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If shares of one company were purchased at various times, can you use "Various" for the acquisition date like you do on Schedule D?

Yes, but. You have to segregate the lots into short-term and long-term holdings. Short-term holdings are valued at cost basis for donations, subject to 50%AGI limitation. Long-term holdings are valued at FMV for donations, subject to 30%AGI limitation.

I've been doing my own Schedule D's for so long that separating sales into LT and ST capital gains is second nature. But thanks for the reminder.

I just found something interesting in Pub 526:

A special 30% limit applies to contributions of capital gain property to 50% limit organizations. How­ever, the special 30% limit does not apply when you choose to reduce the fair market value of the property by the amount that would have been long­term capital gain if you had sold the property. Instead, only the 50% limit applies.

I'm going to check the cost basis of my donated stock. I may be able to get a better tax break using cost basis as the value of the donation and taking 50% instead of using fair market value and taking 30%. It'll make for less future carryover, too, so I'll have to play with the numbers to see which way is best in the long run.

Unfortunately you have to choose one or the other. You can't use cost basis for the least appreciated shares and FMV for the more appreciated.

--fleg, enjoying the mysteries of the tax code
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