Part VIII of the Auto Saving Series. This is the final segment of the series. If you missed a segment, start at the beginning.
Charity advertisements bombard potential donors with the tax advantage of donating a car to their charity. The benefits of donating a used car, RV, boat or airplane goes beyond just the money you will not have to pay the IRS.
Gag on Paperwork
For the non-record keeper, the standard deductions are $500 or the calculated value of the car, whichever is less. If the vehicle is sold for more than $500, written proof from the charity for the price sold it is required. When in doubt or without proof from the charity, deduct $500.
The taxpayer can claim up to the gross payment for the vehicle as long as it does not exceed more than half of the adjusted income of the taxpayer. Clear as mud, right? In layman’s terms, the taxpayer can claim the selling price of the car as long as it is not more than one half of his yearly taxable income.
What other benefits are there?
Donations are split into many different categories: auctions, sales, donations and recycling. Each one represents a totally different benefit.
Prepping for Sale
Charities prepare the cars for sale by making them road worthy. Many charities hold contracts with vocational and trade schools for this work. Education benefits from these donations.
Auction houses take charity vehicles, without charging the normal commission for the sales. This commission adjustment is tax deductible for the auctioneers and nets the charity more money for the donated vehicle. The charity benefits.
Used Cars For Sale
More and more charities have found that opening car sales lots is producing more monetary results that auctions. This increases the tax base of the community supporting those in most need. The whole community benefits.
Donate It Again
Donating donations is becoming more popular. The charity donates the repaired vehicle to a family in need. Although no money changes hands, the charity will foot the bill for the registration and any state related fees. A family in need benefits.
Recycling produces many benefits. Used cars which are not reparable or do not meet pollution standards are recycled. The metals are used for everyday items that find their way into many homes in the forms of door knobs, faucets, car parts and appliance parts. The environment, consumer and charity benefit!
What do you want?
Knowing that when you donate your used car it will benefit so many people, there is no real reason to haul it to a junk yard, even if it is wrecked. All they will do is make profit by selling its parts. Make many benefit from your donation: Donate your used car to a charity.
Have you (or a family member) donated a car? Which charity? And would you do it again?
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2011
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