Are you ready to donate a car you don't want but don't know where to start? Many charities accept vehicle donations. The hard part is finding a legitimate charity that qualifies for charitable withholding, has a mission that you believe in, and uses its donations effectively.
Check out some of the most respected charities that are easily accepting car donations here.
1. The home of humanity
Habitat for Humanity takes donated automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, recreational autos, crafts, snowmobiles, farm tools, and building equipment. The vehicles are either resold or recycled to raise funds to support the charity's mission to build safe, affordable homes for families in need.
The watchdog organization CharityWatch gives Habitat for Humanity International a grade of B (A+ to F) for its financial applications. CharityWatch says the organization allocates 73% of its budget to overhead-related programs and spends an average of $27 to raise $100 in contributions.
You can use the Car Donation Wizard website to donate a vehicle to Habitat for Humanity or call 877-277-4344 to provide information about your vehicle and schedule a delivery.
2. Ronald McDonald Charities
The local chapter of the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) can accept donations of cars, trucks, boats, RVs, and other vehicles. The organization sells the vehicles and uses the proceeds to help provide families with a home away from home during hospital treatment for a seriously ill or injured child.
CharityWatch gives the RMHC's national office an A grade. The supervisor says the organization uses 88% more of its budget for programs than overhead, spending $9 for every $100 contributed.
To donate cars to the RMHC, call 855-227-7435 or visit the group's car donation website. Adult Charitable Ride-On Services (CARS), a nonprofit organization that partners with RMHC for car donations, will collect your car for free and send you the documents you need to claim a charitable contribution for your taxes.
3. The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army accepts donations of vehicles at select locations. The association sells donated cars to finance a variety of programs, including catastrophe relief, homeless shelters, foodstuffs pantries, vets services, job training, and more.
The Salvation Army webpage can help you find vehicle donation services near you.
4. Good intentions
You cannot drop off cars at any Goodwill Donation Center, but the charity accepts donations of cars, RVs, boats, motorcycles, and many other specialty vehicles. Goodwill sells all donated cars and uses the proceeds to support their professional services.
Goodwill Industries International gets an A grade from CharityWatch, which says the organization allocates 87% of its budget to overhead-related programs and spends just $2 to raise $100 in contributions.
5. Canine friends for independence
Companion Dogs for Independence provides service dogs for adults, children, and veterans with disabilities, and companion dogs for professionals working in the health care, criminal justice, and education fields.
CharityWatch Canine Companions gives a grade of B, saying it uses 68% of its budget for programs and spends $20 in fundraising for every $100 contributed.
The association receives donations of automobiles, trucks, crafts, planes, motorcycles, and other autos, whether they are working or not. You can start your donation online or by calling 866-398-4483.
Claim a tax deduction for car donations
Before you donate your car, it's a good idea to read the IRS's guidelines for charitable donations to make sure you qualify for the deduction you expect to claim. The following tips can help you:
Plan to list outages
To get tax benefits by donating your car, you must list the deductions. All in all, your total itemized deductions, including out-of-pocket medical expenses, mortgage interest, state and local taxes, and charitable deductions, should be higher than the standard deduction available for your enrollment status. This is a huge hurdle for many taxpayers, so you may want to review some numbers by working with your tax advisor before donating to see if detailing is worth it.
Collect the correct papers
The IRS has strict rules for documenting vehicle donations, so you must have the correct paperwork to claim the cancellation. After the charity sells the vehicle, it must send you a Form 1098-C to confirm the date of sale and the price. See IRS Publication 4303, Donor Guide to Vehicle Donations for more details.
You may not get tax benefits by donating your unwanted car, but the charity that received the car will certainly appreciate it. After all, even non-working scrap can be sold for scrap.
If you plan to claim a tax deduction, research the charity you're considering donating your car to and get your paperwork ready. Then, donating your car will be good for you and the charity.