One way of sharing one’s blessings is through the giving of donations to charitable institutions. Indeed, many people are willing to write a check and share their hard-earned money to help the underprivileged. Donate car tax deductible need not only be in cash. You can donate medicines, clothes, or books. In fact, tax write off for car donation is becoming one of the more common practices nowadays.
There has been a noticeable increase in the number of car donation tax write off in the last several years, and for a good reason. There are a several tax benefits of donating a car. Donating a car to charity is just like hitting two birds with one stone. First, you can help others in need by giving them something of value; and second, you also benefit because you can donate car tax deductible.
How is the process to Donate Car Tax Deductible?
Donating your car to charities is a noteworthy practice of many individuals. However, because of the proliferation of many charities at present, one must be discerning as to which charity they are going to donate the vehicle. Of course, you would want to donate to a charity that caters to a group you have sympathy for. Be it for orphaned children, cancer patients, or the aged, the choice is yours. But be sure to check if the charity is an IRS approved one. You have to choose very carefully when you wan to donate car tax deductible because if your chosen charity is not on the IRS list, you will not recieve tax write off for car donation.
The primary reason for donating a car is to be able to give something to charity. If the charity organization uses the donated vehicle, then it helps them continue their work. Sometimes, minor repairs are done on the vehicles to make it usable again. There are also times that the charity will give the donated automobile to someone whom they think really needs it. In most cases, however, the charity resells the donated car and uses the proceeds for its operation using intermediaries to handle the sale.
These intermediaries take a percentage from the proceeds as processing fees, sometimes leaving the charity with a very minimal amount for their use. Intermediaries usually take a big percentage of the sale’s proceeds, some even as high as 90%. If this happens, the very purpose of donating your car is defeated.
Thus you must do research to ensure that the charity gets to enjoy the maximum amount that could possibly be realized when you donate a car, not those profit-oriented middlemen. You can achieve this by donating your car to a charity that accepts car donations directly so they can keep the whole amount for themselves.
Why tax write off for car donation
So why donate your old vehicle when you can opt to sell it? Of course, if you sell your old car, you could potentially make financial gain from it, although the amount could be minimal as you have to settle for a much lower rate. On the other hand, by donating your old vehicle, you will acquire not only financial but even non-financial rewards.
The non-financial rewards of car donation are the feeling of personal satisfaction and a more meaningful life brought about by this act of sharing what you have with the people who need it more. This act of sharing will also earn you the respect and gratitude of the people who benefit from your donation. So if what you want is just really to help, you can donate your car and that’s it. Your mission to help is done and over with.
On the other hand, tax write off for car donation is a legal and acceptable method to reduce your tax obligations and many are in fact donating used vehicles, or even boats if only to be able to avail of tax deductions. Donate car tax deductible as a remedy to reduce your tax has become a big business for some groups who are offering car donation services.
Do Read: Car Donation Charities
Pros and cons of car donation tax write off
Using a car donation tax write off service is fine if you find one that offers honest service and charges reasonable fees. Since some charities do not have the facility or the expertise to handle the selling of donated vehicles, they hire the services of intermediaries to do the job.
The services offered by these companies include picking up your car, truck, trailer or boat for free and auctioning the vehicle to the highest bidder to get the most value from your car. The higher the sale price means that you get a bigger tax deduction for your donation. They will also arrange for the paperwork and other documentary requirements in connection with your tax deduction claim. And some even send gifts – such as vacation certificates –to the clients to thank them for using their services.
To donate a car effectively, it is important to choose the right car donation tax write off service so that your chosen charity will really get to benefit from your donation. Some of these middle-men charges exorbitant rates, leaving the charities with almost nothing. But there are also highly dependable and reputable companies that offer excellent services. You just have to be selective and discriminating in choosing donate car tax deductible.
Tax benefits of donating a car
As citizens, we must pay our taxes. Thus, there is no way we can avoid this duty unless we belong to the indigent group. And admittedly, tax obligations can be quite burdensome. But there are some ways to lessen the amount of our taxes, and one of these is the tax deduction brought about by donating old vehicles.
However, there are requirements in car donation before one can qualify for the tax deduction, including a written acknowledgment of the sale by the charity, and itemized tax returns.
There are other specific rules concerning the amount of tax benefits of donating a car one can avail from car donation. Generally, the amount of tax deduction one can get from donating a used vehicle depends on the amount that the charitable institution realized from your donation. This is true for vehicles valued at $500 or more. Thus, when you donate a vehicle which was later resold by the institution, your tax deduction will be equivalent to the proceeds from the sale. The sale of donated used vehicles is usually done through an auction.
