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Donating the old car

Discussion in 'Off topic' started by RatThings, Jul 6, 2017.

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  1. RatThings

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    When I have a model 3 in my garage (May 7, 2018 according to the estimators) I'm going to donate my 2003 Honda rather than trade it in or sell it. Has anyone donated a used car? If so, any lessons learned?

    I'm thinking the Madison, WI NPR station or the Wisconsin Humane Society (serves greater Milwaukee area, no kill, one of oldest in country, scores really well on Charity Navigator) but I am open to suggestions of established non-profits. Wonder if OpenAI accepts vehicle donations. Then there's Kahn Academy. So many worthy causes. I'd like to stick to a semi-small, not national organization.

    Mostly though I'm wondering about paperwork, liability, minimum condition, anything that came up. Will its value be deductible if the charity is a 501(c) or equivalent? Do you need a paid-for appraisal to do that? Those are the things I'm wondering. But since I've recently decided to go AWD I have 10 months not just 3 to figure it out.
     
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    • MelindaV

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      no personal experience, but did consider this earlier this year and everything I read made it sound like it's much more trouble/risk than it's worth. here's one article (do a couple searches, there are plenty along the same lines) with some pros/cons and a couple lines pulled out of it:

      "In the U.S., if the amount of a deduction for a car donation exceeds $500 (US), you'll need to file IRS Form 8283: Non-cash Charitable Contributions along with your usual itemized tax return. Mail a copy of this completed form to the charity as well. The charity is required to verify your car donation by filing the IRS Form 8282: Donee Information Return and provide you with a copy."


      "Be careful because there are, unfortunately, a lot of so-called "charities" out there that are running a scam for car donations. Some criminals run these organized charity scams to get free cars to sell as junk or to have fixed up and sold at a local used car dealership. Other scam organizations only give a small amount (5-10%) of the value of the car to charity. Either way they are making money and leaving you holding the tax bag.

      Here's the zinger - when you try to deduct the fair market value or your donated car on your tax return, you will not only lose the tax deduction, you'll also likely be audited. The bottom line is be careful, check out charitable organizations you're considering and get professional help from your accountant or other tax professional."
       
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      • RatThings

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        That's what I was afraid of. I'm sure I can find a reputable organization but it might be easier to sell it to them for $1 and be done with it.
         
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        • ModFather

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          I have donated cars a couple of times to local charities (that I personally knew) and had no problems. Be aware that you don't set the value amount of the contribution. It is set by a formula. In other words, you can't claim a $10K deduction for a car that is worth $1K at wholesale. I urge you to do it, you just need to pick your charity carefully.
           
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          • Michael Russo

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            @RatThings , good move on the new thread creation & location! ;)
             
          • RatThings

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            There are a couple of organizations I'm interested in. I'm sure one would check out and be well versed in the process. I can check out a business. I think my car would only get $2K, $3 tops. It will have about 170,000 miles, it's a 2003 5-speed Honda Accord, whatever the middle line was.

            The passenger side has a scrape six inches below the windows almost front to back, I've hit the cabinets at the back of the garage enough that it's sort of a topo map the three middle feet of the back, there are smaller dings on all corners, the fiberglass thing down low in front is all cracked (I should probably get it off) and rust is in the wheel wells and big scrape.

            But I've taken care of the engine. Haven't had to do anything you wouldn't expect. Didn't need a second clutch until 130,000. And there are no tears at all on the fabric seats only sign of wear inside is where the garage door opener made the fabric thin on the visor. But it isn't close to breaking through.

            A study in contrasts most certainly.

            I am a little worried about treating my Tesla with the respect it deserves. I've had the Honda paid off ten years. After year five of that, meah. The long scrape was a giant concrete planter in a parking lot. I was doing maybe 8 mph trying to wip around it (and I was having one of those days) and when it caught and I realized I judged it wrong I didn't feel like stopping.

            I'm giving that freedom up aren't I? "The things you own, own you." - quote from a very good movie.

            I think I'll get over it and love on my T like everybody else.
             
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