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Donating Your Used Car to Charity

If you are thinking that it's time to get a new car, then you may be wondering what you can do with your used one. While you may be able to trade it in after cleaning under the car hood and fixing noisy engine problems, there are some other options out there for you to consider. One of the options that you have with a used car is donating it to charity. In doing so you can do something that you'll be really proud of, and you can really help out a cause you believe in.

In addition to getting joy out of helping a good cause, you can also enjoy a lot of other benefits when you decide to donate your car to charity. One of the great things about donating your used car to charity is that you can get a tax deduction. This can really help you out at the end of the year when you need to file your taxes. However, before you do donate your car to charity, there are a couple of things that you'll want to keep in mind. You'll want to make sure that the process goes smoothly and that you get what you want out of the deal.

Things to Remember

One of the benefits of donating a car to charity is that you can get a tax deduction. However, this is only the case when you donate to a certain kind of charity. To get this deduction, you must give your car to an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) organization. That means that things like churches or synagogues will apply. If you are not sure about a certain charity, then you can check the Internal Revenue Service's Web site and search for Publication 78. This will help you to locate other types of organizations that you can get a deduction for donating to.

You should be careful about middlemen when it comes to donating your car to charity. There are a lot of intermediary organizations out there that will help you donate your car to charity, but they may want some kind of fee for doing so. Donating a car to charity is something that you can definitely handle on your own, so you don't need the help of another organization, especially if they are going to try and charge you a fee for this kind of help.

You should make an effort to keep a good paper trail of your donation to the charity. If you are going to use this as a deduction on your taxes, then you're going to need to be able to prove what you gave. You'll want to keep records that pertain to the car, and you're also going to want to get an estimate of what the car was worth. While estimating on your own may be something that you want to do, it's not always going to be a good idea when you go to file your taxes. You may need an official estimate.

Preparing the Vehicle

If you're donating your used car to charity, you're going to want to make sure that you clean it up a bit before you do so. The charity that you give the car to may wish to use it for volunteers or it may wish to sell it, and in either case the car needs to be clean. Devote a little time to cleaning out the car and giving it a good wash. That way, it will look its best when you present it to the charity of your choice, and you can be proud.

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