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Appreciated Assets

​Many alumni and friends give the university long-term appreciated capital gain property, such as securities or real estate.

  • Property is considered long-term when you have held it for more than one year.
  • You may usually claim a charitable income-tax deduction based on the property’s full fair-market value.
  • You do not pay capital gain tax on the appreciation of the asset when the property is sold by the university.
  • Tax deductions for gifts of long-term appreciated property are generally limited to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income, but you may carry any excess deduction forward for up to five additional years.
  • The deduction for gifts of appreciated property held for one year or less is limited to the lower of your cost basis or fair market value. In this case, your deduction will be limited to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income.
 Please consult with your legal or tax advisor before making a charitable gift.
 

          Publicly Traded Appreciated Securities
          Real Estate
          Closely Held or Privately Held Securities
          Artwork and Collections


Publicly Traded Appreciated Securities

Giving publicly traded securities that you have held for more than one year – such as stocks, bonds or mutual funds – is a tax-efficient way to support the university. You may claim a charitable tax deduction based on the gift’s full fair-market value. (The value of your gift is the average of the high and low of the security’s value on the day your gift is made.) Since the university sells the security, you do not pay capital gain tax.
 
The way in which your shares are owned (certificate versus shares held in a brokerage account) will determine how the transfer of the shares is completed. Please contact the Office of Planned Giving for instructions on how to complete your gift.
 
For further information, contact the Office of Planned Giving at (314) 935-5373 or (800) 835-3503 or via email at plannedgiving@wustl.edu.
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Real Estate

 
Gifts of Real Estate
Gifts of real estate, such as a primary residence, second home, commercial building, farm, rental property or unimproved land, provide numerous tax advantages and other benefits.  You may use real estate to:
  • Make an outright gift.
  • Fund a charitable remainder unitrust, which makes lifetime payments to you and/or other beneficiaries.
  • Establish a retained life estate (see below)

Gifts of real estate may provide numerous tax advantages. You will receive a charitable income tax deduction based on an appraisal, which meets specific IRS requirements. You will also avoid capital gain tax on the appreciation of the property when sold by the university.

Gifts of real estate require a review of the property prior to your gift. The university has a procedure for accepting real estate gifts that includes obtaining information from you on the value and marketability of the property. If you are interested in a gift of real estate, please contact the Office of Planned Giving, and we will provide you and your advisors specific information about how gifts of real estate can be completed.
 
Gift of Real Estate with Retained Life Estate
Some people may wish to make a gift of real estate, but need to retain use of the property while living. A retained life estate enables you to make a gift of a personal residence, second home or farm; receive a current charitable income tax deduction based on a portion of the property’s appraised value while allowing you to use of the property during your lifetime and that of your spouse. This is often attractive to individuals who want to make a gift and can use an immediate income tax deduction while retaining use of the property.
 
You may accomplish these objectives by executing a deed through which you irrevocably designate the future ownership of the property to Washington University while retaining the life estate ownership. You will also need to obtain a qualified appraisal of the residence.  The Office of Planned Giving and the university's General Counsel can work with you and your legal counsel to draft language for the deed.  Upon your passing, the property will transfer to the university without going through probate. Even though you retain full use and enjoyment of the property while living, you will receive a charitable income tax deduction based on a portion of the value of the property. While retaining use of the property, you will remain responsible for all taxes, maintenance, etc. Upon your passing, the value of the property will qualify for a charitable estate tax deduction, and the university will then have full ownership of the property.
 
For further information, contact the Office of Planned Giving at (314) 935-5373 or (800) 835-3503 or via email at plannedgiving@wustl.edu.
 
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Closely Held or Privately Held Securities

 
You also may give the university closely held securities in companies that are not publicly traded. Given the complexity of closely held securities and the specific Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations on valuing closely held securities, it is important to consult with your financial and legal advisors and the Office of Planned Giving before making your gift. The university will work with you and your advisors to determine if your gift can be accepted by the university.  If you are able to contribute your closely held securities to the university, you may deduct the appraised value of your gift and avoid capital gain tax; however, the IRS will require an appraisal from a qualified appraiser to substantiate your deduction.
 
For further information, contact the Office of Planned Giving at (314) 935-5373 or (800) 835-3503 or via email at plannedgiving@wustl.edu.
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Artwork and Collections

 
You can donate art, rare books and other collectibles to the university and receive a charitable income tax deduction. The University Libraries, the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum or other university entities or programs will work with you to review the property to determine if it is an appropriate gift for the university. A qualified appraisal of the donated property will be required for tax purposes.
 
For further information, contact the Office of Planned Giving at (314) 935-5373 or (800) 835-3503 or via email at plannedgiving@wustl.edu.
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