Jesus College, Oxford

Turl Street, Oxford OX1 3DW
Telephone (01865) 279700

If you give Shares to College, you can get substantial relief on your income tax bill, as well as exemption from Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on any gains you may have made on the shares. With the higher rate of income tax at 40% and capital gains tax at 18%, this can amount to a substantial tax break. As with Payroll Giving, all the tax relief goes to you as the donor. 


If you give shares worth £1,000 to charity, your tax liability is decreased by £200 (standard-rate tax) or £400 (higher-rate tax). If the shares had a capital gain of £500, and were sold on the open market, you might be liable for as much as £90 CGT at the current 2008/09 rate of 18%. However, as you are donating the shares to charity, CGT does not apply.

Therefore, a gift of £1,000 could cost as little as £600 if you are a Higher Rate taxpayer and £800 if you are a Base Rate taxpayer.

Qualifying investments include:

  • shares or securities, which are listed or dealt in on a recognised stock exchange;
  • units in an authorised unit trust;
  • shares in an open-ended investment company; and
  • an interest in some offshore funds.

If your shares are held in paper form (share certificates), you need a stock transfer form. Your broker or the company registrar can provide this. The details of the registrar will be on the share certificate, dividend voucher, annual report or website.

When you have filled in the form, send it to the company registrar with your share certificates. You should make sure you include the full name and address of the charity. The company will then issue a new share certificate in the name of the charity. 

Another approach is to give the shares to Sharegift. This is a registered charity that specialises in helping donors give shares to charity. They accept any number of shares, however small, and collect them until there are enough to sell. They make donations to charities that have been suggested by share donors. Sharegift does not charge for this service.

More information on giving shares can be found on HMRC’s website.