An Efficient Way to Donate During Retirement
One EWTN Family Member Shares His Story
By Paul DiNicola
My connection to EWTN starts back in the early 1980s, when I first became aware of Mother Angelica through audio cassettes of her Wednesday live show on EWTN. At that time my cable company did not carry EWTN, so I started writing to them, asking that they carry the Network. At first, they only picked up four hours, but eventually EWTN was included full-time! This started a very important part of my faith journey.
My wife Gayle and I believe God used EWTN for us to meet and marry. Back in August 2001, EWTN's Life on the Rock featured a Catholic dating-for-marriage website, which inspired each of us to join. We met in December of that year and by June 2002, we were married! I am a lifelong "cradle Catholic" and Gayle is a Protestant convert. The numerous EWTN resources have been a tremendous asset and blessing for us personally and we believe EWTN's mission is critical for our country and the world. That's why we are committed to support EWTN's mission.
How we provide that support has recently changed, thanks to EWTN's Legacy Giving Advisor, Ryan Flood, who helped us set up a Charitable Gift Annuity for a family member. This was a three-way win: the annuitant; the beneficiary (EWTN); and the donor (us).
Ryan also suggested that we consider using a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) as a tax-efficient way to donate. A QCD is a direct transfer of funds from an IRA custodian, payable to a qualified charity. Once you reach the age of 70 ½, you are eligible to make a QCD, which can be counted toward satisfying your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) for the year. An RMD is the annual Required Minimum Distribution that an individual is required by law to start taking out of their retirement account.
Here are some of the basic advantages of donating using QCD's:
- It's an "above-the-line" deduction, which means it excludes the amount donated from taxable income rather than being a simple itemized deduction.
- It lowers your Adjusted Gross Income, reducing the impact to certain tax credits and deductions, including Social Security and Medicare premium income adjustments.
- The most recent federal income tax changes made significant increases to the Standard Deduction amounts. By making our charitable donations through QCDs, we were able to simplify our tax return, avoiding itemized deductions and simply claiming the Standard Deduction. This may not be true for someone who also has substantial deductions in the other categories.
There are many ways to support the work of EWTN, and this is only a short explanation of how QCDs have benefited us. A tax advisor can provide additional details and professional guidance based on your particular situation.
EWTN is an important part of our lives. It constitutes most of the TV programming we watch and is on all our mobile devices. We have been blessed to be members of Mother Angelica's EWTN Family and are proud to do our part to support the great work of EWTN's mission of evangelization.