Car Donations That Are Tax Deductable

Car Donations That Are Tax Deductable

With the start of the New Year and tax time right around the corner you are probably looking for items that you can deduct to reduce your taxable income. Since the laws on what can be claimed vary from state to state and country to country there is a lot of confusion about what a deduction can be. In the US the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has many documents that can be use to determine what can and cannot be a deduction.

One aspect of tax deductions that is increasing in popularity has been car and vehicle donations. A simple process that both the donor and the charity can benefit from. A perspective donor gives a vehicle to a registered charity. That charity does one of several things with it.

• They can sell off the vehicles in running order and use the proceeds to fund their organizations.

• If the vehicle is not on running order it may be repaired or sold as scrap.

Either way the charity benefits from the donation and so do the worth while causes they support.

It is a simple process, however, as a donor you have to determine a couple things before you can legally write off any contributions made by donating your car.

First you have to be eligible to receive the tax deduction.

This can be as simple as itemizing the deductions on Schedule A of Form 1040. However there are other limitations that you must be aware of before simply deducting the donation.

• Does the vehicle you are intending to donate qualify as a tax exempt vehicle? This is obviously important and there is a good chance that it will. Most vehicles that are legal for public roads are able to be used as a tax deductible donation. This also includes boats and planes plus some all terrain vehicles.

• The percentage you can claim. Since you are only able to claim up to 50% of your current gross yearly income you are limited if you are donating a vehicle such as a plane that can be worth thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.

• For contributions between $250 and $500 there is less information required to deduct the donation. The acknowledgement form from the charity will have to contain the following.

o Name of the charity
o Vehicle Description
o Plus one of the following

– A statement saying you never received any goods or services for your donation. Or…

– A statement provided from the charity with a description and fair market value of goods or services they may have provided to you. Or…

– If goods or services were provided in the form of non-tangible services (ex: :religious advice) this must be stated.

• For donation amounts that exceed $500 you will need to gather additional information before trying to deduct the donation amount. When you receive the written acknowledgement from the charity it must contain additional information.

o Your name and Tax Identification Number
o The vehicle identification number must be present.
o The date of the vehicle donation must be included
o One of the following must also be included with the date of the donation

– A statement saying you never received any goods or services for your donation. Or…

– A statement provided from the charity with a description and fair market value of goods or services they may have provided to you. Or…

– If goods or services were provided in the form of non-tangible this must be stated.

-The charity itself must have tax exempt status with the Federal Government. Most education and religious organizations are tax exempt. The IRS maintains a particle list of those organizations that have tax exempt status. Go to the IRS website and search for Publication 78, Cumulative List of Organizations. This will be your best place to start for determining which charities you can donate to and receive a tax write off.

The charity itself must have tax exempt status with the Federal Government. Most education and religious organizations are tax exempt. The IRS maintains a particle list of those organizations that have tax exempt status. Go to the IRS website and search for Publication 78, Cumulative List of Organizations. This will be your best place to start for determining which charities you can donate to and receive a tax write off.

By following the guidelines provided by the IRS and the charity you choose to donate to you can help out those organizations in need plus you are able to help yourself out with a tax deductible donation. Just remember to follow the rules and both parties involved will win.

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