IRS: Charitable IRA Distributions End in 2011 [AUDIO]
For retirees thinking about taxes and the new year, there's a charity distribution benefit that expires this year.
"If you're age 70 and one half or older, you can make a qualified charitable distribution out of your IRA, to a qualified charity and exclude that amount from income. That means you don't pay taxes on that distribution like you normally would, as long as the amount is less than 100,000 dollars and it's transferred directly to a qualified charitable organization."
IRS Spokesman David Stell said the charitable distribution deduction for retirees was extended by Congress for 2011, but that tax laws do change. Mr. Stell did note a positive trend in the Revenue Service, electronic filing.
Efficiency in government:
"About 80 percent of all taxpayers file electronically and don't ever use or see a paper tax return. Electronic filing is one of the modern day success stories in federal government. It has increased annually every year since its inception back in 1986, and the more people who file electronically, the less it costs to process tax returns, therefore saving the government time and money."
And for people who made less than 57,000 dollars this year and file electronically, a new IRS program called Free File will allow you to use commercially available tax preparation software at no cost.
Free tax preparation:
"It's available, or will be available, in mid-January through the IRS website--that's irs.gov--and Free File works in such a way that about 20 commercial software companies participate. You can choose from among any of those 20 to use their software online at no cost to actually prepare and file your tax return."