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Tips For Donating Your Old Car To Charity

Updated on January 22, 2020
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Donating your old car to charity and benefit Donating your old car to charity can be a rewarding act and something you can feel good about.

Donating your old car to charity and benefit

Donating your old car to charity can be a rewarding act and something you can feel good about. Also, you can receive a decent tax incentive for doing so.
Keep in mind though that to get the maximum tax break, the car needs to be usable and have a very fair market value. Just bringing in any old non-running vehicle is great too, but don't expect a huge tax rebate.

You must have seen an ad that states "Donate your car and receive a tax break". That is true and not deceit. There are definitely amazing benefits of donating your car to charity.

The key benefit, as mentioned earlier, used to give car donors a high privilege on tax breaks but then greed sneaked in. Some donors would bring in a car with a low market value and then want to claim a maximum tax break. But now legislators have tightened rules on how much you can write off on the worth of a car to be donated. The exact tax break now depends both on the donor's claimed value of the car and also how the charity uses the car.

Choosing a charity to donate your old car to

Choosing a charity doesn't have to be difficult. Choose your favorite charity that accepts donation of used vehicles and offers the tax reduction. If your favorite charity doesn't accept automobiles, there are many organizations out there that do. Check your local phone book or yellow pages and you'll find more than one listing for organizations that accept vehicles and will offer you a tax rebate based on the fair market value. Try to find a charity that will work directly with you. Donating your car to charity is a much simpler process if there isn't a middleman involved. If possible, drive the vehicle to the charity so there are no towing fees and the charity will get to receive the whole value of the transaction.

Complete the process you have started properly

Making sure you transfer the vehicle to be donated to the charity is highly important. This can cause problems down the line if this isn't done correctly when donating old cars for charity. Make sure that you sign the car over to the charity at the time of donation. Some charity's will ask you to leave your name off the form when donating in case they sell it to another person right away. If a charity asks you this, find another charity. This is a bad practice among some charities and if they sell it at auction, can have a car someone's bought but it's still in your name because the charity never registered it in their name. When looking to donate old cars to charity, always do a proper research with the intent of seeking the most adequate charity in mind.

Following a few of these simple guidelines can save you a headache and maybe even tons of money in the future if something goes wrong while donating your old cars or vehicles to charity


You need to value the car you intend to donate to charity

The donor of the car is the one who comes up with a value of the vehicle to be put on the necessary tax forms. Be sure to value your car carefully so the IRS doesn't find a reason to challenge your tax deduction. This is very important and should not be overlooked. Take pictures of your vehicle and save any receipts of work done or replace parts bought. This will help back up your declaration of value. Having these stuck away may come in handy around tax season if the IRS decides to check into your deduction. If the car is worth more than $5,000 an independent appraisal is necessary. The donor must fill out a Section B of IRS Form 8283.

The act of donation gives you a genuine feeling of accomplishment

Donating your old cars to charity can be a fun and rewarding experience that you absolutely will never forget.

Knowing you are helping out a person or family in need gives you a wonderful feeling of joy and fulfilment.

Also knowing that someone who was riding the bus or walking to work before is now able to drive himself or herself –courtesy of the car you gave out- gives you a sense of joy.

This is a typical and similar feeling you would have when you donate your car to charity. In fact your feel like a philanthropist entirely. It's a liberating experience to donate old cars to charity.

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