Car Donation Tax Deductions

There are many nonprofit charitable organizations that accept car donations. Some of the vehicles are broken apart for parts, while some are used as part of a ?wheels to work? program that provides transportation to help people get to work. Other nonprofit organizations will sell your donated car and use the proceeds from the sale of your vehicle to fund important job training and employment programs for people with disabilities and other disadvantaged conditions that keep them from being successful in the workplace.

In the past, you were able to donate a vehicle and receive tax credit for the fair market value of the vehicle you donated. A new law that took effect January 1, 2005 changed the tax deduction process to make it harder to claim the full value of your donated vehicle. Today, the new law states that you will only be able to deduct the proceeds the charity gets from the sale of the car minus the cost of necessary repairs. The charity must provide the donor written acknowledgement of receipt of the vehicle, as well as the sale price of the vehicle. This could be problematic because the sale price of the car will be significantly less than the true market value of the vehicle. Charitable organizations disapprove of this new law because it will discourage many potential donors, thus hurt the charity. However, it should not discourage potential donors if the charity is their favorite nonprofit, and they know that they are truly helping people get back on their feet. A tax- deduction is nothing compared to helping someone in need.

The only way to deduct the full fair market value of your vehicle is if the charity does not sell your donated vehicle. It the charity uses your vehicle for a program like ?wheels to work? and acknowledges your donation in writing, you can claim the full fair market value.

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