So you’ve finally decided to cut ties with the old junker in the garage. You had a good run and your share of happy memories, but it’s time to move on. Plus, the car’s value will be written off as a tax deduction. Bear in mind, however, that making a car donation in New York, Boston, and other urbanized locations isn’t as simple as dropping change into a tin cup. Joanne Fritz described the risks and complexities in her article in About.com:
Making a car donation to a worthy charity seems like a good move, but, unfortunately, car donation is an area of charity that is rife with fraud and misleading information…
The ads that you see everywhere that offer to help you make a car donation to charity are almost always rip-offs. In most cases, these are middle-men who give only a fraction of the car donation worth to the charity.
But what if…?
Fritz went on to recommend that you select a charity close to home, and personally drive the vehicle there. But what if the charity you chose is in a different city or state? What if you’re looking to donate a car in New York? What if the car isn’t in running condition? What if I want to donate a boat?
Middle-man as hero
Enter specialized organizations such as Miles Ahead Donations whose goal is to make vehicle donation as convenient and simple as possible for benefactors anywhere in America. Once the donation is processed, they will schedule the vehicle, working or not, for pick-up. In fact, the owner doesn’t even have to be present when the vehicle is claimed.
Do the paperwork
Before the vehicle is claimed, remember to remove the license plates and return them to the DMV if required, or have them assigned to another vehicle. Most importantly, don’t forget to tie up the loose ends with the IRS; aside from a copy of the title change, you need to include the IRS form 8283 with your tax return for any vehicle donation worth more than $500, and an outside appraisal for any donation worth greater than $5,000. Don’t forget to ask proof of the donation, such as a receipt, from the charity.
(Source: Car Donation to Charity – Know the Road Rules, About.com)