Qualified Charitable Distributions

Patrons who are over age 70 ½ and have Traditional IRA accounts must take Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) in 2016 and subsequent years. These RMD’s are subject to Federal taxes and are taxable in many states.

You can avoid those taxes by making a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). Congress made permanent the provision to exclude QCD’s from taxation in December, 2015. QCD’s allows traditional IRA owners over 70 ½ to give funds directly to a 501 (c) (3) charity without having to include the QCD in the taxpayers Adjusted Gross Income.

To qualify as a QCD, the distribution must go directly from your IRA custodian to the charity (eg. the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, Washington, DC Chapter). Once the transfer is completed, the charity needs to acknowledge the gift for the taxpayer’s records.

The taxpayer reports the Gross amount of the distribution on line 15a of Form 1040, but carries over only the taxable amount to line 15b. For example, if the RMD is $15,000, but the taxpayer executed a QCD for $10,000, then line 15a would show $15,000 Gross distribution, while line 15b would show $5,000 of taxable income. (If the entire $15,000 went to the charity, the taxable amount on line 15b will be zero).

While most people will want to limit their QCD’s to the amount of their RMD’s, they can donate up to $100,000 per year as a QCD. So a husband and wife each with their own IRA accounts could make QCD’s of up to $100,000 each for a total of $200,000.

In order to qualify for a 2016 QCD, the QCD must be completed by December 31, 2016.

Patrons who do not itemize deductions can make QCD’s and avoid having to include the RMD income in their taxable income.

Other advantages of lowering your Adjusted Gross Income are that it can help reduce the taxable amount of Social Security benefits, and it can reduce the amount of Medicare Part B premiums payable in future years.

Consult with your tax accountant if this might be something you wish to consider to help support the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums.

Posted on May 3, 2016

Restoration Laser in Use

During the 2015 Chapter Trip to Rome in May, the DC Patrons were shown the ArtLight II Laser that was donated by the DC Chapter. This laser is used for cleaning extremely delicate works of art without damaging them. The chief conservator was extremely thankful to the Chapter for funding the equipment. He told us that he never thought he would have access to such a wonderful piece of equipment!


And right on the side of the unit is a placard noting that the DC Chapter of the Patrons made it possible.


Posted on June 5, 2015

2015 Chapter Project

EKTA 7556(12x18cm)

The Washington Chapter is sponsoring the restoration of the Polypthic with Madonna, Child and four Saints. This wonderful polypthic is the work of the painter Giovanni Bonsi, who lived in Florence and was active 1351-1371. Unfortunately, little is known about his life, but it is believed that he completed his apprenticeship at the Orcagna workshop. In 1366, together with Taddeo Gaddi, Orcagna and Andrea di Bonaiuto, he was part of the Commission for the building of the new Cathedral. Few of Bonsi’s works are known, but this polyptych is undoubtedly the most important one.

In the central panel, the Virgin Mary is represented with the baby Jesus on her lap. She sits on a decorated and chiselled throne of gold. An inscription at the bottom of the painting reads that the piece was created in 1371 by Giovanni Bonsi from Florence: A.D.M.C.C.L.XXI. JONES BONSI DE FLORENTIA ME PINSIT. Four saints are represented in the side panels. On the left, St. Onofrio the Eremite, stands with long hair, grasping his stick between two tree-topped rocks. Then there is St. Nicholas, in Episcopal dress, with three spheres of gold in his hand. On the right side of the Virgin, St. Bartholomew is shown with a knife in his right hand and a book in his left. By his side, St. John the Evangelist is depicted writing. The name of each Saint is written in the predella below. Pictured in the cusps above each of the four saints are small gilded portraits of Dominicans. The scene above the Virgin Mary is of Christ blessing a book. This painting is expected to be returned on display in the Painting Gallery.

Posted on December 12, 2014