Car Donation In California

Written by Johnny Kitchens
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Making a car donation in California is extremely simple--unless you live in a remote portion of the state where geographical concerns may make it more difficult. Having one of the world's largest economies, California is a major center of charitable giving and there are thousands of non-profit and strictly charitable organizations either headquartered in or maintaining operations in the state. A large portion of those can accept vehicle donations.

Whether your car has 50 thousand miles on it or 500 thousand miles on it, as long as it runs and is not absolutely on its last legs most charities will accept it. Charities do not accept cars that do not run because those cars do not tend to sell at auction for a price that covers the expenses of processing them. A charity cannot accept a donation that will likely result in a net loss for them. If your car is a junker, consider selling it for scrap and donating the proceeds or consider making a few minor repairs.

Many charities in California have contracted the services of processing and transportation companies that handle the towing and processing of donated vehicles. This saves the charity both time and money and allows them to focus on their real work. Most of these companies are legitimate and keep their fees low so the charities get the most benefit but there are always a few exceptions. Before donating, review the operation of any such processing company the charity may use.

Giving Is Better than Receiving, Especially when It Comes with a Tax Break

California car donations give the donors the dual benefits of deducting the fair-market values of the donated vehicles on both their state and federal income tax returns. To take advantage of the tax deduction and protect yourself from penalties, you should be sure that you receive a formal letter of receipt for the donated car from the charity involved. You should also be certain that the charity has the correct status to make the donation deductible. Not all donations to non-profit organizations are tax-deductible.


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