It is estimated that almost 90% of taxpayers will claim the expanded standard deduction when paying their 2018 taxes. That means that while you might be very generous in your charitable giving during the year, you won't get any specific tax deduction for your generosity. However, if you are over the age of 70-1/2, there is a way to reduce your taxable income, and therefore the taxes you pay, by taking advantage of the Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from an IRA account. By having your IRA custodian make the check payable to the charity and sent directly to them, the distribution is not included in your taxable income for the year, and it also counts towards your required minimum distribution for the year.

Even better than getting the effect of a deduction, reducing your Adjusted Gross Income can place you in a lower tax bracket, reduce or eliminate the taxation of your Social Security benefits and help you remain eligible for deductions and credits that might be lost if you had to declare the QCD amount as income.

For a more detailed explanation of a QCD, check out this article. We are not tax experts, so be sure to consult with your tax accountant; here's a detailed article on the IRS requirements.