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Vehicle Donations Program: Mindful of Donor's Convenience

Aug 12, 2008
A vehicle donations program is gaining popularity and is used in almost every charitable organization as a means to raise funds. A vehicle donations program mainly deals with the transfer or donation of old vehicles to charitable institutions. Basically, these charitable institutions who have vehicle donations program do not handle the car donation transactions themselves. An institution, called the vehicle donations services, separate from the charitable institution usually facilitates the vehicle donations program. Their only goal is to handle vehicle donations and transfer the proceeds to their affiliated charity.

Ulimate Convenience

Since vehicle donations are non-profit transactions to the donating party, vehicle donations services make donations as easy and convenient as possible for them. If you are looking for a way to ditch an old vehicle, then you may want to consider a vehicle donation.

The vehicle donations services handle every process of selling or donating your car to a needy family or individual. The first thing they do is pick-up your car and hand you a receipt in return. And, if your vehicle needs refurbishing, there is no need for you to worry. Vehicle donations services accept any kind of vehicle in any condition. This definitely spells convenience and cost-free donation.

The Donation Process

A vehicle donations services usually has two ways of handling vehicle donations. First, they sell the vehicle either refurbished or as is at auctions and the proceeds go to charity. Secondly, they do the necessary refurbishing and transfer the vehicle to charity, who then assigns the car to a needy individual or family. If the latter scenario is the case, the vehicle donations program and the IRS requires that the family or individual vehicle recipient do not sell the vehicle until its useful life is exhausted. Moreover, vehicle donations program contains meticulous guidelines in choosing recipients so that they are those who truly qualify as to need and attitude. So when you donate your vehicle, you are sure that the proceeds or the vehicle goes to those who are truly in need of assistance.

Tax Deduction Benefit

You not only help the needy when you donate a car, you also benefit from it as well. The IRS allows tax deductions from vehicle donations. This deduction is usually not more than $500, since vehicles are sold at auctions for $200-$500 only.

In the past, vehicle donors could use the fair market value of their donated vehicles but then the IRS found out that these values were bloated. The determined fair market values did not always consider depreciation and the vehicle's condition. So to correct this, the tax legislation governing vehicle donations was revised in 2005. Currently, only the gross sales amount of the vehicle can be used for tax deductions.

However, the revised legislation still allows tax deductions using the fair market value even if it exceeds $500. But this is limited to only two conditions: when the charitable institution directly uses the vehicle in their causes, either by them or assigned to a family and when the vehicle donations services make any improvements on the vehicle before its sale or donation.

Moreover, before any deduction exceeding $500 can be made, the necessary paperwork should be completed. There is no need for you to worry though; the vehicle donations services cover all the necessary paperwork. This paperwork is simply an acknowledgement receipt stating that the vehicle was used directly for their causes, the donor's tax identification or social security number and the vehicle identification number. If vehicle improvements were done, the written acknowledgement should also contain a list of the improvements.
About the Author
Car donations are eligible for fair market value tax deductions under the new tax laws when donated to programs such as that offered by United Society. Donate Car to Charity at United Society Vehicle Donations Program.
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