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8 Comments

  1. Hello,
    I am wondering about the process to “write off” my donated vehicle on my taxes. There is an entire publication through the IRS which talks about this process and they keep refering to Fair Market Value and how this number may not be issued by the donantion organization (conflict of interest) but rather I should have a clear indication of the vehicles worth. So here is my issue…on Kelly Blue book the value is roughly $2600.00 in good condition and I have not yet donated my vehicle. Which value is best suggested to use when writing off the FMV. The value provided by the donation organization or KBB. Also once the vehicle is gone how do you prove the condition and FMV to lets say the IRS if they come knocking. Any advice you can provide would be helpful at this time.
    -Nervous

  2. Hi Nervous,

    It mostly depends on what the charity does with the vehicle. If they sell it, the deduction is the gross proceeds that the organization got from the sale. And the charity needs to send you the sale information no later than 30 days following the sale of the vehicle, usually form 1098C; which you should attach to your return.

    If they’re not going to sell it, you need to get a written acknowledgment from the charity stating this, which you will attach with your tax return, along with form 8283 section a. The fair market value needs to be exactly that. What are vehicles of the same make, model, and condition being sold for. If the calculation factors in mileage, vehicle options, and any repairs that the vehicle needs; then you should be in good shape. As always it’s a good idea to consult a tax professional if you’re unsure.

    This IRS publication has all the filing requirements, depending on the value and what the charity does with the car, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4303.pdf.

    I think you’re doing a great thing and I hope the tax forms don’t scare you away from making that donation.

    Thanks!

    James

  3. Hi!

    I’m curious about an On-line car donation service called “DonateACar.org”.

    I filled out their form but when they called (I wasn’t home) the number on the caller ID listed them as “Peak Petroleum”. A quick web search listed them as a Nigerian Oil company. My scam radar is blinking!

    Anyone heard of them?

    Regards,

    Glenn

  4. Here’s what i got from the BBB for the company that owns donate-a-car.org. It looks like they’re a middle man for charities that can’t process car donations themselves.

    Company Profile
    Vehicle Donation Processing Center, Inc.

    Address: 626 South Primrose Avenue
    Monrovia, CA 91016
    Tel: (800) 553-3018
    Fax: (626) 357-7894
    Web Site: http://www.donatecarusa.com

    Contact: John Learned – President

    Business Start Date: 7/1/1996

    Company ID: 13117580

    Nature of Business:
    This company’s business is a processing agent for charities seeking vehicular donations.

  5. What do you know about the organization 1-800-Charity Cars? aka Free Charity Cars, aka Charity Cars Inc located in Longwood Florida the CEO is Brian Menzies

    Their site is here
    http://www.freecharitycars.org

    Are they legitimate? How many cars have they really given away since they started in 1996? Are they truly 100% Charity when the CEO pays himself a salary of over $300,000 a year? Add to that the fact that despite repeated requests they will not register with the BBB?

    It seems there are tens of thousands of people on this site on their waiting list to get a car.

    Many who have been waiting over a year. A lot of inner politics within the site that seem to make members be overlooked for a car, their profiles deleted, harassed etc if they are negative in anyway about the company or question them in any manner or are seemingly in genuine need they are chased off the site as well.

    With so many people in need and instilling so much faith in them I am a very concerned citizen and wonder how much on the up and up this Organization really is?

  6. I donated a car to Cars 4 Causes and regret that I have done so they took a 2009 Prius with no mechanical problems and sold it at auction for 125.00 It was a inside job their car coordinator bought it from the inside and sold it for 12,000.00 and pocket the money for himself that organization are full of crooks I regret donating to them and is you donated to them you will regret it also

  7. I donated a running Lexus in very decent condition to carsforvets because I was told that I’d receive a receipt for fair market value. The car was picked and no receipt was left. I had to track them down to request a receipt. I was told I’ll get a receipt for $500. The brand new tires on the car were worth more than that! I could have sold it for parts and got more. I feel like I was completely misguided into thinking I would get fair market value for my taxes.

    I will NEVER again donate a vehicle. Selling it for parts is better!

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