Despite recent market volatility, Bitcoin and other virtual currencies have been among the best-performing assets over the past five to ten years. If you own cryptocurrency—especially if you bought it at a low cost basis—it is important to evaluate the tax implications of converting it to cash. One option you may consider is donating your cryptocurrency to Northwestern or another non-profit organization.

What Are My Tax Benefits?

When you make a gift of cryptocurrency, you may qualify for an income tax deduction of the gift’s fair market value, up to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI) with a five-year carryover. If you have held your cryptocurrency for more than a year, you may also avoid the capital gains tax you would have paid if you sold it.

How to Make Your Gift

Step 1: Contact the non-profit organization you would like to support to confirm that it accepts cryptocurrency gifts. Northwestern accepts the following cryptocurrencies:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Shiba Inu Coin (SHIB)
  • 5 USD-pegged stablecoins (GUSD, USDC, USDP, DAI, and BUSD)

Step 2: Transfer the cryptocurrency via the organization’s online wallet tool. You can donate cryptocurrency to Northwestern using this form.

When to Consider a Gift of Cryptocurrency

Donating cryptocurrency may be right for you if:

  • You would like to receive a federal income tax deduction in the year you make your gift.
  • You would like to avoid capital gains tax.
  • You would like to make an impact at Northwestern.

Questions?

If you are interested in giving Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency to Northwestern, please contact Northwestern Gift Planning at 800-826-6709 or giftplanning@northwestern.edu. We are happy to walk you through the process.

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