Nonprofit organizations that work with children have a number of ways in which to find funds for their charitable activities. One popular way that they go about it is usually to ask for car donations.
You’ve probably seen advertisements by children’s organizations that ask for car donations. Perhaps you never understood what they could do with the cars they get, since used cars aren’t really things that are known to fetch much. Perhaps this little explanation of how car donations work can help you make your mind up that that old car taking up space in your garage has a second life to live, helping children.
Car donations became popular as a way for charities to collect funds about 15 years ago. It was the used car dealers who first saw thought of this, actually. They figured out that they could donate a few old clunkers to charity, write in their tax forms that they had donated cars worth thousands of dollars, and they would just get a valuable tax deduction just like that.
Well, the IRS was on to them pretty quickly. But charities have stayed on with the used car donations thing ever since. They ask individuals these days if they would like to donate an old clunker for a children’s cause.
So there you are, that’s what happens. But you’re still probably not so clear what exactly they do with those clunkers. They couldn’t be worth much, could they? Should they just be sold for scrap or traded on a website like Salvage Market?
Well, to begin with, sometimes, they really do use the car you donate as a runabout on official charity business. If they choose to actually use the car, you are allowed to claim a hefty tax deduction – as much is what the Kelley Blue Book says it’s worth. You just need a receipt from the charity that says that they use it for official purposes.
Sometimes, the charity will use your car to donate to a family with a sick child that needs the car to transport the child to a medical appointment so on. They also donate to a family with a sick child in which the main breadwinner is too poor to buy a car of his own. He could use the car to go to a job. You’ll still be able to claim a tax deduction.
If the charity decides to take your car only to be able to sell it on for the money to use for charity, you can still get a tax deduction – for whatever the charity tells you they got for the car. Then you could, perhaps, use the money to get a car leasing deal
If you’re planning on doing a car donation, you’ll find that it’s pretty easy. You just need to look on the Internet for a children’s organization that you like.