September 26, 2008, Newsletter Issue #123: New Tax Laws Limit Write-Offs for Boat Donations

Tip of the Week

New tax laws require people who donate a boat to value their tax deduction at the amount the charity gets selling the vessel.
In most cases, charities sell donated vehicles -- boats, cars, trucks and campers and the proceeds go to the charity's causes. But the new tax law can be challenging for boat owners, who may get substanially less than the market value of their boat when they donate it to charity.
However, there is an exception to the 2005 IRS rule: If the charity keeps the boat donations for "significant intervening use" in the organization's work, the donor can claim the fair market value of the vessel at tax time.
These charities are likely to be marine-based groups that do research and education on the water.
Donors with expensive boats may want to consider seeking out charities that will use the vessels in their work.

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