Bargain Sales and Gift Sales

A gift of real estate does not have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. You may donate a partial interest in the land or any accompanying land rights instead of donating the entire property. You receive a deduction based on the appraised value of the interest you donate. When the property is sold, the proceeds are distributed accordingly. This is referred to as a gift/sale arrangement.

 

Example: A donor has a ten acre parcel of land worth $100,000. She is concerned about giving away the entire property. She instead donates three acres of it to her local council. She gets a deduction of $30,000 right away and, when the property is sold, the council gets 3/10ths of the sales proceeds (the donor gets the other 7/10ths). Its also very possible that her tax deduction will completely offset the capital gains tax she will owe on her part of the proceeds.

 

Another option is the bargain sale. Just like it sounds, its where a donor sells the property to the council at a bargain; its part sale, part gift. The council gets a good deal and the donor gets a tax deduction for the difference between the sale price and the value of the property.

 

Example: A donor has a property worth $150,000. He wants to help his council, but cant afford to give away the entire property. He agrees to sell it to the council for 1/3 of its value. He gets $50,000 cash (either all at once or over time), a charitable tax deduction for $100,000, and owes capital gains tax only on his pro rata share (1/3). The council gets a property worth three times its price and can do whatever it wants to with it.