Rudy Fernandes has donated stocks to some of his favourite charities, among them the Missionaries of Charity. CNS photo/ Anto Akkara

Donating stocks to the Church, charity a ‘win-win proposition’

By  Vanessa Santilli, Catholic Register Special
  • November 2, 2013

If you’re used to buying low and selling high, donating stocks to the Church might be an option to consider.

“It helps you to get a tax break because you don’t have to pay (extra) if your funds have grown in value,” says Rudy Fernandes, who has been donating stocks to the archdiocese of Toronto for the past 10 years.

“If you have bought a stock for, say, $100 and it’s gone to $250, I’m not assessed for the $150 extra that I have made so I can give an extra amount to charity.”

Along with not being taxed on your capital gains, you get a tax refund for the full amount, adds Fernandes. He calls it a “win-win proposition.”

“It helps you to give to five or six different charities in one shot,” says Fernandes, a parishioner at Christ the King parish in Mississauga, Ont.

Among his charities of choice are Blessed Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity and Canadian Food for Children.

“They do fabulous work.”

A person can transfer stocks directly from their securities account, explains Quentin Schesnuik, manager of planned giving and personal gifts for the Toronto archdiocese.

“It only takes one form to go directly into the archdiocese of Toronto’s account.”

Just as is the case with Fernandes, the archdiocese is able to divide up the donation as many ways as the donor wants.

Once the stock has been transferred, the directions are to sell immediately, adds Schesnuik, who says they sell as fast as possible.

“What they are doing is making a gift that they would make anyway, they’re just saving the taxes,” he says.

Fr. Andy Macbeth, pastor at St. Margaret Queen of Scotland parish in Toronto, also regularly gifts securities to the archdiocese.

“I use this format of giving securities to make my annual donation to ShareLife,” says Macbeth, who calls it a very simple process.

“I’m giving to what I consider a top priority for any Catholic in the archdiocese of Toronto — ShareLife — because it extends to so many people.”

Schesnuik says that more and more people are telling their estate trustees that when they pass away, they’d like to gift their stocks instead of cash.

“It’s a really smart estate planning strategy… because then their estate doesn’t have to pay a whole bunch of capital gains tax,” he says. “It’s becoming more widely known but it’s still one of those things that not a lot of people know they can do.”

(Santilli is a freelance writer in Toronto.)

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