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Charitable Gifts: It's All in the Delivery ... At Least for Tax Purposes

With the holiday season in full swing, 'tis the season to review date of delivery rules for charitable gifts, which determine the date that the gift was made and affect the tax consequences of the gift. Here are the general rules for determining date of delivery for some types of property when given as a gift.

Charitable giving season is here! And there are tax considerations that go along with this time of giving.

For tax purposes, a charitable gift is deemed made on the day the gift was delivered to the charity. This has important implications in tax law as it determines what laws apply.

If you are planning on giving to charity this holiday season, then you need to know when your gifts will be considered delivered.

Recently, the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog published a list of delivery dates for common types of gifts in an article titled "Date of Delivery for Gifts."

Accordingly, here are the "dates of delivery" for commonly given assets:

  • Securities - The day when hand-delivered or mailed via the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Mutual Fund Shares - The day when the fund manager transfers the shares to the charity.
  • Checks - The day they are sent in the mail, as long as they are not post-dated.
  • Personal Property - The day the property and title are received.
  • Real Estate - The day the deed is received or when it is registered, if required by local law.
  • Credit Cards - The day a bank transfers the money to the charity.

To ensure your generosity complies with the tax law as falling safely within tax year 2014, or if you have any other questions about charitable giving, contact an experienced estate attorney sooner rather than later.

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