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!



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)


The Best Tips To Maximize Your Car Donation Tax Deduction

Car Donation Wizard wants donors to know that donating a car to a nonprofit organization not only helps that organization fund worthwhile research and humanitarian efforts, but you also may be eligible to claim a tax deduction for your charitable contribution.

Here are some car donation tax deduction tips we’ve put together:

  1. Make sure the nonprofit is eligible to receive tax deductible contributions. Organizations such as  501(c)(3) qualified nonprofits are able to give you a tax receipt for your vehicle donation. Visit IRS.gov to search for registered charities. Car Donation Wizard only works with esteemed, 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations.
  2. Ask if you will get a formal tax receipt from the charity for your car donation. If the total deduction you are claiming for a donated car is $250 or more, you need paper proof of your donation. Car Donation Wizard mails a tax receipt for your records following the sale of your vehicle.
  3. Know that despite what you might find on Kelly Blue Book, the IRS will only allow a deduction for the fair market value of the car. This can be found on the tax receipt mailed to you from Car Donation Wizard.
  4. If your car is worth more than $500, you, the donor, must complete Section A of IRS Form 8283 and attach it to your yearly tax return.
  5. If your car is worth $5,000 or more, an independent appraisal is necessary. You must also fill out Section B of IRS Form 8283. You may consider taking pictures of the car and saving receipts for new tires or other upgrades to verify its value.
  6. As a safety, consult your tax adviser or the IRS for more information about how you can claim charitable deductions. 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 and at IRS walk-in offices in many areas across the country.


Get A 2012 Tax Deduction For Your Car Donation!

While it might be too late to donate a car for and receive a 2011 tax deduction; it’s the perfect time to donate a vehicle and get a 2012 charitable tax deduction! When you donate a car, van, truck, hybrid or any other vehicle to your favorite charity, we’ll send you a receipt to use during tax time. Not only do the proceeds of your vehicle go towards an amazing cause but your charitable contribution is tax deductible.

Choose your charity now!

Want to learn more? Visit or Tax Tips page

Need to speak with a customer service member about you tax deduction? Call us at 877-957-2277 and we’re happy to help!

Donated to Car Talk – a 1997 Subaru Legacy                              

donate a car to car talk

Donated to Habitat for Humanity – a 1987 Volkswagen Golf

car donation to habitat for humanity


Year-End Tax Savings Through Car Donation

With 2012 rapidly approaching, consider car donation before the end of the year in order to claim your 2011 tax deduction. Car donations made prior to December 31, 2011 are eligible for 2011 tax deductions. Tax adviser’s agree that if you have the ability to take deductions, such a through charitable gift giving like vehicle donation, you should do it soon. Although tax rates are scheduled to remain the same through 2012, with the government’s uncertain federal budget cuts, experts agree it’s best not to wait. Car donations are just one of the many ways you can help out one of the fantastic missions of a nonprofit organization. Around the holidays, your charitable gift becomes especially meaningful to families in need all over the world.

donate a car, get a tax deduction

As a reminder, Car Donation Wizard accepts running and not running cars, trucks, vans, RVs, motor homes, boats on trailers, motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, off-road vehicles, ski doos, jet skis, planes and construction equipment. Questions on what you can donate? Call us at 877-957-2277 and one of our vehicle donation experts will be glad to help.

With so many nonprofits to choose from, it might be hard to decide who to donate a car to. Visit our charity selector tool and learn more about all of the organizations Car Donation Wizard works with. We’ve taken all the work out of choosing an admirable charity since we only work with the best; the ones we know use the proceeds of each and every vehicle donation to help change the world one family, pet, or cause at a time. We also promise that we’re the best in the business – we have experts working to earn the most for your donation, giving your chosen charity more to work with and you the greatest 2011 tax deduction.

Donate a car in 2011 before December 31, 2011 and claim your charitable deduction on your 2011 taxes!