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Archive for the ‘Vehicle Donations’ Category

Tips for the Right Charity Car Donation

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Car donations are a growing sector of charity donations from private donors. However, there are some unscrupulous contractors who profit from the cars donated to charity. You can protect yourself and make sure that the maximum amount of your donation goes to help children, fights disease or reduces hunger by following a few important tips.

Donate your car to a charity directly. When you donate your car directly to an organization, 100% of the value goes directly to the organization rather than to the overhead costs of an intermediary agency. Many of your favorite charities are set up to accept car donations directly.

Drive your car to the charity or to their designated drop-off spot. Unless the agency employs its own tow truck and driver, the organization to which you’re donating your car will have to pay to have your car towed to their location. If you drive the car to them, you’ll save them the cost of the tow.

If you use an Intermediary agency, find out the percentage that goes to the charity. If the charity you want to donate to uses an intermediary agency or if you can’t find a charity that directly accepts car donations, do some research to find out how much they hand over to the charities they work with. Ask directly-a reputable agency will have no problem giving you the number-and then call one or more of the charities with which they work and ask them to confirm what the agency told you.

Check the tax status of the charity. In most cases, you can only claim a tax deduction if you donate to a 501 (c) (3) organization. Ask to see the charity’s determination letter from the IRS to be sure that its papers are in order.

Complete the transfer papers correctly. For your own protection, do all the paperwork to complete the transfer to the charity properly. If a charity wants you to leave the title transfer blank so that they can sell the car without actually holding the title, you could be liable for parking tickets or if the car is used in the commission of a crime before the transfer is completed. If the organization you’re dealing with won’t complete the transfer process properly, back out and find a charity that will process your car donation in accordance with the law.

A car donation can offer big benefits for both you and the charity that accepts it. The charity gets the donation and you get the tax deduction, as long as you follow all the rules and restrictions about keeping records and filing forms. If you’re planning to donate a car to charity, following these tips will help you maximize your deduction and make sure that the charity gets the most benefit from your donation.