Remember to “Stock Gifts” Under the Tree this Christmas Season

by Timothy Henry, Planned Giving Director & Tom Kovach, Major Gifts Director

Are you looking for a way to increase your giving to our Tree of Lights Campaign without disposing of additional cash?   Does the idea of receiving a double tax break when you donate to The Salvation Army sound appealing?

Consider making a gift of appreciated securities.

Amid the current economic uncertainly in the United States and Europe, the U.S. stock market is in flux and the week of November 28 was no exception.  All three major averages posted a gain of over 7 percent last week yet stocks erased most of their earlier gains on Friday to finish near the flat-line as investors booked profits before last weekend. Meanwhile Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis, which has dragged on for more than two years, is entering a pivotal week, as leaders across the continent converge to prevent a collapse of the euro and a financial panic from spreading.

Following economic news developments is important but nothing is more crucial today than making a difference through a donation of appreciated securities to The Salvation Army.   By gifting appreciated stock or mutual funds to our Tree of Lights campaign, you could potentially save $1,000 in taxes on a $5,000 donation.  The benefits of appreciated stock gifts are two-fold:  receive a charitable deduction and avoid capital gain tax treatment. 

This gifting approach often allows more “bang” for your charitable buck!

First, gifts of appreciated securities are eligible for an itemized charitable deduction on your tax return — the same as a cash donation. Instead of deriving the amount of the charitable deduction from the amount of cash given, the charitable deduction is calculated based on the Fair Market Value (commonly known as the “FMV”) of the number of shares given to The Salvation Army on the date of gift.  Second the gift of appreciated stock allows you to escape recognizing capital gain treatment of the shares.

Please ensure the appreciated stock you select has been held for more than one year and consult with your financial planner or CPA to decide if this gifting strategy is right for you. 

If you would like to make gift of appreciated securities before December 31, you or your broker may call our office at 314-646-3016 or 314-646-3019 and ask for Tim Henry (timothy_henry@usc.salvationarmy.org) or Tom Kovach (tom_kovach@usc.salvationarmy.org).

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