Tax Deductions for Charitable Donations – How much value for a car donation?

Car Donation Process Explained Part III by Kars for Kids

kars for kids tax deduction kars for kids logo

The million dollar question… how much will the value of my tax deduction be? So many donors have this on the forefront of their minds. They want to do a good deed and at the same time gain something as well. In fact, the United States government actually encourages us to give charity by offering the benefit that any value donated to charity will not be taxed from your income.

Yet, when it comes down to understanding what value they will get, the terms and concepts can be confusing. Donors don’t want to part with their vehicle until they are sure what value they’ll receive in return. Sounds fair to me.

  • Can I deduct the value that it says in Kelley Blue Book?
  • Can you give me a ballpark figure for the value I’ll receive for my car?
  • I put a few hundred dollars in repairs into the car, will that raise the value?
  • I didn’t get a 1098-c form to send to the IRS, where do I get that?
  • I feel uncomfortable giving over my Social Security number, why do you need it?

The above questions are the core questions future car donors ask before they part from their car. You know it can sound funny to some but not only is the vehicle valuable but people actually have affectionate and sentimental feelings towards their car. A car is also a possession with legal ramifications. Someone who donates a bag of clothes to a charity doesn’t have to worry whether the clothes will be used by a criminal or such. When purchasing clothes at your local department store you don’t need an ID or purchase insurance to own the clothes. With a car it’s much different. A car has a legal owner who is named on a legal state document called the title. If the donated car gets involved in illegal activity, a violation or an accident there can be serious legal ramifications if the car wasn’t properly processed.

The value of the car, the SSN, the 1098-c form, release of liability in California, and cancelling registration and insurance are all things to be taken care with due diligence.

We decided to make our tax information section more user friendly with clear delineated frequently asked questions and answers. A short video interview with Kars4Kids controller who was able to give clear guidance in laymen’s terms clarifying tax deductions. Along with this section is a free downloadable guide also for the layman to keep and refer to with any of their questions that come up.

With our easy on the eyes tax page, with clear tax deduction instructions, car donors have their answers right there for reference in a few different forms. One for the audio-visual, one for the those who like having a downloaded guide, and frequently asked questions for the one who will just quickly peruse the website and then donate their car.

Why Democracy? – Let’s Just be Carefree

Understanding Democracy in the context of non-profits, Kars for Kids and The Uber App

uber vs taxi

Democracy: de.moc.ra.cy – noun

- A form of government in which people choose leaders by voting.
– A country ruled by democracy.
– An organization or situation in which everyone is treated equally and has equal rights.

It appears that democracy is not a choice of the above three definitions rather a combination. At one point or another each of those definitions comes into play. It struck me that the definitions don’t really work well together. If we all choose the government then I assume the government has to listen to us. We get to do what we want all the time. No rules, no tickets, crimes or fines. No jail – no justice. So what then is the point of government? In fact that is the second definition which states “a country ruled by democracy; emphasis on ruled”.

The government which we chose will govern us. They will abide by certain standards as were established to qualify as a democracy. We will be treated equally and have many choices and freedoms. We have freedom of speech, freedom of press, and freedom of religion. We also have many, many choices. That does not limit the fact that there will be a judicial system with reinforcements in place.

When we establish a new business there are rules to follow as well. Many times we don’t like those rules. Many times we feel suffocated, taken advantage of, and wish we could just do what we want All The Time.

When Kars for Kids receives car donations, when we advertise to potential donors, or when it comes tax season, we also wish sometimes to be freer. Many car donors ask us if we can take an abandoned vehicle as a donation. Even though the kids we have programs for could really use that money, we still gotta follow the rules. We have to answer to the IRS during the year and during tax season just like anyone else. No charity, organization, non-profit or real corporate company is above the law. In a capitalist society we are free to conduct so many types of business. We’re given liberties to be creative and use multiple means to make money. This can be for a regular corporation or a non-profit charity. However to be free does not mean a complete absence of rules or guidelines at all. Democracy can mean to be free and with restrictions at the same time.

