If you want to donate a car to charity, there are a few tips that you have to think about. However, giving a car to a charitable institution or a cause can do wonders for your self-esteem and is in addition, a tax deduction that you could write off. Car donations help charities generate funds for their work or provide them with a vehicle to perform their functions.
The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 formed the basis to donate a car to charity and non-profit organizations in the US. Lack of funds forced a lot of these institutions and associations to cease operations. Car donations came to the rescue by providing an incentive for individuals to donate a car to a charity of their choice and write it off as a deductible when tax declarations are due. The car donation program is a huge success providing charities with badly needed funds to keep themselves afloat and continue the work and services that they are offering to various communities.
Researching your area for the right charity to donate a car is the first step. It all depends on the state of your vehicle. If your vehicle is in quite a good condition and still runs without a problem, you might want to donate a car to a charity which needs one. The organization might keep it to use for their day to day operations. An orphanage can use it to transport children during outings or for buying heavy supplies and provisions. Your local church can make use of the vehicle in their soup kitchens and feeding programs. Just make sure that the charity falls in the list of 501-c3 charities of the IRS to qualify for a deduction. Read IRS Publication 78 available at the IRS website.
If you want to donate a vehicle that has only scrap value, you might want to contact a car junkyard. There are also agencies or companies which do this for a living. They take the vehicle away from your property, fix it up if it is still fixable, sell it for its scrap value or strip a car that is donated. In such cases, the proceeds will go to the charity of your choice less the expenses and profit for the car donation companies.
After you have done this, contact the charity of your choice. Donate a car by bringing it to the charity concerned or asking someone from the organization to pick up the car for you. Prepare the transfer of ownership as this will prove that you no longer own the vehicle and are not liable anymore when the car is involved in a collision or damage.
Make sure that you fill out the necessary papers such as the deed of donation signed by the recipient charity and application for a tax deduction. There are forms on the IRS website that you could use to support your application to write off a car donation. If you want to donate a car, the IRS website is a great resource site and should be consulted if there are nagging doubts.
Tips and comments
When you donate a car to a charity, you are doing a good deed in many ways than you can imagine. Your unused car is put to good use by a non-profit organization in carrying out their charity work. In addition, you remove junk from your yard, making more space, eliminate insurance, maintenance, and gas expenses saving you money. The best part is, you could even claim it as a tax deduction. Note that there are limits to these amounts based on the market value of the car when it is sold.
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