It always feels good to do a noble gesture such as charity. People usually donate to charity old things that they don’t use any longer, like furniture, electronic goods, clothes, shoes, mattresses. What is interesting to know is that you can even donate old cars through some special donation programs. Here is how to do it and why do it.
Why would you give your old car to charity?
If you have an old car that you don’t use anymore, instead of letting it rust in your backyard, you can give it a better use by giving it to charity. If the car is still working and in good condition, then the charity organization may use it for itself. If not, then the organization will donate it further to families in poor conditions or victims of natural calamities, who need urgent help. Even though the vehicle is not working anymore, it can still help. Other charities may be willing to undertake the costs for repairs, so you can auction it off to those. If the care can no longer be repaired so it would function decently, then it can still be used for its spares and individual parts which are sold to service centers and garages. This way, not only you are helping other families in need, but you are also helping the environment by recycling.
How to donate an old car
In the United States there are more than 500 organizations authorized to do charitable activities. These organizations have no specific requirements regarding the donated vehicles, so you can donate even bikes, trucks, fishing boats, vans, no matter in what condition. The first step in donating your old vehicle is to locate the nearest charity organization and contact them. They need to approve the vehicle you want to donate and once this is done, they send the tow truck to the indicated address to pick up the vehicle. A receipt is issued as proof of your donation. Usually there are no towing costs involved.
How you can benefit from donating your old car
Charity is normally done out of goodwill, so one shouldn’t condition its charitable act with personal benefits. However, there are advantages of making a donation, in order to recompense goodwill and to motivate those who are not usually charitable persons. The main advantage one can benefit of is tax deduction. The 2005 tax law in the United States states that those persons who donate their cars to recognized charity organizations are entitled to tax deduction of a certain amount. The amount of the deduction varies according with the further use of the car: by the organization itself or sold to auction. The deduction also depends on the car’s physical condition and the present value it has on the market if it was resold.
Tips for donating an old car
Although donating an old car is not a difficult process and it’s a generous act, one should take into account certain things before proceeding further.
Verify the charity organization you are donating the car to, in order to make sure it is authorized, recognized and serious. Bare in mind that there are organizations which take advantage of people’s goodwill and behind the appearance of charitable entity, they actually run businesses and make profit out of people’s donations.
Don’t forget to get the donation receipt which certifies your car donation. Together with the tax deduction certificate it will serve you for tax deduction. Only a valid certificate will be taken into consideration for the tax deduction, so you need to make sure you get a good one and in time.
Don’t ignore the IRS regulations and laws. You will have a better understanding of the tax benefits you are entitled to.
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