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Securities may be donated at their present market value as a outright gift. In this way, you can avoid capital gains tax and receive an income tax deduction based on the stock's fair market value. When transferring securities, it is important to use our full legal name and correct address:
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Note that as of December 18, 2015, both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate have passed a bill to make permanent the IRA charitable rollover. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law. The provision will no longer be scheduled to expire, and is effective retroactive to January 1, 2015.
If you are 70 & ½ years of age or older you can make an IRA donations up to $100,000 directly to a qualified charity without a tax impact. The withdrawal can be counted toward your Required Minimum Distribution. So if you otherwise would not want to take a forced distribution and add to your Adjusted Gross Income (possibly affecting Medicare premiums), you can take advantage of this as well. The IRS requires that any donation must be received by the charitable organization by midnight of December 31 for a given tax year.
See IRA Distributions and Withdrawals FAQ at the IRS website. Also see the article from Forbes Magazine, The Dollars And Sense Of Giving IRA Assets To Charity, which provides a good summary and examples.