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Gifts of Appreciated Securities: The Details

Did you know giving stock can be more beneficial than giving cash?

Is this gift right for you?

A gift of appreciated securities is for you if…

  • You're holding stocks, bonds, or mutual fund shares that have increased in value.
  • You want to make a gift that doesn't affect your liquidity or cash flow.
  • You want to make an outright gift, or fund a gift that will first return lifetime payments to you and/or another beneficiary.
  • You want to diversify your assets to increase your income without having to pay the capital gains taxes that would result from a sale.

A $5,000 cash gift and a gift of $5,000 in appreciated securities both generate the same charitable deduction.

But if you use publicly-traded stocks, bonds or mutual fund shares that you have held for a year or longer to make your gift, you will receive an additional tax benefit: the IRS allows you to make your transfer to The Red Cross without recognizing capital gains on the appreciation. You can thus leverage a larger donation than you could make with cash — and receive a larger tax benefit — by "buying low and giving high."

Your gift of stock is valued, for tax purposes, at the mean of the high and low on the date of transfer. Mutual funds are valued at the "net asset value".

If you and your advisors are transferring assets at the end of the year, it is especially important to note the following.

  • For stocks transferred through the U.S. post office, the gift date may be found in the postmark. (Stock certificates should be sent unsigned to The Red Cross with an executed stock power mailed under separate cover on the same day.)
  • Gifts delivered by UPS, Fedex, or any other delivery company are credited, by law, on the day received by The Red Cross.

Important Tip: Don't sell the stock first. Even though you may give us the proceeds as a gift, the IRS will impose capital gains tax on your sale, wiping out the benefits of this arrangement.

Please contact us so that we can assist you through every step of the process.

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