Donating appreciated stock is up to 37% more tax-efficient than cash. Why?
It’s pretty simple actually.When you sell stock for a gain, you owe capital gains taxes to the government reducing your gain and the amount you are able to give. By donating stock, you are essentially redirecting the tax you would pay to the government to the church resulting in a bigger impact and a larger tax deduction for you!
IF YOU SELL STOCK AND DONATE CASH
Conversely you could sell your 4 shares and receive $100 but you would then owe $21 in capital gains tax leaving you with $79 in proceeds that you could donate.
IF YOU DONATE STOCK DIRECTLY
Let’s assume your tax rate on capital gains is 35%, and you want to donate $100 to church. If you acquired Nike stock at $10, and it’s now trading at $25, you could donate 4 shares to reach your $100 goal.
What specific stock could I donate? You can give any publicly traded stock. By donating assets that have appreciated in value for more than one year, you are more likely to maximize the potential tax benefits.
Can I give through my 401K or IRA? We can process all whole shares of publicly traded stock, including 401Ks and IRAs. However, because donors often incur penalties for withdrawing these assets before a certain date, we highly recommend consulting your tax professional before donating these types of assets. Donating 401Ks or IRA could result in major tax penalties or even fewer tax benefits than donating cash.
Can I give company stock outside of the trading window? If you received company-distributed stock as an employee and the trading window is not open, your brokerage will likely reject the transfer request. We highly advise you ask your company for the trading windows and give during those time periods, which typically are open quarterly for 3 to 4 weeks at a time.