By Sarah Ruef-Lindquist
For Pen Bay Pilot
For those of us working in the area of wealth management, 2022 will long be remembered as the year the stock market rolled gains back – way back – to pre pandemic levels. 2021 ended on a high note…the indices at or near all-time highs, after a climb from a downtick in early 2020 as the pandemic set in and the economy shut down. As 2021 came to a close, charitable gifts of long-term capital gain stock were the norm, and plentiful.
Then the markets began a slide as January slipped into February and valuations, including bond values as interest rates were raised by the Fed, walloping investors who have long relied upon a balanced portfolio to weather the storms of market volatility. As 2022 comes to a close, investors are seeing some signs of market value recovery, but it’s feeling a like it could be a very slow, volatile, long climb ahead.
Donors may feel that what would have been a great, tax-efficient opportunity to use long-term appreciated stock has gone by…and it may have, for a while. But let’s not forget the other side of that charitable gifting sword: using long-term capital losses to fund charitable gifts.
How could that work? A sale of stock that has been held more than 1 year that has declined in value below its basis or purchase price can generate a loss, and the proceeds of the sale can be used for a charitable gift.
Let’s say you purchased or inherited stock with a basis of $5,000 and held it for more than a year. The current value is $1,000. If you sell it, your loss is $4,000, which can be used to offset gains now or in future years as a carry-forward. What gains? Many mutual funds declare gains, even in years when the stock market has had an overall decline, so many investors will actually have realized gains within their portfolios, even if they haven’t sold anything. Losses can be used to offset gains.
You can use the $1,000 proceeds to make a gift of stock to charity and if you itemize, you can take an itemized deduction for that $1,000. That’s a lot of tax savings, now and in future years.
Consult with your tax or financial advisor to learn more about this opportunity and how it could apply to your situation before Dec. 31, 2022.