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Home  ->  Filing Your Return  ->  Stocks, Bonds etc. -> Donate shares or other capital property

Donating Shares or Other Capital Property

Income Tax Act s. 38(a.1), 38(a.2), 118.1(1)

Donating Capital Property

Donation of Shares and the Tax Return

Capital Gain Elimination

Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and Donation of Securities

Donations of Private Corporation Shares and Real Estate - Proposal for Exemption Did Not Happen Resources

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Resources

Donating Capital Property

When capital property is donated, there is a disposition for tax purposes, which may result in a capital gain.  The fair market value (FMV) of the property donated is used as the proceeds of disposition, and as the amount of the donation.  In some circumstances it may be helpful to designate the proceeds amount to be an amount less than FMV.  See our article on the election for designating the proceeds of donated property.

If any "advantage" was received (compensation or other benefits) in return for the donation (e.g., tickets, meals), the eligible gift for purposes of the donation claim is the proceeds of disposition less the advantage received.

Another benefit of donating capital property is that your total donations limit will be increased by 25% of the taxable capital gain on gifts donated, up to a maximum total limit of 100% of net income.  This increase relates to taxable capital gains actually included in taxable income.  See the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) topic "calculating your increased donations limit" in the publication P113 Gifts and Income Tax.  Our Detailed Canadian Tax and RRSP Savings Calculator checks to ensure that donations do not exceed 75% of net income, but at this time does not increase this limit for donations of capital property.

See our article on the Donations Tax Credit.

Donation of Shares and the Tax Return

Shares which are donated are reported on Schedule 3 of the personal income tax return, in the same section as shares which are sold.  If they are shares on which the capital gain is deemed to be zero, instead of being entered directly on Schedule 3, they are entered on form T1170, with the total carried over to Schedule 3.  Other shares not eligible for the capital gain elimination, such as shares of a private corporation, are not entered on the T1170, but directly on Schedule 3.  The gain or loss on shares is totalled on line 13200 of Schedule 3.

Donations of non-qualifying securities, such as a share of a corporation with which the individual does not deal at arm's length, have special rules.  See the CRA information on non-qualifying securities.

Capital Gain Elimination

Capital gains are deemed to be zero when certain types of capital property (qualified investments, prescribed debt obligations, or ecologically sensitive land) are donated to qualified donees (see the CRA definition for a qualified donee).  The taxable capital gain is eliminated for this type of donation made after May 1, 2006.  For donations of this type of property made before May 2, 2006, the taxable capital gain was 25% instead of 50%.  The types of capital property include:

bulleta share, debt obligation or right listed on a designated stock exchange
bulleta share of the capital stock of a mutual fund corporation
bulleta unit of a mutual fund trust
bulletan interest in a related segregated fund trust
bulleta prescribed debt obligation
bulletcertain ecologically sensitive land

It can be very difficult, if not impossible, for securities to be transferred in the last week of December.  Trying to do so risks the possibility that the donation receipt will be dated in the following year.  A donation of mutual funds can take several months, because the recipient of the donated securities must set up an account with the particular mutual fund involved.  The recipient may require approval from their board of directors to set up an account, so timing will depend on how often the board meets.

Optimizing the Donation Tax Credit Between Spouses - this still applies for donated shares or other capital property.

Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and Donation of Securities

Alternative Minimum Tax allows fewer deductions, tax credits and exemptions than the regular tax calculation.

When securities are donated, a donation receipt is issued for the fair market value of the securities, and the capital gain on the securities is deemed to be zero. Under the new AMT rules effective January 1, 2024, 30% of the capital gain on the donated securities will be included in income, and only 80% of the donation tax credit can be used to reduce the AMT. For 2023 and earlier years, 100% of the donation tax credit is allowed when calculating the AMT.

See Charitable giving: How changes to AMT may impact your donations from Grant Thornton LLP, updated June 21, 2024.

The Federal 2023 Budget included proposals to significantly change the calculation of AMT, and Budget 2024 provided that 80% of the donation tax credit would be allowed when calculating the AMT, instead of the 50% proposed by Budget 2023.

Donations of Private Corporation Shares and Real Estate - Proposal for Exemption Did Not Happen

The Federal 2015 Budget proposed to provide an exemption from capital gains tax for certain dispositions of private corporation shares and real estate which occur after 2016.  This measure was not included in Bill C-59, which received Royal Assent on June 23, 2015.  The 2016 Federal Budget announced that this proposal would not happen.

See Donations of Private Corporation Shares and Real Estate on the Budget 2015 website and on the Budget 2016 website. Resources

Donations Tax Credit

Election for Designating the Proceeds of Donated Property

Optimizing the Donation Tax Credit Between Spouses

Detailed Canadian Tax and RRSP Savings Calculator

Capital Gains Reserve - Gifts of Non-Qualifying Securities to a Qualified Donee

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Resources

P113 Gifts and Income Tax

T4037 Capital gains guide - Calculating your capital gain or loss

Form T1170 Capital gains on gifts of certain taxable property

Tax Tips:

Instead of cash, donate property, including securities or shares on which you have capital gains.  Philanthropy and tax planning go hand in hand.

Do your donation by the end of November or earlier, to avoid the busy season!

Revised: July 13, 2024


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