I just read an article discussing the various obstacles that the now very successful taxi company Uber is running into. Whether it be in Portland, India, The Netherlands, New York, or California they are having a difficult time adhering to different municipalities’ restrictions. I think they have really long and far reaching goals; to grow from $17 Billion to $40 Billion and upwards. They probably feel stifled and maybe they won’t reach certain goals. To be successful however, follow the rules. This is the new age. I love using Uber it’s so convenient and hip. However, there’s being free and there’s being carefree. Democracy is not carefree. Sorry folks.

Car Donation Made Easy – Part II of the Donation Process Series

Clarifying for Car Donors Frequently Asked Questions

confused

Many are eager to know the answer to “how does a car donation work”. Behind that main and general question are others regarding more specific details. As potential car donors go through the donation process they have more and more questions. Each customer service representative is capable and responsible to answer each of those questions and clarify for the donor the entire process.

People call for all sorts of reasons to donate their car. They had this car for many years and now the repairs are just too costly to fix. It’s just not worth it for them. Many are car collectors and frequently have several old cars on their property at once. For many, the weekends provide a serene atmosphere for car lovers to tinker around various cars of different makes and models. After some time, these cars become less useful to their owners and can sit on their yard for a while. Some cars even sit in their backyards for years. Getting to these cars with a tow truck can be complicated. When the car owner decides that he wants to get rid of the car, Kars4Kids coordinates with the tower and the donor as to how to get hold of the car stuck in the backyard somewhere. Sometimes the car is just sitting in the garage for quite a number of years before the owners decide to get rid of it. The engine, the battery and everything else has died. The tires may need air. Removing the car from the garage is another obstacle to work out.

There are cases where someone was driving and suddenly broke down. This is actually quite a common occurrence. At times the car can be rolled or even started for just a brief few minutes to park it in a parking lot. At other times Kars4Kids will actually rush to pick it up from the side of the road. Our customer service reps coordinate the pick-up between all the different parties ensuring its successful delivery. We caution the donors to make sure to remove their valuables from the car.

During the snowy seasons, old cars which may even be sitting in the driveway or even a running car parked in the driveway or street can be blocked by snow. The common denominator in all of these cases is that Kars4Kids will coordinate together with both the tower and donor as to how to handle each specific case.

Many will wonder – will Kars4Kids really take a car which is really old, and basically useless to me? Kars for Kids will pick up basically any vehicle regardless of condition. If the car does not run anymore is no issue at all. Many donors are told that their junk is actually the charity’s treasure. This treasure is ultimately a treasure for the kids who are able to succeed through the various after-school programs, literacy enhancement groups and social skill building.

There will be more posts addressing other questions that potential car donors may have. Stay tuned to be well informed.

Keep in touch – David

Weekend Youth Groups – Youth Crime, Can it be Decreased?

Kars for Kids has a unique approach

"Kars for Kids youth groups" "Kars for Kids ChillZone" "Kars for Kids ChillZone Philly"

Oh no; this is the feeling that many parents feel when they hear it’s a snow day. My mother loved snow days. She would spend time with us kids. She genuinely enjoyed her time with us. We would have nice activities, play in the snow, drink hot cocoa, maybe do some baking – all in all just enjoy some family time. As kids we didn’t grow up with the plethora of video games, the internet, the type of entertainment that we have nowadays for our youth. Oh sure, we had some videos, even a few select video games which my mother carefully screened but we enjoyed spending time together as a family as well. My siblings and I enjoyed using our childish imaginations creating stories out of thin air, acting them out and just having a grand old time together.

Don’t think that everything was just dandy and a bowl of cherries. We definitely had our issues, our need for disciplinary action, consequences, and time out. We were after all normal and healthy kids. One thing though is that we were able to be just that, normal and healthy kids that tend to get themselves into trouble; the type of trouble a balanced kid gets into. I.e. sibling rivalry and the like.

When a snow day comes around today, when it comes to the weekends especially Friday and Saturday nights, there are many parents with worry written all over their faces. They wait with anxiety hoping their child will not be abused, use illegal substances, come home in one piece and not get involved in some sort of trouble with the authorities. These weekend nights are not those simple weekend nights to enjoy with family and friends in a healthy setting. Drinking, promiscuity, drug use, and other youth crimes are prevalent on these weekend nights.

