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Old 01-28-2012, 06:14 PM
7,934 posts, read 9,659,084 times
Reputation: 13960


Thanks to all for the advice. The car in question is currently running, but in need of a new transmission. (2001 SUV with 180K miles on it). We won't get much selling it. I really like the idea of donating it to a firehouse for training....we've got a house right down the street. I will contact them.
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:25 PM
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Harumph! See if I ever donate a car again! Actually, the rules are still as I described them above, but if you donate to a charity that resells the car at auction or in an otherwise arm's length transaction, you cannot use the estimated fair market value (EFMV) anymore, but are limited to deducting the actual amount of the charity's proceeds at sale which it will report to you and the IRS on a Form 1098-C. This creates a preference for donating to charities that do not do this.

In two cases noted above, donating to a high school or technical school for use as a pracitce vehilce, and donating to a charity which as part of its relief work gives or sells the car to a needy recipient for signficantly less than its fair market value, the full EFMV deduction is preserved. It is also preserved if the charity itself will use the vehicle for at least a year, or if it makes substantial upgrades to it prior to sale. Almost makes it seem worthwhile to form your own 501(c)(3) and donate cars to yourself as soon as you buy them.

In any case, the difference will likely be signficant only for higher value cars. If you are donating the old clunker that you've been running into the ground that now won't pass inspection unless you put $600 worth of brake work into the thing, it likely won't matter much. If the car goes at auction for less than $500, that's all it says on the 1098-C, in which case you can deduct the lower of the EFMV and $500.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:46 AM
Location: Alexandria, VA
11,386 posts, read 20,186,364 times
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Originally Posted by ersatz View Post

It's great that you want to donate your car to charity but there are a few steps you need to take to protect yourself.

Make absolutely and positively sure that the title is legally transferred. Some sketchier charities skip this step but this leaves you legally responsible for any parking tickets, accidents, or crimes that the vehicle is involved in by whomever winds up driving it after it leaves your control. This is not well known and certainly not advertised by the various charity recipients.

See Donating Your Vehicle To Charity
EXACTLY! Happened to me. It's my understanding that MD orgs. don't take title to any vehicles donated.
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