Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Give away highly appreciated assets

By Dan Kadlec, contributing editor

BILLIONAIRES: Donate the fruits of their wealth.

YOU: Give away highly appreciated assets.

Maybe you have stocks that you've owned for 30 years, artwork that you've grown tired of, or a collection of Star Wars memorabilia gathering dust in the attic. Donating appreciated assets like these can help you and your favorite cause.

Say a stock you bought for $10,000 two decades ago is worth $40,000 today. Give it to charity, and not only can you avoid paying a 15% tax on your long-term capital gains of $30,000 (about $4,500), but you can also deduct the full $40,000 on your taxes. Real estate and land enjoy similar tax treatment.

And if you happen to stumble across an original Monet while clearing out your attic? The tax rules are less favorable for art and collectibles. You can always deduct the amount you paid. But you can't write off the full market value of artwork unless the charity is using it for art-related purposes (in other words, hanging it in a museum), and the art must be professionally appraised.

If you want your Star Wars collectibles to become a force for good, sell them through eBay's Giving Works program. The auction site will waive its listing fee and commission if you agree to donate all of the sale proceeds to one of 18,000 charities.

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.93%3.87%
15 yr fixed2.99%3.03%
5/1 ARM3.27%3.20%
30 yr refi4.03%3.93%
15 yr refi3.08%3.07%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,813.39 1.20 0.01%
Nasdaq 5,116.14 13.34 0.26%
S&P 500 2,088.87 -0.27 -0.01%
Treasuries 2.23 -0.01 -0.49%
Data as of 3:50am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Pfizer Inc 32.87 0.90 2.82%
HP Inc 12.64 -2.00 -13.66%
General Electric Co 30.36 -0.30 -0.98%
Bank of America Corp... 17.44 -0.03 -0.17%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 8.10 -0.20 -2.41%
Data as of Nov 25


Looks like the Magic Kingdom is lacking some sparkle. Disney's cable channels have lost millions of subscribers in recent years. More

Brazilian police arrested a prominent senator and billionaire CEO for interfering in the investigation of Petrobras, which has pushed Brazil into recession. More

Watsi crowdfunds donations to cover healthcare costs of those in need. And it's seeing a surprising trend: micro-donations via the popular Chinese social networking app, WeChat. More

Some of the coolest toys this year are from small businesses. Here are 10 hot toys that just might be a smash hit this holiday season. More

Facebook just increased the amount of paid time off new dads working at its international offices can take. More