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Blog: Stories and Insight

Making Donations in Gifts of Stock

Gifts of Stock Still Make Sense

Senior mature older woman working on laptopDonating shares of stock is still a smart and advantageous way to give.  While market volatility may have impacted portfolio values, many investors still hold securities worth more than the investor’s original purchase price.  While 80% of donors own appreciated assets, only 20% considered them when planning their charitable giving.

Here’s why now might be a good time to consider a gift of stock:

  • Donated shares earn a tax deduction at their fair market value on the date of the gift.
  • Donating shares of stock  – as opposed to selling them – avoids capital gains taxes.
  • Gifting shares that you plan to sell – whether to rebalance your portfolio or reduce volatility – may help you accomplish those goals, while enjoying tax benefits.

Keep reading to learn more about the win-win gift of stock, and for simple transfer instructions and the necessary account information for your broker.

Take advantage of one of the most flexible tax planning tools.

by Lee Sheilds, CPA

By Lee Sheilds, CPA, Partner, Marcum, LLP, and Chair of Samaritan’s Planned Giving Committee, a volunteer group of the region’s leading financial professionals, lending their time and expertise to guide the charitable estate planning efforts.

Donating to your favorite charity not only provides the wonderful feeling of doing good for others, but can also offer possible large tax deductions. On top of that, it’s one of the most flexible tax planning tools as you can control the timing to best meet your needs. Well-planned gifts also can save estate tax while allowing you to take care of your heirs in the manner you choose.

Publicly traded stock and other securities you’ve held more than one year are long-term capital gains property, which can make one of the best charitable gifts. Why?

If you’ve held it for more than one year you may take a charitable tax deduction for the market value of the stock, and neither you, nor the charity, has to pay capital-gains taxes when the stock is sold. This strategy has become even more advantageous in recent years with the inception of the new Net Investment Income Tax which started in 2013. The combination can result in a bigger deduction (and more tax savings) for you and a bigger gift for the charity than if you sell the stock, pay the taxes, and donate the net proceeds.


Suppose you own a security that you paid $2,000 for which has appreciated in value to $10,000.  In addition you are considering contributing to one of your favorite charitable organizations. You could choose to donate the appreciated securities, donate cash or sell the securities then donate the cash.





Charitable Deduction $10,000 $10,000 $10,000
Income Tax Savings – 35% $3,500 $3,500 $3,500
Capital Gains – $8,000 gain – 20% plus 3.8% NIIT $1,904 saved  – $1,904 paid
Net Savings $5,404 $3,500 $1,596


Clearly the above illustrates that the most advantageous way to structure this transaction is to donate the appreciated securities. Remember the result for the charitable organization in these three scenarios is the same, they receive an asset, either cash or securities, valued at $10,000.

Please keep in mind various limits that could reduce the tax benefits of your donations. To ensure your gifts do as much as possible for both your favorite charities and your tax bill, discuss with your tax advisor which assets to give and the best ways to give them.

To learn more about gifts of appreciated stock (including DTC instructions for direct wire transfer), and the potential advantages of charitable estate planning, please contact Samaritan’s Chief Development Officer, Chris Rollins, CFRE, at (856) 552-3287. Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice, Inc. is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization (EIN: 22-2344036); headquartered at 3906 Church Road, Mount Laurel, NJ 08054.