Used Car Donations

Written by Rylee Newton
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If you want to make a donation to a charity but you don't have cash on hand, you might want to consider donating an older car or truck. Donating a car is also a great way to remove unsightly vehicles from your yard or neighborhood. As long as the car is in decent condition and you have all the necessary paperwork, you can donate your car to a charity and receive a tax deduction.

Donating Your Car to Charity

The process of donating your car is much easier than you might think. Most charities require you to fill out an online donation form. After you fill out the forms, the charity sends a tow truck to pick up your vehicle, as well as your keys and ownership paperwork. When the vehicle is sold, the organization will send you proof of the sale for tax purposes.

Charities accept vehicles of all ages, and in all conditions. If your vehicle still has some market value, most charities will pick it up and sell it at auction. In some cases, you can even donate vehicle parts to your charities. For example, charities will pick up newer model cars that have been in accidents if the parts are still in good condition.

IRS Information

Before you donate your car to charity, it's important to understand the tax laws. The fair market value of your vehicle must be determined if you want to write off your donation. The value of your charitable contribution determines which IRS form you need to fill out in order to file for tax deductions.

A new IRS tax law allows you to write off the amount the charity receives for the sale of your vehicle. This law simplifies the process of determining fair market value, and also helps people avoid being audited for overestimating the value of their donations. If you have any additional concerns about writing off your donation, you might want to check out one of these IRS publications: A Donor's Guide to Car Donation (Pub. 526) or Charitable Contributions (Pub.561.)

Giving to a Good Cause

For years, non-profit organizations have been raising money by selling cars and trucks at auction. When you donate your vehicle, you provide funds for everything from medical research to local educational fundraising efforts. When you donate your vehicle, you really do make a difference in the lives of people all over the world.

When it comes to donating in your community, you can make a contribution to your local high school or church. Many national organizations have local branches. For example, when you donate your car or truck to your neighborhood YMCA, the proceeds go to that branch. Another great way to help out at the local level is to make a contribution to your police or fire department.

If you want to make a difference on the global level, you can donate your car to organizations that provide aid overseas. You can even donate your car to help people all over the world with things like disaster relief, medical care, and solutions to world hunger. However, it's best to do some research on the organization before donating, so you know your money will be going to a worthy cause.


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