Posted by Jill Boynton on December 4, 2013
Thinking of making some year-end charitable gifts? Instead of giving cash consider donating stocks that you own with a low cost basis. Maybe you have stock you inherited years ago, or bought at the market lows in 2008 and you’re sitting on some hefty gains. You are probably not relishing the idea of a big capital gain when you sell it. You can bypass that headache by donating the stock directly to a charitable organization. The same holds for mutual funds with a low cost basis. Most charities are set up to accept stock or mutual fund donations – all you have to do is get the transfer instructions from the charity and give it to your account custodian.
Another way to be charitable without opening your wallet is to give directly from your IRA if you are over age 70 ½. This tax provision expires at the end of 2013, so take advantage of it while you still can. Assets that are donated directly to a charity from an IRA (again, if the owner is over age 70 ½) will not count as a taxable withdrawal. However they will count as part of your annual required minimum distribution, so you take care of that obligation at the same time.