The amount of tax deduction that can be claimed for cars that has a value of less than $500 is the estimated value of the vehicle as determined by the donor himself.
Tax write off for car donation
You have an old car and instead of selling it, you have decided just to donate it. Of course, your first motivation is to help your favorite charity. But certainly, you would also want to avail of the tax reduction that goes with it. Not only will you be helping those in need, but you will also be helping yourself.
Once you have decided to recieve a tax write off for car donation, there are some simple guides to follow to ensure that your donation really benefits its intended beneficiaries, at the same time, you also benefit through a tax deduction.
Choose the right charity when it comes to car donation
You should do a quick research about the charity where you plan to donate your car. Choose the one that has a worthy cause and has a good track record. Check on the charity even before you make your donation. You can look into their website or ask around if the organization is a reputable one. Also, make sure that the organization is qualified to accept your donation. Some charitable institutions are not on the IRS list which means you cannot ask for a tax deduction in case you make a car donation to charity. Checking out on these matters will save you from further problems and complications later.
Get professional assistance
Making a donate car tax deductible for the first time can be a bit challenging. The process is complex and there are a number of the requirement that you have to comply with. Thus, it is best if you can consult with a professional to avoid unnecessary delays in the process.
Also, the determination of car value is important. The fair market value is the price of your car, considering its make and condition, will get in the free market. You can check the value of your car from price guides.
Watch out for middle-men & get tax benefits of donating a car
As much as possible, avoid deals with intermediaries. If your charity can do the selling of the donated vehicle, then it would be much better. Some unscrupulous groups actively offer their services in connection with car donations in billboards, newspapers, television and even on the internet. These middlemen are the ones that get the most from the sale of your donated vehicle, leaving the charity with just a meager share.
However, if using an intermediary cannot be avoided, inquire about the actual rates they are charging before making the deal. If their rate is too high, find another one with a lower or a flat rate.
To be fair to some of these tax benefits of donating a car, are of great help to charities that are not capable of disposing of the donated cars themselves. They have the manpower, the equipment, and the contacts to make the process faster, easier and more convenient to the charitable institution they are working for.
Delivery Process when you donate car to charity tax deduction
If the car you are donating is in a running condition, drive the car directly to the charity so you don’t have to spend to have it picked up. Some charities also offer to pick up car donations that are no longer running.
If you avail of car donation services, they can arrange to pick up your car, or even your boat, at the earliest possible time. This will spare you from the hassle of thinking about how your car can be delivered, especially if it is no longer in a running condition.
Complete your documentation
Make sure that all documentation related to car donation is in order, from the valuation of your car to the transfer of the ownership, and other post-donation requirements like the written acknowledgment from the charity and the itemized tax returns.
The written acknowledgment is a document that states your name and tax identification number, the vehicle’s identification, estimated value and date of car donation tax write off. It also contains a statement that you did not receive from the charity anything in exchange for the donation.
The tax returns, on the other hand, should be itemized for you to be able to avail of the tax deduction benefit.
Ownership transfer is a must for tax information car donation
You must transfer the title of your car in the name of the charity before actually delivering it to them. This is to avoid being charged for violations even after you have made the car donation. It happens that the car gets a ticket after you have made the donation. Unfortunately, you forgot to transfer the ownership to the charity. As the registered owner, you will be one to be penalized. And do not forget to remove your car plates before delivering your car.
In short, do not leave any ownership issue unattended to avoid any inconvenience. You would not want to encounter problems as a result of your car donation. As they say, better safe than sorry.
Beware of scammers
A very important pointer, which actually should be the first in this list, is to be wary of scammers. They are everywhere. On the internet, many websites claim to be legitimate car donation services. Or that they are the legal representatives of certain charities. Or that they are offering the lowest fees. Do not immediately bite these claims.
Checking out these groups should be easy because information can be accessed on the internet. Know all the details to make sure that your car donation tax write off will not fall into the wrong hands.
So in this way you can donate car tax deductible. Hopefully, with the above pointers, you now have adequate knowledge on how to go about getting your tax benefits of donating a car and finish the whole process with the least problems. With the proper knowledge on how to go through the process, tax write off for car donation is quite simple and can be rewarding, both to you and the charity of your choice.