If you’re age 70½ or over and have a Traditional, Rollover, SEP, or SIMPLE IRA, you’re required by law to take Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) annually.

For the past seven years, up to and including December 31, 2014, those persons who reached 70 ½ and who did not need all of their RMD for living expenses could utilize the Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) rules to donate directly from an IRA to a charity. The 2014 QCD opportunity, titled “Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014” wasn’t passed until December of that year. The previous QCD rules have allowed charitable contributions of up to $100,000 from an IRA without paying income taxes on the distribution.

Will the QCD be available in 2015? We hope it will be but in the meantime, until and unless Congress extends the QCD, if you are 70 ½ or older, we recommend calculating your RMD now and deciding how much of your RMD or IRA you might want to donate to charity in the event the QCD becomes available before December 31.