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Car donations are a lot easier for many donors, since new tax laws went into effect in 2005. No longer do taxpayers need to figure out on their own the fair market value of their auto donations.
Most often, when you donate a car that's worth more than $500, you will claim as your tax write-off the amount the car is sold for by the charity.
But there are exceptions. People who donate a car valued at more than $5,000, for example, fall in a special category. These donors may need a certified appraisal shortly before making the car donation to verify its value.
The IRS requires the appraisal in cases where the tax deduction is not the amount of the gross proceeds if the car is resold. The charity can explain if your car donation falls in this category. It's also a good idea to contact an accountant.