Gifts of Personal Property: The Details

Give valuable assets that you no longer want to insure or maintain. You may get a deduction for your generosity.

Is this gift right for you?

A gift of personal property is for you if…

  • You hold artwork, musical instruments, antiques or other personal property that you no longer wish to maintain.
  • You hold equipment or other items that would be useful to our mission.
  • You want to avoid capital gains tax on the transfer of these assets.

The IRS gives donors who contribute appreciated property, like securities and real estate, two tax breaks: a charitable deduction for the full fair market value of the asset, and no capital-gains tax on the transfer to Johns Hopkins.

The same benefits also encourage gifts of personal property: artwork, musical instruments, antiques, equipment and other items that help us advance our mission.

If you are considering such a gift, please talk with us first. We can determine if the items can be used by us – a requirement for you to claim a full deduction. It is not recommended that you donate personal property with the idea that the items can be liquidated for cash, because the IRS will then limit your charitable deduction to your cost basis in the property.

We may ask you to also make an outright gift of cash or securities to help us to maintain and insure the donated property.

We do reserve the right sell the property at a later date if it can no longer be used or properly cared for by Johns Hopkins.

Planning Points

  • You will need to secure an independent appraisal of the property to establish the amount of your deduction. There are IRS timing requirements for the appraisal. Please contact us for more details.
  • Most gifts of personal property are made to Johns Hopkins outright. In some cases, it may be possible for you to arrange for life income to be paid to you in return for the gift. Consult with your advisors and our office before proceeding with such a plan.

Please contact us so that we can assist you through every step of the process.