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

Vehicle Donation Process Explained Part VI by Kars for Kids

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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.

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