Congress extended through the end of 2013 the popular "charitable IRA transfer." This permits individuals who have reached age 70 1/2 to make income tax-free distributions up to $100,000 directly from an individual retirement plan to one or more charitable organizations. Two additional twists were added:
Charitable IRA distributions which are completed by February 1, 2013 can be treated as if made in 2012.
A distribution from an IRA to the IRA owner in December 2012 can be treated as a qualified charitable distribution in 2012 if the amount is transferred in cash to charity before February 1, 2013.
Note: Unlike the other provisions of ATRA 2012, the charitable IRA transfer is again set to expire at the end of 2013.