Various cities have worked on getting this youth crime rate down. They worked on having structures which would hopefully decrease the trouble. In some instances parts of this worked. In some the crime was just displaced (not decreased) from one part of the city to another – From night to day.

These parents wish that their children would take it easy on their nervous wreck parents and just go back in time to those innocent playful times. Kars for Kids recognized this need both from the parents’ perspective and from an educator’s perspective. Kars for Kids initiated youth groups over the weekend in a fun, yet educational setting. The kids play sports, they learn a bit, and they play a bit. There’s some food and there are adult mentors there for support. They see that the weekend can be fun and safe, relaxing and educational. They come back to school on Monday with a refreshing feeling. The parents of these children go to sleep Saturday night calm and happy. Their children are being normal children. They’re having fun in a healthy setting. They’re not getting phone calls from the police in middle of the night.

These children who are part of these weekend youth programs are going on to graduate high school. It’s truly amazing to even consider that weekend youth groups along with other opportunities as well can actually have such an effect on young kids.

17 Interesting Facts about Cars

Making the Everyday Use of Cars More Fun & Interesting

huge parking lot

There is so much talk about cars, driving, safety and many other topics revolving around our commutes, travels and day to day driving. What about some interesting and less known facts about cars and driving?

  1. Where does the term dashboard really come from? The original term evolved from placing a wooden board in back of the horses in front of the carriage to prevent mud from splattering up from the horses’ feet and wheels.
  2. Did you know that holding the remote car key fob to your head doubles the range because a human skull acts as an amplifier? Sounds funny to me as well but it looks like others believe in this also… Try it!
  3. Toyota skull amplifier tweet

  4. Cars are the most recycled product in the world. Approximately 95% of retired cars are recycled. About 27 million cars are recycled each year.
  5. An average car has 30K parts – most of them are recyclable.
  6. The longest duration of owning and driving one car is 82 years. The owner was a gentleman by the name of Allen Swift. His dad bought him a Piccidilly-P1 Roadster by Rolls Royce as a graduation gift in 1928 for $10,900 (worth $141,700 in 2010).
  7. There are 1 billion cars currently in use on planet earth.
  8. In 2013 65,140,268 cars were produced averaging 178,466 cars produced a day.
  9. There are more cars than people in the world (not necessarily in use). Most cars manufactured are not sold and are disposed of in various lots around the world. More cars are made than are sold.
  10. The “New car smell” which many of us love, is made up of a combination of various volatile compounds (possibly dangerous to inhale).
  11. Cruise control was invented in 1948 by Ralph Teetor. His idea came out of frustration from riding with his lawyer who kept slowing the car and speeding up during the drive.
  12. Irv Gordon drove his 1966 Volvo P1800 over a period of 47 years totaling in 3 million miles.
  13. It takes Ford’s Dearborn plant 6 hours to build an F-150 truck.
    Ford’s robots who install windshields are named Bumper & Blinker. Ford Plant Tour
  14. The first automobile accident ever, occurred in Ohio City, Ohio nearby Cleveland. In 1891 James William Lambert’s car hit a tree root causing the car to swerve out of control and crash into a hitching post. Injuries thankfully were minor.
  15. Electric cars have very little if no sound. Per the NHTSA this presents danger both to blind people and children. The natural engine sound approaching alerts them to a vehicle approach. Nissan is working a special beautiful sound reminiscent of the flying cars in “Blade Runner”. Other automakers are doing similar projects to create sound for their electric cars. Fascinating, no?
  16. Car Radio Banned? When the car radio was introduced, some states wanted to ban it since it can be a distraction while driving.
  17. Volkswagen, introduced in 1937 by Hitler as the People’s Car (originally named in German Volkswagenwerk), owns Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, and Skoda.
    General Motors owns Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC.
    Toyota owns Lexus, Scion, Daihatsu, and Hino Motors.
  18. In 2013 free petrol AKA gasoline was given out in Sydney, Australia as part of a campaign promoting a gasoline called E10.


I find that these interesting car facts actually enhance my drive and are just fun to know. There is so much history to cars – and new laws, stories and other tidbits are developed all the time. If any of you have some interesting stories or tidbits please share them. I’d love to hear!

Distractions While Driving – Is Siri Helping or Hindering?

