If you’re thinking about donating your car or truck to a local or national charity, here are a few tips that you should know. There are a few problems you can avoid if you do a little research first. Ultimately your goal may be to gain a good car donation tax deduction. The change in the tax laws make it easier now to get a good deduction.
1. How the car donation charity uses your donated car. Decide whether it’s important to you or not if you know how the charity is going to use your car. If so, you may want to give them a call. They may sell it on a used car lot they maintain or farm it out to a charity car donation program or sell it on their own car lot. They may use the car to transport people or goods for their charitable work. Or they may give the car to a needy individual.
2. How much money will the charity actually get from you car donation. If the charity plans to sell the car it will probably not get the ‘blue book’ value of the car. There also will be expenses directly related to the sale – newspaper classified ads or their car lot costs, both which will reduce the negotiated selling price
If they farm it out to a car donation charity program, they’ve contracted with, to sell then they will get a lot less for it. And of course if they use it themselves or give it away then their won’t be a monetary gain.
3. Before you donate your car to any charity you want to make sure it’s a legitimate charity. If it’s a large national organization then there will be less of a problem. If it’s a local charity then you may have to do some checking. You want to make sure they’re eligible to receive contributions that are tax deductible, so you’ll receive the car donation tax deduction. So ask them if they have the “letter of determination” from the IRS.
Many charities accept cars, truck, and other vehicles and are not tied into providing you with a tax deduction. Make sure to find this out in advance.
These are just a few of the tips you’ll need to know if you plan to donate your car to a charity. Make sure to do a little research first to make sure you understand just how much you may get for your car donation tax deduction if they sell it, give it away or keep it.