Donating an old vehicle is a great way to help out a local charity. The charity can either sell the vehicle, give it away to someone in need, or keep it to use for various errands. It might seem very simple to donate your car, but it can be a little complicated. If you are interested in donating your vehicle, use these four tips to ensure it goes smoothly:
1. Transfer Ownership
When you donate your vehicle, it is important that you transfer the ownership to the charity directly. You shouldn't leave any of the fields blank, as you might be held accountable for any tickets or fines incurred on the vehicle. So before you complete the donation, make sure that the charity is held as the owner of the car.
2. Complete All Paperwork
Aside from transferring ownership, it is important that you fill out all other necessary paperwork as well. Auto donations may trigger an audit, so it is important that you have all paperwork filled out. In addition, make sure you keep copies of everything. The type of paperwork you'll need to fill out will vary depending on the value of your vehicle. So if you are in doubt, contact an accountant or the IRS directly to ensure you have everything filled out appropriately.
3. Determine Estimated Value
Another helpful tip to keep in mind is to estimate the value of your vehicle properly. If your vehicle is just to be used by the charity, you can simply report the fair market value of the car. Just make sure you have copies of the fair market value price, as you might need these come tax time. If the charity decides to sell the vehicle, you will need to know how much it is sold for and then report that on your taxes. Again, get copies of this paperwork.
4. Drive The Vehicle Yourself
Finally, consider driving the vehicle yourself to the charity if you can. This will often save you time and money, as you won't have to wait and pay for someone else to take it to the charity. Although a simple tip, it is beneficial. Not only will you save time and money, but you'll also ensure that the vehicle does in fact go to the charity of your choice.
Donating a vehicle is a great way to give back to the community. Whether the vehicle drives or not, most charities will gladly take car donations. If you are interested in donating your vehicle, use these tips to ensure the process goes smoothly both during the donation and during tax season.