Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — Donating a car to charity is a great way to get a tax deduction, but the car donation must be completed by December 31 to claim tax relief on 2010 IRS returns. The Vehicle Donation Processing Center stands ready to process vehicle donations during the last days of this month, but “there’s no point in waiting until the last minute,” says Harvard E. “Pete” Palmer, Jr., of the Center.
“The process of donating a car couldn’t be faster or easier,” says Palmer, and it won’t interfere with holiday plans or celebrations. One phone call (800 269 6814) or online car donation today puts the donor on the road to a lower tax bill next April. The Vehicle Donation Processing Center takes care of everything else; all the taxpayer has to do is keep the receipt provided and claim the deduction on his 1040 form. Agents will be standing by to accept donations from now until the end of the year.
It’s not only the taxpayer who benefits from a vehicle donation. The donor designates one of 400 charities to receive the net proceeds from sale of the donated car. Vehicle donations can benefit almost every category of charity imaginable, including those that help animals, the arts, children, education, the environment, disease research, human rights, faith-based and family services, and seniors. That’s cold, hard cash the charity would otherwise not have in these difficult economic times. Since its founding in 1996, the Center has processed over 800,000 donations, resulting in more than $60 million in net receipts to charities. That represents a great deal of charitable good works.
What happens to the car once it’s in the hands of the Center? It is usually sold at auction to the highest bidder, with the net proceeds handed over to the charitable organization, although sometimes the charity itself uses it for its own activities.
Neither the donor nor the charity gets stuck with the paperwork required for a vehicle donation. The Vehicle Donation Processing Center does it all. “We handle the DMV documents, smog requirements, and tax receipt,” says Palmer. The receipt provides all the information needed for the donor’s tax deduction: donor’s name, charity’s name and 501(c)(3) registration number, date of donation, and a statement noting the exact value of any benefit, if any, the donor received in return. For example, the Vehicle Donation Processing Center offers a free vacation voucher with every donation.
Even clunkers and nonstarters are welcome. In fact, sixty percent of the cars donated do not run, says Palmer. The Center will tow the car from its current location using a qualified, highly insured transport company. Vehicles other than cars also qualify for donation and tax deduction through the Center. RVs, boats, SUVs, trucks, and even airplanes can be donated to charity.
Charitable vehicle donations have not always been deductible. Then-President Reagan signed the vehicle donation law in 1986 in order to help nonprofits expand their funding. The Vehicle Donation Processing Center was founded after that legislation went into effect to make the process simple and painless for both donors and charities. Before agencies like the Center came on the scene, charities struggled to process vehicle donations individually. However, they were inexperienced and inefficient at arranging pick-up, completing paperwork, and converting the cars to cash. The Vehicle Donation Processing Center took the burden off the charities’ shoulders, leaving them free to focus on fundraising efforts with which they were more familiar.
There are many end-of-year tax issues to consider, but donating a car through the Vehicle Donation Processing Center is a no-brainer. It is quick and hassle-free. There are, however, only a few days left before December 31 if taxpayers wish to claim their deduction for the 2010 tax year.
Potential donors do need to do one thing: make the call to donate a car The Vehicle Donation Processing Center will do the rest.
Pete Palmer Advertising