Frequently Asked Questions
1. What assets can I use to make a gift to benefit West Virginia University and its affiliated organizations?
Generally speaking, during your lifetime you can make an outright
gift of securities or
other property (e.g., real estate, personal
Through your will or living trust or
with a distribution from a retirement
plan or life insurance policy,
you can designate a gift to West Virginia University Foundation to support WVU, Potomac State, 4-H, WVU-Tech, or MAC.
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 a 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, and whether it includes income payments. In general, though, here are some guidelines:
- Outright gifts made to the WVU Foundation generate
a full income-tax charitable deduction. Outright gifts of appreciated
securities are deductible at fair market value, with no recognition
of capital gains.
- Gifts of personal property, like art, books and collectibles,
are fully deductible so long as they are relevant to WVU's mission.
We can advise you on this point. Click
here for contact information.
- Bequests included in wills do not generate
a lifetime income tax deduction. However they are exempt from estate
- Similarly, life insurance distributions
to the WVU Foundation after the insured has passed away 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 and possibly the value of your policy at the time of contribution (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 and name the
West Virginia University Foundation as the owner. Can I deduct the premium payments I make?
Yes. When the Foundation owns the policy each premium payment is a charitable gift. If the Foundation is the beneficiary only (not the policy owner) premiums are not deductible because the beneficiary can be changed.
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 exposed to income
and in some cases estate taxes, at a combined rate that could rise to 75% or
even higher on large taxable estates. The only way to avoid both income and estate tax on your retirement plan is to give those assets to a charity. By designating the West Virginia University Foundation as your beneficiary, you will ensure 100% of the value of your account benefits WVU, Potomac State, 4-H, WVU-Tech, or MAC as you specify.
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 to make sure that all of the wording in the report is appropriate.
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 West Virginia University Foundation, backed by all of its assets. The Foundation
has an unbroken record in making timely payments to our annuitants,
and that ongoing responsibility is a key element in its 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.