When a gift is made, it is of interest to both the donor and Clarkson to determine a fair and clear monetary value as of the date of the gift. Clarkson needs to record and recognize the gift at an appropriate time and value, and if the donor wishes to claim an income tax charitable deduction, that date and value must be carefully determined.
In its simplest form, a gift is completed on the date that ownership of the asset passes irrevocably from the donor to Clarkson.
A seemingly easy example is writing a check. The value is easy to determine and document, but technically the date of the gift is the date you hand the check to Clarkson or the date the envelope is postmarked in the U.S. Postal System, (not necessarily UPS or FedEx). Be careful of this if you are making year-end gifts on December 31!
A more complex matter is a gift of stock. The gift date is, for example, the date the stock certificate is postmarked in the US mail (not necessarily the date you sign the letter or stock power) or the date the shares are electronically transferred to a Clarkson account (again, not necessarily the date you instruct your broker to make transfer). The value of the gift is the mean (average) of the high and low values of the stock on the date the gift is made times the number of shares transferred. The value is not computed, for example, by using the opening or closing prices (unless they represent a high or low value). This aspect can also become important if the donor wishes to make a gift at a specific dollar level.
In the view of the IRS, it is the donor's responsibility to value and gather timely documentation of all gifts, or groups of gifts, to all charities. While each charity can be very helpful in this regard, they cannot absolve the donor of his/her legal responsibility.
Gift valuation can become a very technical matter. Please contact your financial and tax consultants and the Annie Clarkson Society for further information before you make or plan your gift.
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This web page does not provide legal or financial advice, nor is it a comprehensive review of the topic. You should consult your legal and financial advisors and Clarkson University before making or planning your gift. (rev. 3/2015)
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