Due to the new tax law, it is harder to take a tax deduction for charitable donations. But if you have an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and you have reached age 70 1/2, there is a way to donate to charities directly from your IRA and save on taxes.

Instead of taking the taxable Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) each year, you can have your IRA custodian send payments directly to the Dharma Bums Temple. 

This is called a Qualified Charitable Distribution, which avoids paying tax on the RMD, and other possible tax consequences of additional  income (such as higher Medicare premiums). 

The key is for the distribution to go straight from your IRA to the charity, without the taxpayer (you) receiving the money first. 

Most IRA custodians can provide a checkbook to simplify the QCD, so you can send checks to more than one charity. Regardless of your RMD amount, you can donate up to $100,000 per year to charities by using the QCD. 

Consult your IRA custodian and your tax preparer for further information. Major brokerage companies and search engines have detailed on-line info on QCDs.