank of the Sierra, QK, Townsend Architecture Group, Dodd’s Plumbing, Gary Gostanian-Suncrest Bank, E.M.Tharp Inc.
Foundation Builder Sponsors ~ Bob Ruffa Electric Inc., Smith’s Roofing, Young’s Commercial Transfer, Walmart DC, R.M. Parks, Valley Pacific Petroleum, Grocery Outlet-Porterville.

“Building Hope in Porterville” Committee
Steve Pearson, Gary Gostanian, Denise Marchant, Lupe Diaz, Dennis Townsend, Claudia Calderon, Ashley Sizemore, Geane Lohse, Micky Phanthavong, Kitty Highfill, Sue Hartman.


Anastasia Ochoa: Restore Habitat for Humanity

The stability of home ownership means many things to Anastasia Ochoa, a 28-year-old mother of four, and her husband David, the proud owner-operator of a relatively new tree-trimming business. The low mortgage payments for their Habitat for Humanity home allowed David to start his business and ended the cycle of moving from rental to rental in search of enough space and sanitation to raise a growing family. “Before coming to Habitat, we lived in three different homes,” she says, offering a litany of problems in each place.

What is most meaningful about this home, however, is the opportunities now available to her children. “It’s a better education,” she says. “We get to spend more time with our kids.” She’s thrilled with the school district her family has moved into. “The teachers are so involved with the kids’ education. I’m very happy and proud of where I live, the home that I have,” she says. That pride transitions to gratitude and a desire to pay it forward to Habitat for Humanity.

While both Anastasia and David have completed their sweat equity requirements to move into their home, they each maintain involvement in the organization.

“Now, every chance my husband gets when he’s not working, he volunteers,” she says. David helps build homes for other families, and Anastasia put in most of her sweat equity hours at Habitat’s Restore retail space, where she was eventually hired to work part time. The job helped her through a round of self-described baby blues and gave her a new network of support. “It’s a good vibe,” she says. “I tell my co-workers they’re family. They’re my Habitat family. They’re stuck with us. Ever since we got the home, we’ve been blessed.”

“It’s a great vibe…I tell my co-workers they’re family. They’re my Habitat family. They’re stuck with us. Ever since we got the home, we’ve been blessed.”

– Anastasia Ochoa



On June 4th, volunteers, board members and staff from Habitat for Humanity joined the Santana Family as they started their “home-ownership” journey. They put in sweat-equity hours building their home and will now make monthly, no-interest mortgage payments to Habitat until the mortgage has been paid off.  These monthly payments contribute to a revolving loan fund that helps support new projects with hard working, low-income families in our community. They have joined 62 other families who have become first time home buyers through Habitat’s home-ownership program in Tulare and Kings Counties.

Habitat believes that everyone deserves a decent and affordable place to live and that home-ownership helps to stabilize individuals, children, parents and the entire community.

Thank you to Bob Croft from Spirit 88.9 for helping us dedicate the home.

Thank you to all those who contributed to this project!
City of Visalia, Lowe’s, Cal Home, Whirlpool Corporation, Valspar Paint, Chicago Title, Franey’s Flooring, Schneider Electric, 4-Creeks Engineering, Bank of America and Architect Thom Black

A Special Thanks to all the volunteers and their group leaders…..Without you we would not be here today!
Lowe’s-Eric Locke & Dale Ferrel, Kawneer-Maricela Jimenez, Visalia PD-Michele Figueroa, Holly Ellis-Spirit 88.9, Bryan & Co.-Kristi Bryan, Cigna-Linda Smith, LPL Financial-Trish Arnold, Chamber of Commerce-Gail Zurek, Habitat homeowners – Elizabeth Shelton, Tammy Cunningham & Juanita Aguilar. Special thanks to Ron Rindge, Henry Gerardo, John Murray & all the Women Build Volunteers.

In early July, Tammy Perez, Habitat for Humanity of Tulare/Kings Counties first homeowner partner walked into the Habitat office and payed off her home mortgage after 22 years. Her monthly payments became a part of the on-going cycle of funding to support the now more than 61 homeowners who have joined Tammy in our homeownership program.

Tammy spent time with founding board members Bill Decker and Joan Marschall, Habitat staff and past executive director Betsy Murphy, remembering the day she was chosen and the year she spent working on her home. Her most vivid memory is of getting the keys to her home on December 3, 1995, knowing that she would never again need to move her family.

“It’s my house”, Tammy said several times, “and I will never sell it!” She remembers moving from City to City as a child and never finishing a school year in one place. “I didn’t want that life for my 4 children” she said.

Habitat homeowner partners work up to 500 hours of sweat equity on their home or other Habitat projects. When the house is complete, the homeowner then purchases the house from Habitat with a no-profit, no-interest mortgage. Because those mortgage payments are made to Habitat, the staff has a long term relationship with each homeowner and together they work hard to keep homeowners in their home building strength, stability and self-reliance for the entire family.

Becoming a homeowner was a dream come true for Tammy and her 4 children. They were able to stay in one place, build relationships in the community and build a future that included having a place they could come back to. Congratulations Tammy and don’t forget to stop by and say HI!

Check out Tammy’s Video!

If you are interested in learning more about home ownership with Habitat for Humanity give us a call at 734-4040 or email programasst@hfhtkc.org.