June 8, 2007, Newsletter Issue #60: Do Research With Car Donations

Tip of the Week

Donate Car For Charity Tip: Advertisements often make it sound simple to donate your car: Call a toll-free number; get the car towed away for free; and enjoy a big tax write-off for giving to charity.
Car donations require more work and preparation than that. But the results are worth the effort. Charities get the vehicle donations to support their causes and the donors are able to claim tax deductions on the value of their cars, or for the amount charities get at resale.
Make sound choices when donating cars by doing homework. Do research that extends beyond reading the advertisements.
Understand that you cannot get a higher tax deduction than the fair market value of your car. In cases where the charity sells the car, donors must claim the resale amount.
Donors can benefit from tax write-offs for vehicle donations but they will be required to itemize the transfer on their income taxes.
If a vehicle is in such bad shape that it does not run, donors should not expect to deduct the donation at fair market value. The IRS is likely to disallow it, unless the donor figures in the car's condition and mileage.

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