Can I sell some shares of my 401k ($2500) and gift the proceeds to a 501c3 without being liable for income tax?
If you are under age 59.5, you generally cannot take a distribution from your 401(k) plan without having to pay at least 10% in income tax. The 10% tax is in addition to your income tax. Gifting the proceeds to a charity are not on the list of exceptions. For your convenience here's the list:
I retired at age 53. I am 64 now. Can I avoid paying Income tax on the proceeds that I gift to a 501c3? Can I transfer the shares and avoid the income tax liability?
Your gift would essentially be the same as any other charity donation - you could write off the FMV on the transfer date as a charitable donation. See Internal Revenue Code section 170(b)(1)(A).Things get a little more complex, though, if you start giving away large portions of your AGI. However, $2,500 is a relatively small amount. I doubt the stuff I'm going to include below will impact you, but want to give you the information nonetheless.
The overall ceiling on the deduction is 50% of adjusted gross income (AGI). Gifts of cash and short-term capital gain property to “public” charities are deductible up to this 50% limit. See IRC section 170(b)(1)(A).
Gifts to “public” charities of appreciated stock held long-term (together with certain other types of other long-term appreciated property contributions) are generally deductible up to 30% of AGI. See IRC section 170(b)(1)(C).
“Excess” contributions may be carried forward for up to five subsequent tax years. See IRC section 170(d)(1).
I already know that I can claim donations.401k investments have not had income tax paid on them (that's a different tax.) Can I donate this amount as either the mutual funds or cash and not owe income tax on that transaction. I'm not looking for the page paragraph of the tax code, I was offered an answer in your ad, from a professional.
Essentially you won't be paying income tax on what you gift to the charity, and it's not a special tax treatment of any kind. Here's what happens. You take $2,500 from the 401(k). That increases your taxable income by $2,500. You then gift the amount to charity, which is a deduction from taxable income in the amount of $2,500. So, essentially, in doing this you have "avoided" income tax. However, you will have to itemize your deduction, and there's no way around that. So to answer your question you won't be paying tax on the $2,500, but there's nothing special or fancy about what you're wanting to do.