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Ever donated a vehicle to a charity? What are the pros and cons?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by TigerVols, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    I have an still running Blazer with 147,000 miles on it but it's got a big dent in the passenger door...making it worth a blue book value of about $5,000 but I've listed it at $4,000 without a sniff. So I'm thinking about donating it and getting the tax write-off.

    Anyone had any experience w/ this? Worth the trouble?
  2. The tax law changed several years ago as to how much you could write off. It used to be the blue book value. Now you can only write off the amount the charity gets for the vehicle at auction. I'm not sure if you still get to write off the auction amount if it happens to be higher than blue book. That's all I know regarding the subject.
  3. In Exile

    In Exile Member

    It was a great deal before the law changed. And they come to the house, pick it up and take care of all the paperwork.
  4. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    We donated a clunker to the kidney foundation years ago, the tax break didn't seem that huge but it was little hassle and the charity benefitted (I hope).
  5. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Remember Vols, the tax write-off is a deduction, not a credit. So you deduct $5,000 and if you're in say a 28% tax bracket is means you net 28% of $5,000 in your tax refund... that's $1,400.
    Much better off selling it for $3,000 and pocketing the cash now.
  6. jackfinarelli

    jackfinarelli Member

    I've donated several vehicles to Salvation Army/Goodwill Industries in the past. It is really very easy to do. They take the vehicle and then auction it off and they report to you what they got for the vehicle at auction. That's what you can deduct.

    Could you sell the vehicle for the same amount and pocket the cash? Maybe. But selling the vehicle involves a hassle factor that is non-existent with taking the car to the local Salvation Army/Goodwill Industries donation site - along with your vehicle title! - and walking away from the "transaction".

    LIke I said, I've done it before and I will definitely do it again. It's no hassle to me and organizations that do good for the community can garner several thousands of dollars from the deal.
  7. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    What happened wasn't so much that the tax law changed, it was the way the IRS allowed you to determine the value.

    Unless it is a clunker that you couldn't sell, you are probably better off trying to sell it or trade it in. If you think it was worth or blue book value was $5,000 and you could only get $3,000 for it, financially you would be better off with the $3,000. Spnited gave a good example, and what you probably wouldn't do as well as he said because most of us aren't in the 28 percent bracket.
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