When you choose to donate a used vehicle you help out a charitable organization with your contribution, but you also help yourself to a nice tax deduction, as well as the good feeling you will get by doing something helpful. Used car donations help fund numerous charities around the country.
More and more charities are advertising for people to donate their used vehicles as a giving alternative. It is a simple way for both businesses and individuals to dispose of their unwanted cars, while providing a nice income tax write-off. Charities also take trucks, vans, RVs, and even boats. Some may even accept farm machinery, construction equipment, and airplanes.
Donating a used vehicle is not hard, but there are some things you should be aware of before calling the first number you come across. Some charities handle donated cars differently. There are some charities out there with names similar to major charity organizations. These charities are more interested in getting your donation than helping people. They take in car donations, and then resell them giving a very small percentage to an actual charity.
There are some things you can do to ensure you are dealing with a legitimate charity. Find out what will happen to your vehicle when you donate it to them:
• Do they sell the vehicles?
• Do they use them to provide service for the charity?
• Do they recycle them, and if they do, how?
You can also contact your Better Business Bureau for more information on the charity. They will be able to give you tips on what kind of business the charity does. With a little research, you can be sure that your used car donation is going to the right place for the right reasons.
Here are some guidelines to follow:
• Ensure the charity you have picked out is one that you can trust. Get to know the charity’s purpose and what they do in the community.
• Find how much of the money goes to the charity and how much goes to the cause, how much goes to the processors and towing company.
• Ask how and where the car will be used. Know where the money will be spent, and how much of it benefits your local community or favorite charity.
When you donate your used vehicle, it must be whole, with no missing parts such as the engine or transmission. Most charities will accept vehicles even if they do not run, but you will need to give a good description of the condition of your vehicle. Your vehicle may not be accepted if the cost of towing it exceeds the value of the vehicle.
The vehicle will need to have a clear title in your name. If you do not have a title for the vehicle, contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles. They will be able to point you in the right direction to obtain a title. When giving the title to the charity, make sure to sign it over to the actual charity. Never leave the title blank. You will be asked for the vehicle’s:
• VIN number,
• model, and
• current mileage.
With the tax deduction, the IRS allows taxpayers to claim a deduction on their taxes from donations. They provide a guideline for vehicle donators to determine the value of the donated car. Make sure you receive a receipt for the value of your car.
Donating a used car is a process that can be easy and rewarding. Just be sure to follow a few simple steps to ensure you are donating to a reputable charity, and that your donation will be handled to your benefit.