Make a General Donation
Most donors who pledge support to The Autism Project make gifts of cash or marketable securities. The Autism Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and all donations are tax deductible. For gifts of cash or stock, donors are entitled to a charitable income tax deduction equal to the fair market value of the contribution paid within the tax year, provided they itemize deductions on their tax returns.
Cash contributions qualify for a charitable income tax deduction up to 50 percent of a donor's annual adjusted gross income. Any unused portion of the deduction may be carried-over for up to five years.
There are distinct tax advantages to considering gifts of appreciated securities such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds. The donor incurs no capital gain tax on appreciated securities given for charitable purposes and can claim a charitable income tax deduction up to 30 percent of annual adjusted gross income (with a five-year carry-over). The valuation of marketable securities given for charitable purposes is the mean value between the highest and lowest selling prices on the date of the gift.
Closely Held Stock
A charitable gift of stock in a closely held corporation with no ready market price requires a partial appraisal summary or in the case of gifts over $5,000, a qualified appraisal to determine the value of the gift. The donor receives a charitable deduction based on the appraised value of the stock, incurs no capital gain tax liability and can claim a deduction equal to 30 percent of annual adjusted gross income (with a five-year carry-over.)
Tangible Personal Property
Gifts of personal property qualify for a charitable deduction equal to the appraised value, provided the item donated is directly related to the mission of the Autism Project. To obtain a charitable deduction for gifts of tangible property valued in excess of $500, donors must submit an appraisal summary (IRS Form 8283) with their income tax return. For tangible property gifts valued in excess of $5,000, a qualified appraisal must be obtained (in addition to filing IRS Form 8283.)
A gift of real estate or undivided partial interest that has appreciated in value can be an attractive option when considering a major charitable contribution. The services of a qualified real estate appraiser are required to determine the value of a contribution of real estate. As with other appreciated property gifts, the charitable deduction for a gift of real estate is based on the property's current fair market value and the donor incurs no capital gain tax liability.
A corporation can make and deduct charitable gifts of up to 10 percent of taxable income per year.
Numerous corporations have matching gift programs through which their employer will match an associate’s charitable gift in varying amounts. Donors are urged to obtain their employer's matching gift forms and leverage their own gifts.
The use of life insurance policies for charitable giving is another option to consider when planning a major contribution. A paid-up policy yields a charitable income tax deduction approximately equal to the policy's replacement value. If premiums remain to be paid, the value of the gift is slightly in excess of the policy's cash surrender value. If the donor continues to pay the policy premiums, a contribution deduction is allowed for premium payments. In order to qualify for the charitable deduction, the donor must relinquish all incidents of ownership in the policy and irrevocably designate the Autism Project as beneficiary.