Share and Share Alike with Stock Donations

Physician's Money Digest, October 2005, Volume 12, Issue 14

Wall Street

Journal

So, you have a few stock shares thathave accumulated over the years andyou'd like to donate some to charity. Great,but how do you distinguish which onesyou've held at different intervals, each carryingits own cost basis? A article points out that you canreceive a tax deduction for the fair marketvalue of the stock you're donating andavoid paying the capital gains you wouldhave paid when selling them. The best wayto identify which shares go where is bytransferring the actual share certificates tothe charity—if you hold the actual documents.If your records are held electronically,check with your firm to see if it hasseparated the shares by cost basis, andthen specify which to donate. If the firmhas combined them, you might not be ableto weed through and locate the low-basisshares, so you'll likely obtain an averagecost basis.