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Vehicle Donation Charities What You Should Know

Vehicle Donation Charities What You Should Know

While car donations have become a popular means of funding charitable organizations, some would-be donors are reluctant to part with their old vehicles. Sentiment aside, the main obstacle for these would-be donors is trust.

 They are not sure if the charity asking for their old clunkers is a credible one. Moreover, they may not know what they stand to gain by donating their vehicle.

This begs the question: what is a vehicle donation? Put simply, someone donates an unwanted vehicle to a vehicle donation charity. When a donor agrees to donate a vehicle, the charity agrees to tow said vehicle - free of charge - to a facility for repair and refurbishing. The charity takes ownership of the vehicle and is entitled to sell it for the sake of funding the charity's expenses.

Vehicle Donation Charities What You Should Know

Vehicle Donation Charities What You Should Know

So, how does the donor benefit? 

The donor can use the receipt of the car donation as an itemized deduction on his or her taxes. The amount of the deduction will depend on the donor's filing status, but he or she is indeed entitled to one. Given that this is based on the sale price of the vehicle, it could be a substantial deduction.

When donating, the donor would be well-served to have the title in hand. In fact, without the original title, a charity is not entitled to - or authorized to - remove the vehicle. Additionally, if the vehicle has been parked for a long time, there is a good chance it will have to be cleared off and the area around it cleaned. Taking the time to clear a path to the vehicle or cleaning it off will help stem any frustration on the part of the towing attendant or the donor.

It should be stated that some charities accept donated vehicles to match them to people in need of transportation. Yes, while the vehicle may not even start, the charity - in conjunction with help from a repair shop - will work to make the vehicle road-worthy. While the vehicle is not directly sold, the donor is still entitled to the tax deduction.

How long does it take a vehicle donation charity to remove the vehicle? Some charities offer same-day or next-day service. Again, this will depend on the donor having all the necessary paperwork at the ready and having the area around the vehicle cleared off. The tax incentive is only good for the year that the vehicle was donated, so it's imperative to save the donation receipt.

It is worth mentioning that a good number of vehicle donation charities employ recently returned veterans, single mothers, people in recovery, and other people trying to begin a new life.

This is indicative of how meaningful a car donation can be, both in terms of funding the charity and potentially giving these people a way of getting around town.

So, rather than letting that old car or truck collect dust and graffiti, donating it not only rids a would-be donor of an eyesore, it can empower an organization dedicated to helping those in need.

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