The "charitable IRA rollover" rule was extended through 2013, permitting taxpayers who are 70½ or older to use their IRA to donate up to $100,000 to charity. The donation must be made directly from the IRA to the charity, and it counts as part of the taxpayer's required minimum distribution for the year.
If you turned 70½ in 2013, remember that you're now required to take a minimum distribution from your IRA (and, unless you're still working, from other retirement plans also) every year. If you delayed taking your first distribution last year, you have only until April 1, 2013 to take it or you'll be subject to a 50% penalty on the amount you should have taken.
Converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA is still an available option for all taxpayers. Although a conversion will generate taxable income in the year you do it, later qualifying withdrawals from the Roth will be tax-free. Your conversion opportunities are not limited to just traditional IRAs. You can also convert your 401(k), 403(b), or 457 plan to a Roth.
For details or assistance on IRA matters, contact our office.