What Qualifies as a Tax Deductible Car Donation & More FAQ

The time to pay the tax man is right around the corner. If you chose to donate a car to charity in 2012, besides contributing to an IRS recognized charity and the high impact programs that Activated Ministries supports,  you are also all set to claim a vehicle donation tax deduction for 2012.  

In order to take full advantage of your charitable tax deduction, there are a few things you should know. 

When pulling together all your receipts and paperwork getting ready for tax time, the material listed below is taken from IRS Publication 4303. There is additional information which we will not include here since this article deals with getting ready to file your taxes. But if you would like more information on topics such as whether you even qualify for a tax deduction on a car donation, etc., which you want to consider BEFORE making your car donation  please click the link above for more detailed information.

What Was The Deadline to Donate a Car in Order to Claim a Tax Write Off for my 2012 Taxes?

While April 15, 2013 is the deadline to file your taxes with the IRS, the deadline to make any charitable donations for the 2012 tax year, including tax deductions was midnight of December 31, 2012. If you the missed the deadline, you can still donate and your donation will be considered a deduction for the 2013 tax year. That is a pretty good idea and gets you ahead of the end of the year rush. Donate a Car 2 Charity is available Monday through Saturday to take your call and anytime online to help you with your donation. Visit www.donateacar2charity.com anytime to donate, including if your vehicle has a lost title, does not run, or has other problems. We can help!

What Qualifies as a “car donation”?

Vehicle deductions aren’t just limited to cars. Pretty much anything that is meant for use on public roads and streets is considered a vehicle, which means that you donate anything from cars, trucks, motorcycles, RVs and campers to kit cars, construction vehicles and semi trucks. Airplanes and boats also count as vehicles.

Just How Much Can You Deduct For Your Car Donation?

The amount you can claim when you donate a car varies depending on what ends up happening with the vehicle. For instance, if your vehicle gets auctioned or sold as salvage, the amount of your tax deduction will be the amount the vehicle sold for.

The charity you donate to will provide you with a receipt stating what transpired with your car or vehicle. This is your official donation receipt which you will want on hand come tax time.

Receipts or acknowledgments for a car donation that entitle you to a deduction of more than $500 must include the following information to ensure you get a tax write off for your vehicle donation:

  • Your name and tax payer ID information
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Date of contribution

The charity must also then provide:

  • a statement that no goods or services were given for the donation, or
  • a description and estimate of the goods and services, if any, provided in return for the donation (such as a vacation voucher), or
  • a statement that all goods and services provided for the donation were of an intangible, religious nature, if that was the case

It’s important to note that if the charity does not provide all the necessary information, per the IRS, you will not be allowed to claim a tax deductions in excess of $500.

Coming Soon... What Type of Tax Receipt or Acknowledgement Do You Need to Claim Tax Write Off for Car Donations worth less than $500 versus those worth more than $500? 

Tax Time FAQ - Part 1