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Car Donation Tax Deduction Tips

A car donation tax deduction can be yours while doing something good for your community. But don't just donate your old car or truck to any charity; bogus car donation charities are everywhere. Here's how to check them out quickly and easily.

Author: Charles Browning
Date: Jan 29, 2011 - 11:56:45 AM


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You can apply for a car donation tax deduction in every state. But each state has varying methods of validating legitimate charities; some states require licensing and others don't. It is also important to know that each state has its share of vehicle donation scams running. Some may appear legit but are actually crooked. Therefore you should do some detective work first. Good thing there is a site setup to make this a quick process.

But even well-meaning charities may not be operating legally. Often this is because they haven't paid a fee to the Attorney General's office for that state, or forgot to file some form. Sometimes the Secretary of State's office handles charities. Regardless, you need to use due diligence before donating your used car or truck to ANY charity.

 

The bottom line is you won't get a car donation tax deduction if you use the wrong charity. Worse, the people who really need your donated car or truck will not get anything. To get an idea of why it's important to check out a charity before donating, just go to any state's Attorney General's or Secretary of State's website. You will likely find somewhere on the site news of the latest car donation scam.

Unfortunately, there is a non-stop flow of fraud charities forming all the time. One bogus charity gets shut down and another appears. How can you check out a charity before donating your car or truck to them? Enter the charity's name into a search box on a state office's website (Attorney General or Secretary of State website). Some have searchable databases of charities that have registered with them.

You need to realize, however, that just because a charity is registered does not mean that the state endorses the charity. The fact is a charity can be "offically" registered but yet donates only a pitifully small percentage of your donation to the needy. So the question is how can you find out if a charity is giving a good percentage of donations to those in need (in addition to being legit)?

The answer is you check with online charity watchdog services. Their databases have lists of charities that meet certain standards. It is on these types of sites that you can find out if the charity you are considering is 'in good standing' or not.

Applying for a car donation tax deduction is likely one reason you have for donating your car or truck to a charity. The best thing you stand to get, however, is that feeling of having done a good deed that will help out someone or some family who needs your help. So make sure you are able to get both: Check out a charity the right way!

On the IRS website you can find good info on vehicle donation tax deductions. The IRS Publication 78 is a list of charities that are eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. You can download documents from their site that explain all you need to know about getting a tax deduction for your car donation. The main one you would want to download is called, "A Donor's Guide to Vehicle Donation" (which is IRS Publication 4303).

The best way to ensure your vehicle donation tax deduction is to first see if the charity is legit. Simply click on your state at http://goodwillcardonation

The best way to ensure your vehicle donation tax deduction is to first see if the charity is legit. Simply click on your state at http://goodwillcardonation



View all articles by Charles Browning

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Car Donation Tax Deduction Tips

Jan 29, 2011 - 11:56:45 AM

You can apply for a car donation tax deduction in every state. But each state has varying methods of validating legitimate charities; some states require licensing and others don't. It is also important to know that each state has its share of vehicle donation scams running. Some may appear legit but are actually crooked. Therefore you should do some detective work first. Good thing there is a site setup to make this a quick process.... [Read the full story]


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