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Automobile Donations Tax Guide

Charities often advertise for donations of cars. Your tax benefit of a donation is based upon your tax rate.

If you use realistic values, your tax benefit will usually not be as much, as the selling price the car. If you sell the car the money is tax-free.

Donations of vehicles are starting to gain IRS review. We recommend:

  • Take pictures of the vehicle
  • Pictures should include the speedometer, the license tag indicating registration, and both interior and exterior views.
  • Keep copies of the most recent vehicle registration.
  • Determine a basis for the valuation; use Kelley Blue Book or a similar document.

Usually the charity will be selling the vehicle. If the charity sells the vehicle, the charity is required to provide information indicating the value they received for the vehicle. Your deduction is limited to the amount the charity received.

IRS Circular 230 Notice: Unless expressly stated otherwise in this transmission, any tax advice contained herein, forwarded with or attached to this message was not and is not intended to be used, nor may it be relied upon or used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of (1) the avoidance of any tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or applicable state or local tax law provisions, or (2) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax transaction or tax-related matters that may be addressed herein