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Maaser fulfillment through donating appreciated stocks


Shimon receives a gift of $100,000 and wants to give maaser. Shimon has a stock portfolio with a base cost of $6,000 that appreciated to $10,000. Can Shimon donate the stock to a shul or Yeshiva and thereby fulfill his giving of maaser on the $100,000 gift?

The 2nd part of the question is say that the yeshiva holds on to the stock for a week and in the meantime the stock lost value and is only worth $9,500 and then sells it- does Shimon still fulfill the mitzvah of giving maaser?

The other question in this is what about the profit that was realized through the appreciation of the stocks- if Shimon gets credit for the $10,000 worth of the stocks he donated, he also had a gain from his cost basis- does he separately have to give maaser on that gain, or since the gain only took place when the yeshivah sold the stocks, Shimon has not obligation to give maaser on that gain, even though he benefited from the gain in that it helped him fulfill his maaser on the $100,000 gift he received.


Thank you for your question.

Since the value of the stock at the time that it was given to the shul was worth 10k, it is considered as if you gave them a 10k gift, and it can be used for the maaser of the 100k. The fact that you received it at a lower price is your gain, and has nothing to do with the shul. Therefore you can give it as maaser if that is its value at the time that it is given. It is up to the shul to decide if they want to hold on to the stock or sell out. If the price drops afterwards, that is already the shuls issue, and loss – the same way that if the price goes up it is their gain.

As a side point since there was a gain of 4k from the stock, the person will have to give $400 as the maaser of that profit. Shimon’s giving the stock to the shul is like he sold it, therefore since e the stock at that time was worth 10k, he realized a gain of 4k.

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