Highly appreciated assets such as real estate, securities or a business interest are better candidates for gifting as they offer a greater tax-play. For example, if an asset valued at $200,000 with $100,000 in basis is sold, the owner realizes a $100,000 taxable gain reducing the net proceeds available to gift to charity. A better result would be to have the owner donate the asset to the charity which would then sell it without realizing a taxable gain. Not only would this allow the charity to receive the full value of the asset as a gift but provide the donor with a charitable deduction based upon the full value.
Highly appreciated assets are also ideal candidates for gifting to charitable giving vehicles that provide lifetime income to donors such as Charitable Gift Annuities, Pooled Income Funds and Charitable Remainder Trusts. In these cases, the full value of the asset can fund the charitable instrument without being subject to taxable gain creating a greater lifetime income stream to the donor(s).
In contrast, cash gifts provide a charitable deduction based upon their dollar value without enjoying any additional tax-play.
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