Frequently Asked Questions
1. What assets can I use to make a gift to the ASPCA?
Generally speaking, during your lifetime you can make an outright
gift of cash, securities or
other property (e.g., personal
Through your will or
with a distribution from a retirement
plan or life insurance policy,
your gift can be designated to the ASPCA in accordance
with your wishes.
2. What sort of gift plans also return income
You have the option of making a gift that returns income to you,
your spouse, or other individuals, such as a charitable
gift annuity, or charitable remainder unitrust or annuity
3. What tax deduction will I receive for
Your tax benefits will depend on several factors: the type of gift,
the time at which it is made, whether it is outright or deferred
or has any income payments. In general, though, here are some guidelines:
- Outright gifts to ASPCA generate
a full income-tax charitable deduction. Outright gifts of appreciated
securities are deductible at fair market value, with no recognition
of capital gains -- a great tax benefit!
- Gifts of personal property, like art, books and collectibles,
are fully deductible so long as they are relevant to our mission.
We can advise you on this point. Click
here for contact information.
- Bequests do not generate
a lifetime income tax deduction. They are exempt from estate
- Similarly, life insurance distributions
to ASPCA are not income-tax deductible,
but are exempt from estate tax. If you have made us the irrevocable
owner and beneficiary of a policy during your lifetime, you may
deduct annual gifts that offset premium payments (for more details
on this point, see Question 4 below).
- The charitable deduction for a gift that returns
income to you, such as a charitable gift annuity or a charitable
remainder trust, is the fair market value of the gift asset minus
the present value of the income interest you retain.
4. I want to set up a life insurance policy,
name the ASPCA as beneficiary, but retain ownership
of the policy. Can I deduct the premium payments I make?
No. The IRS would not consider that a "completed gift" – they'd
say that, as the owner of the policy, you could change the beneficiary
designation to a friend or family member. We must be made the irrevocable
owner of the policy for gifts offsetting premium payments to be
5. I’ve heard that transferring gifts
of IRA assets to charity is advantageous. Why?
Qualified retirement plans such as IRAs, 401(k), 403(b), and Keoghs
allow individuals to defer paying taxes on a portion of their income
until the assets are withdrawn during retirement years. However,
after a person's death, these accounts are often exposed to income
and estate taxes, at a combined rate that could rise to 75% or
even higher on large taxable estates. The tax will be paid at some
point—by your estate and your heirs unless contributed to
charity. In other words, by giving retirement assets to charity
you receive double benefits. Your estate and heirs will not be
taxed on the portion that goes to charity and you will support ASPCA!
6. I'd like to donate a painting. Will you
determine its value for my income tax deduction?
The IRS requires that donors of artwork
and collectibles secure an independent appraisal of the items
to establish fair market value. The appraisal has to be related
to the gift, too – an insurance appraisal won't suffice.
We can assist you on this point.
7. I'm interested in establishing a charitable
gift annuity. What financial provisions will you make for the
income payments to me and my spouse?
Your charitable gift annuity will be treated as a general obligation
of the ASPCA, backed by all of our assets. We
have an unbroken record in making timely payments to our annuitants,
and that ongoing responsibility is a key element in our financial
8. If I create a bequest or life-income gift,
will you continue to ask me for annual contributions?
Your planned gift is a significant addition to our long-term financial
strength and our ability to meet the challenges and opportunities
the future will bring. However, today's efforts are supported through
annual gifts and we greatly appreciate and encourage any annual
support you may want to consider.
424 East 92nd Street
New York, NY 10128
(212) 876-7700 x4505