These release from the IRS allows for some planning opportunities for those taxpayers that have Required Minimum Distributions and that are Charitably Inclined:
Quoted from IRS Employee Plan News dated 1/12/2011 - "The qualified charitable distribution provisions were renewed for 2010 and 2011, allowing individuals age 70½ or over to exclude from gross income up to $100,000 that is paid directly from their individual retirement accounts (excluding SEP or SIMPLE IRAs) to a qualified charity. The excluded amount can be used to satisfy any required minimum distributions that the individual must otherwise receive from their IRAs for 2010 and 2011. The deadline for making a 2010 QCD is January 31, 2011. The election to treat a January 2011 QCD as having been made in 2010 is made by including the QCD on the individual’s 2010 income tax return.
To qualify as a QCD, the IRA trustee must make the distribution directly to the qualified charity. Any distributions, including any RMDs, which the IRA owner actually receives cannot qualify as QCDs. Likewise, any tax withholdings on behalf of the owner from an IRA distribution cannot qualify as QCDs.
IRA owners who have received their 2010 RMDs may not recontribute those distributions to an IRA to have them redistributed directly to a qualified charity as a QCD. However, if an IRA owner received a distribution in excess of his or her 2010 RMD, the owner can roll the excess to another or the same IRA within 60 days of receiving the distribution and then have the funds paid directly to the qualified charity as a QCD."