Transforming Realty to Gift Reality
Discover All of Your Options
Want to make a big gift to Mason without touching your bank account? Consider real estate. Such a generous gift helps us continue opening doors of opportunity for our students for years to come.
And a gift of real estate also helps you. When you give appreciated property you have held longer than one year, you qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction. This eliminates capital gains tax. And you no longer have to deal with that property's maintenance costs, property taxes or insurance.
Another benefit: You don't have to hassle with selling the real estate. You can deed the property directly to the George Mason University Foundation or ask your attorney to add a few sentences in your will or trust agreement.
Ways to Give Real Estate
You can give real estate in the following ways:
When you make a gift today of real estate you have owned longer than one year, you qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction equal to the property's full fair market value. This deduction lets you reduce the cost of making the gift and frees cash that otherwise would have been used to pay taxes. By donating the property to us, you also eliminate capital gains tax on its appreciation.
A gift of real estate through your will or living trust allows you the flexibility to change your mind and the potential to support Mason students with a larger gift than you could during your lifetime. In as little as one sentence or two, you can ensure that your support for the Foundation continues after your lifetime.
Perhaps you like the tax advantages a gift of real estate to the Foundation would offer, but you want to continue living in your personal residence for your lifetime. You can transfer your personal residence or farm to us but keep the right to occupy (or rent out) the home for the rest of your life. You continue to pay real estate taxes, maintenance fees and insurance on the property. Even though the Foundation would not actually take possession of the residence until after your lifetime, since your gift cannot be revoked, you qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction for a portion of your home's value.
Are you tired of the hassles of maintaining your property such as paying taxes, utilities and repair bills? Consider donating the property to the Foundation in exchange for reliable payments for life for you (and someone else, if you choose). When you arrange a charitable gift annuity, you receive a federal income tax charitable deduction in the year you set up the gift annuity when you itemize on your taxes. If you use appreciated real estate to make a gift, you can usually eliminate capital gains tax on a portion of the gift and spread the rest of the gain over your life expectancy. A gift of unmortgaged property to fund a deferred gift annuity is preferable and generates the greatest tax benefit.
Want to sell us your property for less than the fair market value? A "bargain sale" may be the answer. When you make a bargain sale, you sell your property to our organization for less than what it's worth. The difference between the actual value and the sale price is considered a gift to the Foundation. A bargain sale can be an effective way to dispose of property that has increased in value, and it is the only gift vehicle that can give you a lump sum of cash and a charitable deduction (when you itemize) at the same time.
You can contribute any type of appreciated real estate you've owned for more than one year, provided it's unmortgaged, in exchange for an income stream for life or a term of up to 20 years. The donated property may be a residence (a personal residence must be vacant upon contribution), undeveloped land, a farm or commercial property. Real estate works well with only certain variations of charitable remainder trusts. Your estate planning attorney, who will draft your trust, can give you more details.
This gift can be a wonderful way for you to support Mason students and simultaneously transfer appreciated real estate to your family tax-free. You should consider funding the charitable lead trust with real estate that is income-producing and expected to increase in value over the term of the trust.
A gift of real estate may be a perfect way to honor your loved one in perpetuity. When you make an endowed gift of real estate, your contribution is invested with and becomes part of our endowment. An annual distribution is made for the purpose you designate. Because the principal remains intact, the fund will generate support in perpetuity.
When you transfer real estate to your donor advised fund, you avoid capital gains taxes and qualify for a federal income tax deduction based on the fair market value of the property when you itemize on your taxes.
An Example of Mason Philanthropy at Work
Russ and Janet purchased their Fairfax rental property years ago and have watched it grow steadily in value. Still active in their careers and traveling frequently, the couple is beginning to find management of the property more and more of a hassle. At this stage of life, Russ and Janet have decided to move to a 55+ condominium development, where all exterior maintenance is provided and they don't have to worry about security issues. They see this transition as an opportunity to give their existing rental property to Mason, the alma mater of their daughter, to support the important role the Universtiy is playing in the region and to realize valuable tax benefits.
The couple avoids capital gains tax on the appreciation and qualifies for a federal income tax charitable deduction of $250,000, which is for the property's fair market value today. Russ and Janet are able to claim 30 percent of their $200,000 adjusted gross income, or $60,000, in the year of the gift. In the five years following, they can continue to use up the remaining $190,000 deduction. Russ and Janet are happy in their new condo and love knowing that their gift will make a big difference to students.
- Contact our planned giving professionals at 703-993-8850 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the possibility of giving real estate to Mason.
- Seek the advice of your financial or legal advisor to make sure this gift fits your goals.
- If you include Mason in your plans, please use our legal name and federal tax ID.
Legal Name: George Mason University Foundation, Inc.
Address: 4400 University Drive MS 1A3, Fairfax Virginia 22030
Federal Tax ID Number: 54-1603842
Information contained herein was accurate at the time of posting. The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results. Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.