October 16, 2009, Newsletter Issue #171: Follow Car Donation Rules to Avoid IRS Problems

Tip of the Week

Be careful to follow car donation IRS rules when claiming a car donation tax deduction. They changed in 2005 to end abuses in the popular practice of giving used and unwanted cars to charities.
If you are confused or unsure of the car donation IRS rules, it is best to contact an accountant or the IRS for information. The IRS runs a compliance program for noncash donations, such as car donations to charities. The program compares the amount a charity gets for selling a donated car with the amount the taxpayer claimed. If the IRS has questions, it will launch a review of the car donation.
Several IRS guides outline the car donation tax rules. They are:
* Publication 526, "Charitable Contributions";
* Publication 557, "Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization";
* Publication 561, "Determining the Value of Donated Property";
* Publication 1771, "Charitable Contributions -- Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements";
Publication 4302, "A Charity's Guide to Vehicle Donations."

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