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The ABC’s of Car Donation - C is for Consider


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Consider all of the aspects of car donation, both the positive and the negative. There are many practical reasons to donate your car to charity. It is much easier than trading in your car at a dealership and arguing over the trade in amount. It is also easier than trying to sell your car privately. You don’t have to wait for the phone to ring or for people to come to look at your car. And if your car does not run, is rusted or needs a lot of repairs selling it might be very difficult. When you donate car, you are eligible for a tax deduction of $500 or more. And, of course, you help a charity when you donate car.

There can be a negative side to car donation which you should consider. One thing to consider is the tax deduction. You can only claim the deduction if you itemize on your federal tax return. If you don’t have enough deductions to itemize, you won’t get a tax benefit from your car donation. If you are not sure if you can itemize on your taxes, check with the IRS or a tax advisor. Also consider the reputation of the charity or car donation center you are going to donate your car to. It is very easy to check out a charity online or through various agencies like the IRS, Attorney General, etc. There are plenty of reputable charities you can donate car to; there is no reason to use an unscrupulous one. The “fly by night” ones may be out of business tomorrow and any record of your car donation will be gone.

You may also wish to consider the amount of money the charity you donate your car to will get from the sale of your car donation. Some for-profit car donation centers only send a small percentage of the proceeds from the sale of car donations to charity. Also, if you donate car to a car donation center that advertises a lot, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of your car donation will go to pay for those ads. If this concerns you, look for another charity to donate your car to.

The benefits of car donation greatly outweigh the disadvantages. You’ll reap only the benefits when you consider all the possibilities and act accordingly.


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