Gift of Appreciated Securities

Gifts to the parish of stock or other securities are a helpful way to support the parish and receive significant tax advantages yourself.  If you have owned your stocks for at least a year and a day, by donating you're appreciated securities, you avoid the capital gains tax you would owe if you sold the securities yourself. The donor receives credit (and the tax deduction) for the full appreciated value of the stock.  The expense to the donor, however, is the original purchase price of the stock.  

For example, if you had bought Coke stock 30 years ago for $1, and it is now worth $45, you could gift the entire value of the Coke stock that only cost $1.  If you were to simply sell the Coke stock, you would be taxed on the aggregate gain of $44.  So it is actually more efficient to gift appreciated securities than to sell them or donate with cash.

Whether it makes sense to take an itemized deduction for your charitable contributions depends on whether your total itemized deductions exceed your standard deduction. It is also worth noting that a new change in the law increases the maximum contribution percentage limit from 50% of your contribution base to 60% for cash contributions to public charities. Consider using appreciated securities such as stocks or mutual funds that have a low cost basis and have been owned for more than one year.

For instruction of how to make a gift of securities, click here.