July 18, 2008, Newsletter Issue #113: Keep Records When Donating Vehicles

Tip of the Week

Careful recordkeeping is required when making vehicle donations, the result of tighter charitable giving laws that became effective in 2005. Among the documents donors need is a written acknowledgement by the charity that it received the vehicle donation. The acknowledgement must identify the donor and the vehicle identification number, known as the VIN.
Often charities will resell the vehicle donations and collect the proceeds after costs. If such a transaction takes place, the charity must certify for the donor that the vehicle was sold at arm's length to an unrelated party.
The donor will need this document at tax time. The charity also must list the gross proceeds from the sale. Donors need these documents when itemizing vehicle donations for income tax deductions. If you get confused by the requirements, check with an accountant or your local IRS office before making the donation.

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