Some Thoughts on Modern Technology in New Model Cars

Siri/Driving Distraction

Is Siri a Driving Distraction for you? What about other mobile functions -hands free?

Modern technology as we know has its pros and cons. We live in an amazing world full of technological innovation. One thing particularly sticks out in my mind and in the minds of many others as well.

The telephone – What initially started as a great invention simply be able to talk with someone many miles away and hear their voice clearly, has evolved into a myriad of business opportunities, convenience at our finger tips, and an ability to resolve issues at a much faster and efficient pace.

I personally am a great fan and advocate for the use of today’s technology. On the road however, is a different story. In many cities around the country, laws have been enacted and enforced to minimize distraction while driving. Even a lapse attention to the road of a few seconds can result in a major catastrophe involving injuries, loss of life and tremendous financial losses. Texting while driving and holding a phone in your hand are two of the big no no’s while driving.

As technology is advancing at a rapid pace, distractions during driving are not merely limited to talking on a handheld device or texting. Driver Assistance Technologies, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Change Assist, smart devices, GPS, voice activated calls and other systems that are voice activated can present other danger issues as well.

When people try having a phone conversation on a hands-free device or try to give their GPS or other new gadget voice command instructions, frequently the connection isn’t great. The sounds can be unclear and the conversations can take on a new level of concentration. Other automated systems which are meant to make road travel easier actually can become more of a danger and distraction.

Many automakers are both excited to jump on the technology bandwagon, providing their consumers with more incentives to purchase their wares. Each car manufacturer has their own style in optimizing your ride. These same car companies are also ambivalent as to how this will all pan out. If someone decides to sue because technology caused an accident or the sort, the car makers will be the ones to assume responsibility, not the initial creators of the various gadgets.

Both cars and their technology are great. We have so many more options now. So many new things we can do and accomplish in a more systematized and easy way. Don’t give up on safety though. You, your family, and all the other people out there on or near the road deserve your appropriate attention even more than your new gadget.

So all of this new technology in our spanking brand new cars – is it worth it? I’d love to hear your feedback!

Enjoy the ride and be safe!

Kars for Kids Infamous Jingle Debuts on Television

Television – the name alone has so much meaning to it. The ability to see across the world –The ability to see things that were never visible before; be it education, business opportunities or simply a world of fun and enjoyment, the world has and never will be the same.

There have been several milestones in the world of broadcasting and advertising on television.

- 1939, the first televised major league baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers aired on W2XBS a station of NBC.

- July 1, 1941 at 2:29 p.m. the first TV commercial ever aired on WNBT at Ebbets Field at the Brooklyn Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Phillies baseball game. The TV ad was 10 seconds long advertising Bulova watches. “America runs on Bulova time” was the entire ad. The commercial cost Bulova between $4-9.

- Thanksgiving Day, 1950 saw the first TV commercial of Coca Cola.

- Prior to the presidential elections in 1952 WWII hero, Dwight D. Eisenhower made use of TV to campaign and get his message across the nation. From very far away people felt that he was addressing them and their questions directly.

- 1950s the first Pepsi commercial aired on television, featuring James Dean (his first time as well) and a very cute commercial.

- 1963 McDonalds makes their debut TV appearance featuring the hamburger happy clown, the iconic Ronald McDonald.

- 1964 Ford Motors featured the first TV commercial of the now iconic Mustang. Ford expected to sell 100k at most. Within one month they sold over a million.

- January 9, 1984 Wendy’s the famous fast-food chain was facing serious competition from McDonald’s and Burger King. They decided to enlist actress Clara Peller and produced what became a very popular TV commercial and slogan entitled, “Where’s the Beef?”

- January 24, 1984 Apple Computer introduced the Macintosh.

- February 26, 2007 the first official ad for the first iPhone was aired publicly on television during the Academy Awards.

- Television has evolved tremendously as have the commercials on the various shows. It has brought lots of information, entertainment and has made the world smaller for all of mankind.

- This week, the future of kid’s education has reached a new milestone, as the Kars4Kids infamous jingle is being aired across TV stations around the country.

- Each child precious, their education paramount; and so Kars4Kids brings that concept visually to America through the vast medium called television.