Making charitable contributions is a wonderful way to help out your fellow man, but it is also a good way to get some tax breaks. One really good method is to donate a car to charity. However, there are some things you will need to do in order to donate a car to charity and claim the donation on your tax returns.
First of all, make sure the organization is qualified. You can do this by logging onto the IRS website to check for qualified charitable organizations. If the organization you donate a vehicle to is not qualified then you will not be able to claim the deduction. So you will need to check this out before you make your donation if making the deduction is important to you.
Another question you will need answered before you donate your vehicle to charity is what will become of the vehicle? Will it be sold to make money for the charity or will the charity use it for transportation? Also, the car might be given to someone poor who needs transportation. Regardless of what the car will be used for, you have a right to ask the question and decide if you believe it is a charitable cause. If not, then you can look for another charitable institution that will use the vehicle in a means you approve of.
Make sure you determine the fair market value of the vehicle in order to claim the donation on your taxes. You will not be able to simply claim the Blue Book value for your vehicle but will have to take into account the vehicle’s condition, and accessories you have added, and the like. There are several IRS and other guides that will help you come up with the fair market value of the vehicle.
Make sure you follow any laws required by your state regarding donating vehicles to charity. More often than not laws require you to transfer the title to the charity, if at all possible, and do not leave license plates on the vehicle. This will eliminate liability issues as well.
If after reading all the information on the IRS website and following these steps you still have questions regarding your charitable vehicle donation then you should contact the IRS directly in order to have your questions answered. It is better to have your questions answered before you make a donation than after, so be proactive.
Donating a car to charity is a really good thing to do and it will help you out on your tax returns as well. Just be careful because there are charities that will tell you what you need to hear, which can cause problems for you when you try to claim your donation. Just make sure you have all questions answered by the IRS.