Donating your car to charity

#1

any recommendations? I live in manhattan, just lost my job - and have a 2001 Golf that I would like to donate to a reputable charity… in return, I would like to get a tax deduction.

#2

Choose a few charities you like and call them to see if they accept car donations. Many do, sometimes with the help of a donated car clearing service. Your deduction is the amount the donated car sells for, not the ‘blue book’ value.

#3

Be careful. You may not get as large a tax deduction as you expect. As texases said, the selling price of the car is all you can deduct, not the “book value.” If the charity sells the car for $20, that’s your deduction.

#4

You might be interested in how much of your donation is going to the charity vs being pocketed for “expenses”. For example, Helping Hands of America gives as little as 6.7% of your donation to the end charity.

The January 25, 2009 Boston Globe article (below) shows a variety of charities and the percentages they actually donate.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2009/01/25/where_some_of_the_charity_dollars_went/

#5

You can deduct the blue book value of the car if the charity uses it themselves. Another way is if the charity provides it to someone who otherwise could not afford a car. The last one is most likely. The public transit service is so good in NYC that this type of donation isn’t available, but you might find an agency on Long Island, in New Jersey, or Connecticut.