2011-09-08 / Letters

Appreciated Stock Sales: Local Charities Can Benefit, Taxes Can Be Avoided

To The Editor:

As the chairman of the board of Fulton County Medical Center Foundation, I wanted to take a minute and inform the community of a possible opportunity for both local charities and those looking to support them. As many of you know, a local bank has once again been merged with another regional bank. When the merger is done, it appears that shareholders of record will receive shares of the new bank and some cash. It stands to reason that some shareholders have sold or are considering selling their positions prior to the merger. I have been told by local financial advisors this may create capital gains for those shareholders. Here is where the opportunity exists for charitably minded shareholders. If those shares were to be gifted to a charitable organization prior to realizing that gain, those gains would not be taxable to the shareholder. Though it seems ironic to be giving advice on gains in the current turbulent marketplace, they do exist. This is particularly true in situations where securities have been held for long periods of time, as is often the case with local bank stocks. Giving the stock directly to the charity as a gift (vs. selling and making a donation) will benefit you more when it comes to taxes.

We are proud to live in a unique community with many fine charitable organizations, the Fulton County Medical Center Foundation being just one of them. As the chairman of that organization and an active member of others, I can assure you that they all need our support, now more than ever. If you are able and inclined to do so, consider taking advantage of this opportunity to benefit yourself and the organization of your choice. Be sure that you consult with your financial advisor as well as an accountant or tax preparer to better understand your particular situation. Gifting appreciated securities is a wonderful way to support your community and leave a legacy while saving yourself taxes. Thank you for taking the time to consider it and for your support of local charitable organizations. Together, we can all make Fulton County a better place to live and work.

Spence Perry

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