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Gifting Family & Charity

Donating shares of companies

If you donated certain types of capital property to a registered charity - such as a gift of shares listed on a major stock exchange, of mutual funds or of segregated funds sold by life insurance companies - you may be eligible for an inclusion rate of zero on any capital gain realized on these gifts.

Canadian tax law makes it much more efficient to donate shares of companies to charities than to sell them and donate the proceeds. Even ignoring brokerage commissions, the good deed pays much better when it is done with shares than with the proceeds of the sale of the shares.

In addition to the above information, if the donor has cultural property of significance to Canada and donates it to government, then the donation is regarded as being at the property's fair market value and no capital gains tax will be payable.

Good intentions have to be distilled through tax law. Where a donor has capital property, a principal residence not subject to capital gains tax, income properties or a spouse and children, giving requires not just an estimation of who should get what, but also a calculation of what it costs to give. That's an investment decision and one that a financial planner can assist in making.