Every once in a while, the need for a new car arises, and when it does, many people are often at a loss on what to do with their current or old car. The options most them have in mind include delivering the old car to a junk yard, selling it, or perhaps relinquishing ownership to a friend or relative. Yet, car charity donations provide a fourth and better option, which is totally hassle-free.
First things first, car charity donation refers to the transfer of ownership of an automobile one no longer needs to a charitable organization. People do this for various reasons including tax relief, but before one jumps onto the bandwagon of car donation, they need to know the basics of how car charity donations work.
People have been told that the process of donating a car to a charitable organization is as easy as calling them to come and drive or haul it away. Well, this is true, but like everything else in life, one has to prepare their car for donation to avoid unnecessary complications that may come afterward.
Since the donation process involves a complete transfer of ownership, it is advisable to capture clear images of the inside and outside of the car, if possible, with dates. This is necessitated by the fact that once the car leaves the custody of the donor, so does its official documentation including proof of ownership documents. Some unscrupulous individuals or organizations are likely to take advantage of this loophole to defraud otherwise good-intentioned citizens of their cars for selfish gain. Having clear images of the car just before the donation can help with the recovery process should the need arise.
Another element of preparation worthy considering prior to donating a car to charity involves keeping track of repair and maintenance records. This applies to cases where the car needs to be fixed before the donation. The service and spare part receipts increase the value of the car when dealing with the taxman.
Once these preliminary preparations have been completed successfully, it is time to call the charity organization to come for the car or drive it there. Most people tend to focus only on this step to show how easy it is to donate a car to charity. It is, but for the individual who seeks to draw the full benefits of donating a car to charity, the outlined preparations are inevitable. When a representative from the organization finally comes for the car (they normally do), it is critical to ensure that they leave behind a document showing the full details of the organization in question, the car, as well as the time and reason for pickup. This should be some sort of receipt acknowledging the donation.
The above step concludes the donation process. What follows is beyond the donor’s influence. All they can do from this point onwards is to wait until the car has been sold. Typically, the charity organization notifies the car donor of a sale within a span of one month after the sale is made. If they fail to do so, the donor has the right to make an inquiry about the same. When the organization sells the car, they are obligated to supply the donor with a written acknowledgment of the sale.
The donor can then proceed to claim a tax relief from the IRS using the donation documents and any other relevant documents. Also, of critical importance is that the donor might be required to inform the relevant authority about the change of ownership depending on the state in which they reside. This serves to protect the donor from bearing the burden of tickets and other car-related costs, which should be paid for by the next owner of the car.