Choosing Wise Ways of Donating Vehicles While Earning Tax Benefits?

Car donation programs are essential not only for the benefit of the community but also for the tax benefits of the individuals. Sufficient donation for a significant cause helps the donor win tax returns which brings in financial benefits.

Donating a car to charity is really easy if one wants to get rid of it. All that an individual needs to do is just call up the nearby car donation center and ask it to take away the old vehicle out from the garage. But this entire easy process gets complicated the moment one intends to maximize the benefits of the donation for both the charity and the donor itself. Until 2005, it was really a cakewalk for the taxpayers to deduct the fair market value of the vehicle from the taxable income of the donor and that reduced amount went into the accounts of the IRS, or more popularly Internal Revenue Services. According to the legal books of IRS, the fair market value of a car was determined by the price that both the willing buyer is likely to pay, and the seller would accept and neither of the parties are compelled to sell or buy under any circumstances. Allowing the tax payers to deduct the full fair market value from the taxable income of the donors actually paid heavy for the IRS and hence, they started tightening the rules. In the present day scenario, the fair market value of the vehicles can be deducted only under some specific conditions. So it’s better to sort all these conditions out, so that the donors can discuss the provisions with their tax preparer before making any car donation New Jersey. Also, they must be aware whether the local law of the land actually levies income tax, and hence abide by the law.

Donating Vehicles

After the laws for deduction has been changed, while one needs to claim for the fair market value for the car that is being donated, the deduction must be itemized. The IRS provides multiple guidance to the organizations in reporting obligations while they receive contributions of the qualified vehicles. It gives all the possible instructions regarding when, how and where to report of all the information that the receiving organizations provide to the donor while accepting the vehicles, supplementing the written acknowledged amendments.

How the Deduction of the Fair Market Value Takes Place?

Following are the four rules laid by the IRS when one gets maximum deduction for donating a car:

  • When the charitable organizations put up the car on auction, the owner can claim either the fair market value or the price at which the vehicle is auctioned, whichever between the two is less.
  • When the charity takes the decision of using the vehicle for a significant purpose, the donor can make sure that he gets the maximum deduction. This means, the organization will use the vehicle for serving their purpose such as delivering meals or distributing clothes in various philanthropic activities.
  • If the charity takes the decision to make some improvement on the vehicle, anything that increases the value of the car, the chances of having greater deductions enhance. One important point to be noted is that these improvements cannot be minor repair works or maintenance programs; it has to be something as big as changing the engine that helps in running the vehicle.
  • And finally, if the charity gives or sells the vehicle to someone in desperate need of it at a price which is significantly lower than the market value, and the gift or sale is a part of the mission of the respective charity, then that particular act of car donations New Jersey brings in greater deduction amount to the owner of the vehicle.

At times, the donors only have the concern of tax benefits that they receive and hence are up to claim the deductions. But, that is not what one is ought to. There’s no point claiming for the benefits until and unless one can prove its worth. There are various ways through which this can be proved, like appraisals, current price list of the similar models in the market and the like. Often people are under the misconception that they can only sell their cars, but that’s not true. There are other donation options as well- the Rvs, trailers, boats and even the towed vehicles are eligible for donation.

Selling a car can actually bring in hassles and selling it at the verge of its end, increases the trouble more. How to proceed with the car donation depends completely on the goal. Whether one wants to just get rid of the junkie from the garage, or want to earn a good benefit through tax deduction, the method taken depends completely on it. If the goal of the donor is to maximize tax deduction, it is essential to carefully review the steps then take the decision. Whatever decision be it taken, parting with the old car could actually help a nonprofit organization carry out their mission. And as an addition, even the donor gets to make some room in the garage.

About the author

David J. Pyle

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