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Gifts of Appreciated Security

How It Works

  • You transfer securities to MICA
  • MICA sells your securities and uses the proceeds for its programs.


  • You receive gift credit and an immediate income tax deduction for the fair market value of the securities on the date of transfer, no matter what you originally paid for them.
  • You pay no capital gains tax on the securities you donate.
  • You can direct your gift to a specific fund or purpose.
  • You can have the satisfaction of making a significant gift now or funding a life-income gift that benefits MICA later.

A gift of appreciated securites is a good strategy if ...

  • You're holding stocks, bonds, or mutual fund shares that have risen in value.
  • You want to maximize your deduction but not affect your liquidity\
  • You want to make an outright gift to us, or a gift that will first return lifetime payments to you

The IRS still offers you a notable tax break for charitable gifts: you may deduct the full, fair market value of appreciated assets that you give us, and also avoid capital gains liability on the transfer. This means that you can leverage a larger donation if you use an appreciated asset to make your gift instead of cash.

The most common appreciated asset, and the easiest to donate, is marketable stocks and bonds. Here are some details about these gifts:

How will your gift of stock be valued?

It's the average of the high and low prices for the stock on the date of the transfer to us. If the high bid was $80 and the low was $70 on the day you made your gift, your deduction will be $75 per share.

When is your gift complete?

If your stock is held by your broker, it's the date the shares reach our account. If you hold the stock yourself and mail it to us, it's the postmark date on the envelope.

How should you transfer securities to us?

If your broker holds the shares, he or she should call our office at 410-225-2556 for transfer instructions. If you hold the shares yourself, mail them unendorsed, and in a separate envelope mail a stock power signed in blank for each stock certificate to:

Advancement Services
1300 Mount Royal Ave.
Baltimore , MD 21217

Can you deduct the full amount of your gift?

Yes, within this limitation: the IRS says that you can deduct gifts of appreciated assets up to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income ("AGI" -- the figure at the bottom of the first page of Form 1040. See glossary for full definition). Thus, if your AGI will be $100,000 this year, you will be able to deduct up to $30,000 in gifts of stock. A gift in excess of the 30 percent amount is not wasted, however, because the IRS allows you to carry forward excess deductions through the five tax years following the year of your gift.

Note that the IRS allows cash gifts to be deducted up to 50 percent of adjusted gross income. Therefore, the deduction for a large gift of appreciated assets could take longer to claim than the deduction for the same gift made in cash. But if the donated assets had a small cost basis, they could still be more tax-efficient to use than cash.


You own stock with a fair market value of $100,000 that you purchased for $30,000.
If you contribute that stock to Volunteers of America you will claim a charitable income tax deduction for the full $100,000. In addition, you will not be liable for tax on the $70,000 capital gains upon transfer of the stock.

By donating appreciated stock instead of cash, you have delivered $100,000 to us and secured a tax deduction in the same amount, at a cost to you of only $30,000.

For More Information

If you are considering a gift of appreciated securities, e-mail or call:

Rita L. Walters
Vice President for Advancement
Office Telephone:  410-225-2262


Don't sell the stock first!

Even though you give us the proceeds as a gift, the IRS will impose capital gains tax on your sale, wiping out the benefits of this arrangement.

What if your stock has declined in value?

The fair-market deduction rule works against you: if you bought stock for $50,000 and it's now worth $30,000, your charitable deduction will be limited to $30,000. You won't earn a capital loss by making the transfer to us, either. It is better to sell depreciated stock, claim the resulting tax loss as one deduction, then make a deductible cash gift to MICA with the proceeds.