Cash and Credit Card Gifts
If you make an outright gift of cash or by credit card, you will be eligible for a deduction for the full value of your gift. You can utilize this deduction for up to 50 percent of your Adjusted Gross Income and carry forward any unused portion for up to five additional tax years.
Cash and credit cards in some instances, can be used to fund life income gifts in which case your charitable deduction is reduced by the present value of the anticipated payments to you from the gift.
If you give stocks or bonds you have owned for at least one year, you will be eligible for a deduction for the full mean market value of the security on the date that Harvard receives it. You can utilize this deduction for up to 30 percent of your Adjusted Gross Income and carry forward any unused portion for up to five additional tax years.
As with cash, if you use securities to fund a life income gift your deduction is reduced by the present value of the anticipated payments to you from the gift. Using securities to fund a life income gift has the added advantage of reducing potential capital gains tax.
For detailed instructions on how to donate securities, please visit our gifts of securities page.
Real Estate Gifts
A gift of real estate can be an attractive way to make a substantial commitment to Harvard Law School and simultaneously realize important tax and income benefits. You can give either all or a percentage of the property. You may be able to significantly reduce the amount of income, capital gain, and estate taxes you otherwise might have to pay. You also may be able to earn an income from your gift.
There are many types of real estate suitable for a gift to Harvard Law School: personal residence, vacation property, commercial property, building lot, undeveloped land, farm or ranch, etc.
Art and Other Tangible Personal Property
Property such as works of art, antiques, stamps, coins, and jewelry may be subject to estate taxes. Should you wish to donate this type of property during your lifetime, you may reduce your tax liability.
If your gift of tangible property is directly related to Harvard Law School’s mission and is retained by the School, you may take an income tax deduction for the full fair market value of the property as determined by an independent qualified appraisal.
If the gift is not retained by the Law School and is sold, your deduction is the lower of the property’s fair market value or your cost basis.
Quite often, you can use tangible personal property with an unrelated use to fund a Harvard-managed life income arrangement, turning a non-income producing asset into an income-producing asset. Generally, the income tax deduction for this type of arrangement is greatly reduced.
There are a variety of ways to use your life insurance for a substantial gift to the Law School. Depending on the type of policy you donate, you may receive an upfront income tax deduction. If the policy is maintained by the Law School, any future premium payments you make or that you contribute to Harvard Law School may also be tax deductible.
For more information, please contact Harvard Law School’s Planned Giving staff at 617-384-9932 or firstname.lastname@example.org.