Gifts of Securities: Getting Started 

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A stock portfolio is often among the most valuable assets you own—and one that can carry substantial capital gain, or appreciation in value. With careful planning, you can reduce or even eliminate federal capital gains tax while supporting our work. Read on to see why donating securities can offer even more tax benefits than writing a check.

Gift of Securities
You
You
1
You give securities.
2
You receive an income tax deduction.
Willamette University
3
Securities are sold and Willamette University receives the cash proceeds.
Stock Market


Question MarkDid you know?
Stocks are considered to be appreciated for tax purposes if they're worth more now than when you purchased them.

How It Works
As stock prices increase, so do the taxes you owe on the long-term capital gain, which are charged at a maximum rate of 20 percent (0 percent if your income falls below the 25 percent tax bracket and 15 percent if your income falls below the 39.6 percent bracket). But when you donate publicly traded stock you've owned for more than one year to a qualified charitable organization such as Willamette, you enjoy two major tax benefits:
  • You will be exempt from paying capital gains taxes on any increase in value—taxes you would pay if you had otherwise sold the securities.
  • You are entitled to a federal income tax deduction based on the current fair market value of the securities, regardless of their original cost.
The income tax deduction for long-term capital gain property is limited to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income in the year you make the gift, but your excess deduction is deductible for up to five additional years.


Example
Lucy wants to make a charitable gift of $10,000. She can make her gift with either cash or stock. She has a marginal federal income tax rate of 28 percent and is not subject to state or local income taxes. The stock's value is $10,000, with a cost basis of $4,000.

Cash Gift vs. Stock Gift
Type of gift
Cash
Stock
Value of gift $10,000 $10,000
Cost basis N/A $4,000
Long-term capital gain if sold N/A $6,000
Long-term capital gains tax eliminated ($6,000 x 15% rate) N/A $900
Income tax savings ($10,000 x 28% rate) $2,800 $2,800
Total tax savings (capital gains tax eliminated + income tax savings) $2,800 $3,700
Net cost of gift (value of gift - total tax savings) $7,200 $6,300

In this example, using the stock instead of writing a check saves an added $900. A higher federal tax bracket and any state or local income taxes would further improve Lucy's results.

Learn More
A tax or legal advisor can provide you with additional information. We would be happy to assist you as well. Simply contact Lori L. Hoby at (866) 204-8102 or lhoby@willamette.edu; we can work with you to find a way to give that meets your goals.