It's not as simple as donating shares of common stock, or ETFs. your charitable donation is limited to the stock market appreciation over what you paid for the units (which is different from your tax basis). If there is ordinary income that has been deferred, you are liable for that at the time of the donation. For example, buy an MLP at $50, let the basis run down to $0, then donate to charity when the shares are trading for $52: Your charitable deduction is $2.
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