Legal Minute: Charitable gifts

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Giving to your favorite charity can pay off at tax time as long as you know and follow the rules. Attorney Susan Mielnikowski from The Law Office of Cooley Shrair in Springfield, told us how to maximize charitable gifts.

Cooley Shrair
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Maximizing Charitable gifts

As we approach the end of the calendar year, do you have any tips for making charitable donations?
One of the common ways to make a charitable gift is to write a check to the charity, and take an income tax deduction for the gift on your income tax return. However, the check you wrote was with after-tax dollars. If you wanted to increase the gift to a charity, and reduce income tax, you can instead gift appreciated, publicly traded stock.

How does that work?
For example, if you have a stock what you paid $100 for, and it is now worth $1000, if you sold the stock you would pay capital gains tax on the $900 of gain. That would leave you with less than $1,000 to make a charitable gift. However, you could instead gift the stock, worth $1000, directly to the charity. This has two benefits. First, you do not pay capital gains tax on the gain, and the charity has the benefit of the full value of the stock, as they are tax exempt. So, if you are thinking of making a gift to charity, and have stock that has significant gains, you should consider taking advantage of the ability to gift stock rather than cash.

Does every charity accept stock?
We suggest calling ahead to the charity of your choice to confirm that they can accept a gift of stock. You will find that most large charities have a brokerage account established, and are able to accept a gift of publicly traded stock.

For more information call (413) 781 – 0750 or visit www.CooleyShrair.com.

About Cooley Shrair:
Cooley, Shrair P.C., founded in 1946 by Judge Sidney M. Cooley and Attorney Edward B. Cooley, is a progressive law firm located in Springfield, MA. Cooley Shrair provides unequaled service to its clients. Our unparalleled response time to our clients’ needs is the foundation of our mission statement.

At Cooley Shrair, family and business have always had a way of blending together. We know the importance of balancing the boardroom and the courtroom with the living room from time to time. We listen carefully to understand our clients’ concerns and work vigorously with them to develop strategies for success. It’s not just business, it’s personal.

We pride ourselves in being the most responsive lawyers in the area, covering virtually every area of practice for individuals and multinational corporations across the United States and Canada. Cooley Shrair is recognized consistently for exceeding client expectations and providing competent, integrated, and cost-effective legal services.

Our attorneys are each distinguished in their respective areas of concentration and are complemented by a professional support staff. Cooley Shrair is a formidable opponent who fiercely advocates on behalf of our clients and we take pride in our commitment to provide unparalleled response and unparalleled solutions.

We’re a family, and to us, that’s very personal business.

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