2018 Car Donation Tax Questions, Answered

2018 is wrapping up, and tax season is rapidly approaching! You might be wondering about the tax benefits of donating your car to charity.  If you have any tax questions about how much you can claim or how the donation process works – and helps you – then you should start here.

We only work with registered 501(c)(3) nonprofits, which means no matter which charity you choose to support, your donation is tax-deductible!

charity car tax deduction

How  Much Can I Claim?

The amount that you are able to claim depends on how much the car auctions for. All of our donated vehicles are sold locally at auction through licensed wholesale dealers.

If your car auctions for over $500, you can claim the full selling price.

If your car auctions for under $500, you can claim up to $499 of the fair market value.

What Forms Do I Need?

If your car sells for under $500, we will email your tax receipt and you won’t need any additional paperwork. The tax receipt has key information:

  • Year, Make, Model, VIN
  • Date of Contribution
  • Federal EIN
  • A statement that the vehicle was sold at arms lengths through two unrelated parties
  • A statement that no goods or services were provided in return for this donation

Some charity donation programs offer fancy trips or lavish gifts, which legally reduces the amount that you can claim for your donation.

If your car sells for over $500, you’ll need a 1098-c tax form. We will notify you of the sale price via email and request that you call us to provide your social security number so we can complete and mail your tax form.

If your car sells for over $5000, you will need to complete Section B of IRS form 8283, and possibly an independent appraisal.

Other than that, you are all set!

How Long Until I Get My Receipt?

We will provide your tax receipt within 30 days of your vehicle’s sale date. Contributions started at the end of the year may not be finalized until 2019, but the tax deduction is based on the year the donation starts, not when you get the receipt.

In other words, as long as you start the donation process on or before December 31, 2018, you are eligible for a 2018 tax deduction!

How Do I Claim My Deduction?

In order to receive the tax benefit, you’ll need to itemize your income tax return

If you have any other questions, reach out to one of our knowledgeable representatives at 877-709-2277 or visit our website!



Vehicles Recycled After Superstorm Sandy

Some of the vehicles damaged in Hurricane Sandy ranged in age and type from new to old, and high end to low end. Many different neighborhoods along the shore were affected. There were also neighborhoods inland that happened to be along rivers and bays that flooded. In addition to flood damage there was also significant damage from falling objects like trees and debris.

Whether insured or uninsured, many vehicles damaged by Sandy wound up at auto auctions as the first step in the recycling process. Depending on the extent of damages and the winning bid several outcomes are possible. The vehicle may be reconditioned and offered for sale, exported to a foreign country, dismantled for parts or processed for scrap metal value. the vehicles are sold “as is” at the auction to the highest bidder. The vehicles have varying levels of damage.

donated hurricane sandy cars1996 Nissan Sentra, damaged by Sandy, generously donated to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF

Besides cars and trucks, many other vehicle types were victims. The Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS) estimates that 65,000 recreational boats, both insured and uninsured, were damaged or lost in Sandy at an estimated dollar loss of $650 million. That made Sandy the single largest disaster for recreational boats on record.

For more information on donating your Hurricane Sandy car, check out our blog post on Hurricane Sandy Damaged Cars.

For more information on donating a boat to charity, visit our boat donation page.


Car Donation Tax Deductions: Tax Day

With the 2012 filing deadline today, we thought it might be helpful to describe how car donations and tax deductions work to your benefit.

For questions not answered here, please feel free to call us at: 877-957-2277.

If you donated a car in 2012 to a charity featured on Car Donation Wizard, such as: Habitat for Humanity, Car Talk, NPR, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, American Cancer Society or any of our other great partners, you were provided with a tax deductible receipt listing the gross selling price for your vehicle. Any 501(c)(3) charity (re: reputable charity), will provide you with a tax deducible receipt for your donation. Based on tax laws, the IRS states that you are eligible to deduct the fair market value of your donated vehicle.

It’s good practice to always consult a tax adviser or the IRS for more information about how you can claim charitable deductions for your vehicle donation. The IRS can answer your tax questions and can provide tax forms, publications, and other reading materials for further assistance. IRS materials are accessible through the Internet at www.irs.gov, through telephone ordering at (800) 829-3676, and at IRS walk-in offices in many areas across the country.

Tax Related Car Donation Help Links

If you have additional question about deductions and IRS Regulations the following links may be of assistance:

IRS Publication 4303, A Donor’s Guide to Car Donations (PDF)
Publication 526, Charitable Contributions (PDF)
Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property (PDF)
Form 8283 Non cash Charitable Contributions (PDF)
Instructions for Form 8283, Non cash Charitable Contributions (PDF)


UNICEF USA: Children in Desperate Need of Water

As the fighting in Syria rages, many children have been cut off from a vital necessity: clean water.

The conflict has shut down treatment facilities, leaving millions with limited access to clean drinking water and basic hygiene. Diarrhea and other waterborne diseases are on the rise – and children are especially at risk.

UNICEF is helping those children through a large-scale water treatment operation that was kicked off in Syria last month. Trucks began transporting 264,000 gallons of chlorine to cities and communities across the country. In total, UNICEF plans to treat enough water to provide safe drinking water to 10 million people – nearly half the country’s population.

Help bring us closer to the day when ZERO children are deprived of clean water. Support the UNICEF Tap Project in March – World Water Month. And thank you, for all that you do.

>   Read about UNICEF’s latest clean water efforts in Syria, and how you can help

>   Donate a car to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF



Learn About Car Donations to Vets Vehicles

donate a car to vets vehicles

Vets Vehicles is an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit that uses the power of vehicle donation to aid in their mission to support the nation’s best veterans organizations.

Vehicle donation is a great way for nonprofits to increase their fundraising, but the sad fact is that most vehicle donation providers keep most of the funds to pay themselves. We’ve found that some of the nation’s best known vehicle donation providers are returning less than 40% of a vehicles sale price to the nonprofits they serve. Some try to hide this fact with complicated charts and graphs. But a closer look at their IRS filings reveals otherwise.

That’s why Vets Vehicles was started in 2011. They’ve partnered with the nation’s most trusted and efficient vehicle donation service provider, selling vehicles for the highest prices and returning the highest percentage of proceeds to charities. A higher selling price for your vehicle means more money to veterans organizations and a bigger tax deduction for you.

The money raised from donated vehicles goes only to help veterans organizations. We never allocate money to other causes that you can’t see. If you want your donated vehicle to help veterans, Vets Vehicles is the best donation option you will find.

Start your car donation now online, by clicking the button below, or call: 877-957-2277 today!

start my car donation to vets vehicles

Recently donated:

donate a car alaska

2001 Cadillac Seville, from Anchorage, AK.

vets car donation

2000 Toyota Rav4 from Boston, MA