Info on tax deductable car donation?

subaru
suspension

#1

My 97 Subaru Outback finally bit the dust and I need to get it off my street. I had a blow out on the front passenger side tire the other day and when I went to change it saw that the shock spring is totally snapped (really lucky I wasn’t on the highway when that happened…)

I’m sick of this thing and it’s time for it to go. I have no idea how much I could sell it for. It’s got 173000ish miles, obviously isn’t currently running because of the spring. Has an oil leak because of internal head gasket issues. But, new battery this winter, new water pump, timing belt, and radiator 2 years ago. What could I sell this thing for if I wanted to? It would need to be towed, too.

Or, I was thinking of donating it, but I won’t get much use from the tax break so I wanted to sign the title over to someone else so he could get the tax break. But does he need to “own” the car for a certain amount of time in order to collect the tax break, or could I sign it over and he can donate it right away?


#2

Oh boy. This has tightened up quite a bit. A person can only claim what the car is actually worth and this is determined by the final sale price of the car, period. If you give the guy the car, the value is now zero and that’s what you pay sales tax on when the car is transfered. When he donates the car, the deductible value is now zero or maybe scrap value. If they give him a statement saying its worth $1000 and then they end up selling it for $200 again, all he can claim is $200. Maybe the IRS will have a computer malfunction though and lose the records but I doubt it. Donate because you want to donate not because it’ll do much for taxes. Just IMHO.


#3

Is there a community college with an automotive program nearby? Mostly because the trade in offers for our old car were so low it was decided to donate the car to the automotive program at the same community college where my mom was an instructor. She got a $500 tax deduction for the car and from what she was told they actually sold the car for at least $700 after using it as a project car for the school year.


#4

So donate the car to that guy without all the legal mumbo-jumbo, and let him take the deduction. The value of the car isn’t enough to trigger the IRS to launch an investigation - and any audit isn’t going to reveal that he didn’t “own” the car without a search of the DMV’s records, which in many states is not available.

Oh, and I forgot to add - IANAL.


#5

So if I don’t go the donation route, what would be a reasonable price to try and sell this thing? $400? $200?


#6

“Oh, and I forgot to add - IANAL.”

Thank goodness for acronymfinder.com. I think scrap yards are giving $120/ton.


#7

You could try offering it for $200 as a “parts car”.
For the tax rules, you should visit the IRS site.


#8

Yeah thank goodness for Insightful. Went right past me but you don’t need a lawyer, you need a CPA.