How to Donate Your Car to Charity and Get Tax Deduction

Donating your used car to charity is a win-win situation; the charity gets your gift and you get tax deduction. Below are some simple steps to make a car donation.

1. Understand the rules. A good place to read the government rule on car donation is IRS Publication 4303, A Donor's Guide to Car Donations (available on the IRS's website at www.irs.gov). This guide outlines some important rules regarding car donation. For example, one important rule states that car donation must be made to qualified organizations in order to be tax deductible.

2. Determine the value of your used car. Although the blue book might help you determine the value of your car, you should read IRS Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property (available on the IRS's website), to see what your car really worth.

3. Find a charity to donate your vehicle. If you are associated with any charity or non-profit organizations, that organization might be your choice for donating your car. Otherwise, check the Yellow Book or search on the Internet to find an organization to which you feel like donating your car. After you have identified a candidate, you should review IRS Publication 78, which is a list of organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. This document is also available on the IRS's website and it's searchable. Make sure the candidate charity is eligible. Otherwise, you might not get your tax deduction!

4. Make your donation. After you have made the donation, make sure to ask for a written acknowledgement from the charity. You will need to attach this acknowledgement to your tax return in order to get your tax deduction.

John Lee is a freelance Internet writer. He has written articles for websites such as Car Donation Helper, (http://www.car4donation.com)

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The Tax Increases to Come  The Wall Street Journal
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