Intellectual Rights: Questions Donors Ask

Can I give intellectual property that I own?

In many cases, yes, and considerable tax benefits can result; however, giving intellectual property is more complicated than giving tangible personal property. Be prepared to assist donors with their gift intention. Giving intellectual property will require that the assets have had a recent qualified appraisal.

Can I arrange for a life income stream for my gift of intellectual property?

In some cases, the answer is yes. Intellectual property can be transferred to a charitable remainder trust, which will provide the donor with tax-deduction benefits and set up an income stream for beneficiaries such as a spouse, children, and/or other loved ones. Only personal property with a value of $50,000 or greater should be considered for this purpose.

Will your organization sell the property immediately and collect the proceeds?

No. Because gifts of intellectual property are illiquid assets you will apply the property to your charitable purposes and not sell it when it is received. Note further that if you were to dispose of the property within three years of receiving it, donors will be required to report to the IRS certain information about the gift and its disposal. Such a filing could raise questions about the legitimacy of the fair-market-value deduction donors claimed in the year of contribution, and they could be required to adjust their deduction amount.