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Are you ready to ring in the new year? In the days leading up to the new year, the season may be busy, but one very important point to remember is that any charitable donations need to completed prior to midnight December 31 in order to claim it as a tax deduction in 2011. This applies to car donations as well. If you donate a car by the deadline, you will be eligible for a tax deduction on your donation for the 2011 tax year. Although you should be safe if you submit the online donation form or call in and submit your information by the deadline, it’s best to call up to donate a car at least several days before the deadline to avoid finding out about any glitches in the pickup after the fact.

Here are a few answers to frequently asked questions on car donations and tax deductions - 2011

FAQ - Can I donate a non running car to charity?

The answer is, Yes! Although charities have different criteria on accepting donations, many of them, including Donate a Car 2 Charity, accept car donations of non-running vehicles.  If your car is missing major body parts or mechanical parts, this may not be a problem, however, don’t want to wait until the last minute to donate it. Occasionally, a vehicle can be rejected and if this happens after the deadline, you will be unable to shop around for another charity in time to get the car donation tax deduction for 2011.

FAQ  - Can I donate my car without a title?

Donating a car without a title is not usually a problem. Most vehicles can be picked up even without the title, however, a vehicle with a title is more likely to provide you with a better tax deduction. The reason for this is that most charities sell donated vehicles at auctions or salvage yards, with the proceeds going to the charity.  A vehicle with paperwork can be sold at auction. One without paperwork will likely sell for parts or salvage. Since you get to deduct the actual sales amount on most donations (except on vehicles worth over $5,000 or which qualify for the Fair Market Value deduction), the more your vehicles sells for, the greater your car donation tax deduction in 2011. Vehicles sold at auction will typically sell for more than a vehicle sold for parts or for salvage.

FAQ  - When is the cutoff for car donations in order to claim a tax deduction in 2011?

The deadline for all tax deductible donations, including car donations, is midnight on December 31, 2011.  That is, if you want to claim the deduction on your 2011 taxes. However, the vehicle does not need to be picked up by the deadline in order to give you the tax deduction. You must have submitted the online donation form, or called in to give your information to the phone operator by the deadline in order to claim your deduction for 2011. Once you’ve done that, barring the car being rejected for some reason, you have donated in 2011 and are therefore eligible for the car donation tax deduction 2011.

FAQ  - Once I submit my car donation online or over the phone, is pickup guaranteed?

 Although most vehicles can be accepted, even car donations of non running cars and vehicles, occasionally, there are vehicles which, for some reason or other, cannot be picked up. The best way to avoid this is to

  • Donate your car ahead of deadline to give yourself a little leeway just in case something does go wrong, and
  • Be very honest when you donate a car, explaining the full condition of the vehicle. If it is missing parts, be sure you mention that. If it has major damage, mechanical problems or you are missing paperwork, mention that too.

Many vehicles, even those with problems  or which are missing paperwork can still be accepted, but occasionally there are vehicles which are in such poor shape, are in too remote an area or are too large, which cannot be picked up.

FAQ  - Are there costs incurred by the donor?

The answer to this is “No.” There are no costs incurred by the person donating a car. If you donate your vehicle to a charity, all pick up costs are covered. If your car has been impounded, be sure you mention that at the time of donation. It may not be a problem, but if it is, you don’t want to find out about it after you have incurred a large bill.  

FAQ - How do I get a Fair Market Value tax deductions?

Fair market value tax deductions are the ones that get you the best tax deduction. With an FMV tax deduction, you can claim the blue book value on your vehicle. However, there are a few more hoops to jump through and not all vehicles will qualify. The IRS has tightened up its rules and only allows this deduction under certain circumstances. To find out more about how Donate a Car 2 Charity may be able to help you get this deduction, call us at 877-505-5775 and speak with one of our operators.  Even if your vehicle does not qualify for the Fair Market Value tax deduction,  if you have a good, running car to donate, these vehicles typically sell for more at auction or private party, so you can still get a very good tax deduction.

FAQ - What tax paperwork will I need to claim my tax deduction?

You should receive a tax receipt from the charity as soon as your vehicle is picked up. There are additional tax forms you will need to file depending on various circumstances. To find out more about this, call us and talk to one of our operators.  We are happy to assist you.

FAQ  -  Do you accept donations of other vehicles, such RVs and boats?

Yes! We accept RV donations, boat donations, vans, trucks, construction equipment, even the occasional airplane.

So, what are you waiting for? You don’t have to wait until the last minute. The process takes all of 5 minutes to get started. For your peace of mind and to ensure you get the valuable tax deductions you need, call Donate a Car 2 Charity today at 877-505-5775 or submit the online car donation form. Then, sit back and enjoy the holidays!

FAQ - Donate a Car and Claim your Tax Deduction 2011