August 31, 2007, Newsletter Issue #71: Keep Records When Donating Cars

Tip of the Week

Donating cars is an excellent way to help a favorite charity while getting rid of used vehicles. Many donors also use car donations for tax deductions.
It is important to carefully document your car donation, in case the charity, the IRS or your accountant later has questions.
Your personal records should include:
(1) The charity's name and address;
(2) The date and place you made the automobile donation;
(3) A description of the car donation, including year, make, model and condition. Include a photo.
(4) The value you placed on the car, which should not be more than the fair market value of the car. State how you calculated the value of the car donation. Include an appraisal, if the car is worth more than $5,000.
(5) A history of your own purchase of the car. Was it a gift? Did you buy it?
(6) Copies of the title, registration and receipts from the charity. Receipts from the charity should include an acknowledgement when the vehicle is collected, and a statement of the amount received when the vehicle later is resold by the charity.

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