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How do I take a qualified charitable distribution (QCD)?

You can sell shares from your Vanguard mutual funds or Vanguard brokerage account by check to donate to a qualified charity. This is called a qualified charitable distribution (QCD). You can take a qualified charitable distribution from your IRA.

Why do this?

  • You may be able to avoid taxes on otherwise taxable distributions if you're drawing from a traditional IRA.
  • A qualified charitable distribution (QCD) is not subject to ordinary federal income taxes – the amount is simply excluded from your taxable income. In general, QCDs must be reduced by deductible IRA contributions made for the year you reach age 70½ or later. If you've made deductible IRA contributions for the year you turn 70½ or later, consult a qualified tax advisor prior to taking a QCD to determine the amount by which your QCD must be reduced.
  • Your annual Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) may be donated to a qualified charity.

When can you do this?

  • You must be at least 70½ at the time of the distribution. A QCD can be made after age 70½ even if you're not subject to RMDs yet (because you're under age 72).

How can you do this?

  • Confirm that the receiving charity is qualified under Internal Revenue Code § 170(b)(1)(A).
  • You can take a maximum of $100,000 per year in qualified charitable distributions.
  • Print this page and then start your distribution by clicking here and following the instructions listed below.
  • Choose an eligible account and select Send me a check from the Where’s the money going? drop-down.
  • Select the Qualified Charitable Distribution checkbox and read the QCD considerations.
  • Enter the name of the charity.
  • Proceed through to the confirmation screen.

About taking a qualified charitable distribution for your RMD

  • Your QCD counts towards satisfying your RMD once you reach RMD age.
  • Up to a maximum of $100,000 of your RMD can be donated to a qualified charity.
  • If you have the RMD service, be sure to factor in these donations to avoid distributing more than your annual RMD.
  • Qualified charitable distributions are counted for the tax year in which they're taken.