Tips for Donating Your Car to Charity

Giving Center is an IRS approved, 501(c)3 nonprofit charity that operates across the United States. They accept a wide variety of charitable donations including (but not limited to) vehicle donationsboat donationsaircraft donationscollectibles donations, and real estate donations

When people think of a car donation, a four-door sedan or pickup truck is usually the image that comes to mind. Don’t be fooled though, there are countless types of vehicles that can be donated! Usually, if you have a vehicle with wheels, charities like Giving Center will accept them.

Still have questions about what can be donated? You can donate: commercial vehicles, industrial vehiclesdonate construction equipment, donate trailersdonate motorcycles,  donate RVsdonate boatdonate aircraft, anything with wheels! Still not sure we’ll accept your item? Give us a call at: 888-228-7320 and speak with a live representative today!

Listed below are tips for donors who would like to donate a car to charity. Beware that the donor’s tax deductions for car donations may be limited to the price at which the charity sold the car.

  • To receive the maximum tax deduction on your car donation, and to receive the satisfaction that the full value of the car benefits a charitable purpose, give it to a charity that will use the vehicle in its operations or will give it to a person in need. Giving Center will donate your vehicle to someone in need. In certain cases, Giving Center may make mechanical fixes prior to donating the vehicle out. Otherwise, your tax deduction will not be based on the fair market value, but will be limited to the amount of money the charity receives from the sale of your car. . 
     
  • Make sure the charity is eligible to receive tax deductible contributions. Ask for a copy for your records of the organization’s IRS letter of determination which verifies its tax exempt status. Giving Center is an IRS approved 501(c)3 nonprofit charity. Visit http://www.givingcenter.org for more information on our IRS status and EIN. 
     
  • Be sure that you get a receipt from the charity for your car donation.
     
  • Be aware that non-cash donations are one of the most common triggers to an audit by the IRS, so you’ll want to document the value of the car and keep records of it.
     
  • If the car is worth more than $500, the donor must complete Section A of IRS Form 8283 and attach it to their tax return. Giving Center will provide you with your Form 8283 within 30 days once you make your donation. Donors are required to file with his/her tax return a written acknowledgement from the charity. If the charity sells the car, the charity must provide the donor with a certification that the car was sold at “arms length” between unrelated parties and the sale price of the car within 30 days. In this case, the donor’s tax deductions will be limited to the total amount the charity sold the car for. If the charity does not sell the car, it must provide the donor with a receipt within 30 days of the contribution. The charity may also be required to provide certification to the donor stating how it plans to use or improve the car and stating that it promises not to sell or transfer the car. Penalties are imposed on charities that provide fraudulent acknowledgements to donors.
     
  • Take pictures of the car and save receipts for new tires or other upgrades to verify its value.
     
  • Remember, it is the donor, not the charity, who is obligated to value the car and who will pay the penalties if an IRS challenge finds your figure inaccurate.
     

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