Real Estate, Tangible Property, Securities

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If you make a gift of real estate, tangible public property, or non-publicly traded securities, you will need to complete IRS Form 8283 (.pdf format) for your personal income tax return.

Gifts of Real Estate

A gift of real estate may be a principal residence or vacation home, a farm, a commercial building, a subdivision lot, or unimproved land. The gift may be the entire property or a fractional interest in the property. You can claim a charitable tax deduction for the full fair market value of the real estate and avoid capital gains taxes on the appreciation. All gifts of real estate require prior approval by Duke's Gift Policy Committee. Learn more about the approval process.

Retained Life Estate in Property

You may generate a current income tax deduction by giving a home or farm to Duke, while retaining the right to use the property during your lifetime. The property will also be removed from your taxable estate. Contact Duke's Office of Gift Planning to discuss this gift opportunity in more detail.


Some gifts require appraisal or advance approval in order to be accepted. Examples of gifts of property include tickets to athletic events, rare books, art works, computer hardware and software, and laboratory equipment. If property has been held for more than a year and can be put to a use related to the "charitable purpose" of the university, you may be eligible for a deduction based on the asset's full fair market value.

Gifts of Securities

Gifts of appreciated stocks, bonds, or mutual funds held for more than one year can provide special tax advantages. You can claim a charitable tax deduction for the full fair market value of the securities donated to Duke and never have to pay capital gains taxes on the appreciation. For gifts of publicly traded securities, the deduction is determined by taking the average of the high and low trading prices of the security on the date of the gift (or the nearest trading date(s)). Securities held for less than one year may also be donated, but the deduction is limited to the lesser of cost basis or fair market value. Contact the Office of Alumni and Development Records to arrange a stock transfer to Duke.

Closely held stock, S corporation stock, limited liability company interests, and partnership interests can sometimes be used to make a charitable gift. Any proposed gift of such assets should be reviewed with Duke University and your tax advisors in advance. An S corporation, limited liability company, or partnership may also make gifts to Duke, in which case any deduction generally will be allocated proportionally among shareholders, members, or partners.

You may also want to consult our frequently asked questions about gifts of privately held securities.