Donating your car to charity is easier than ever now with the help of the Internet. But one must be careful to dot all their "Is" and cross all their "Ts" if they expect to be able to claim the donation on their IRS form at the end of the year. While you always have a number of possible charities to consider, it is important to know exactly how to pick a charity to donate your car to so you can ensure that everything is in order before you make your contribution.
Verify The Validity Of The Charity
Only certain charities are recognized by the IRS for allowable tax deductions. It doesn't matter if they have a catchy name or even a noble cause they are trying to accomplish, make sure that the IRS has approved them before you make your contribution. While many charities are legitimate in their endeavors, there are some that are outright scams and you want to be absolutely sure that you don't get scammed in the process.
Make Sure They Have A 501(c) Status
If you know how to pick a charity to donate your car to you'll realize that there are many organizations that will tell you that they are a non-profit but it's important that you get documentation to that effect. Organizations that have a 501(c) registration can generally accept tax-deductible donations. Without the 501(c) status, other political interests that do not serve the public in general may support them and your donation will not be allowed.
Talk With The Organization
Another step to take when you know how to pick a charity to donate your car to is to speak directly with the organization before you donate your car. Find out what they plan to do with it and get the necessary documentation to support their claims. If they plan to sell it you'll be allowed a certain amount of the sale price to claim on your taxes, but if they plan to use it in their business, the amount may be different.
Find Out If They Accept Car Donations
People who know how to pick a charity to donate your car to will tell you that not all organizations accept car donations even if they are allowed to. So you need to be sure before you drive or have your car towed that this is the type of donation they want. Many organizations do not have the space or the means to store vehicles or sell them even if they wanted to. Keep in mind that you're not just looking for a way to donate your car to an organization that deserves it, but you also have to be sure they are in a position to responsibly manage the donation after you leave. It is not just a matter of you handing over the keys; there is a lot of paperwork involved as well as time. You don't want your car sitting in a corner collecting dust if the charity is not able to do anything with it.
Finding a charity to donate your car to will require that you do a little homework. Not only should the organization you choose be doing the kind of work you respect and admire, they also need to be organized enough to accept the donation and use it in a way that the IRS approves. This will require that you do a little research into the organization and know exactly what is expected of them every step of the way. Only then will you be able to claim that donation on your taxes and get the deductions you hope to receive.