AUTOMOBILE DONATION PROGRAMS

WHERE CAN I DONATE MY MOTOR VEHICLE?

Many charities and nonprofit organizations will accept a tax-deductible donation of an automobile, van, motorcycle, recreational vehicle or other types of motor vehicles. Some charities will advertise for donations of used motor vehicles through television, radio, billboards and other media. Some programs will accept a vehicle that is not running and will arrange for the donated vehicle to be towed; other programs require the vehicle to be operable and in good running condition before they can accept a donation. Call 2-1-1 or visit Connecticut’s Community Resources Database at (www.211ct.org/) to locate automobile donation programs in Connecticut.

HOW CHARITIES USE YOUR DONATION

Before donating your motor vehicle, ask the charity how the donation will be used. Some charities use the proceeds from the sale of donated vehicles to benefit their other programs. Some charities will work through other organizations which may auction off the vehicle and keep a large percentage of the proceeds for their fees.

TAX DEDUCTIONS

Consumers need to watch how much of a deduction they claim on their income tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may audit tax forms that claim too high of a deduction. If you claim the worth of the vehicle is more than $5,000, you’ll need an independent appraisal as a back-up.
NOTE: As of 2005, if you donate a car or other vehicle to charity and claim a deduction greater than $500, the rules for deducting that donation have changed. If the vehicle is sold by the charitable organization, the deduction claimed by the donor may not exceed the gross proceeds from the sale. For further information, see brochure, "A Donor's Guide to Vehicle Donations" posted on the IRS website: (www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4303.pdf)

For further information on automobile donations, see the article "Tips on Contributing Used Cars to Charity" posted on the Better Business Bureau’s web page:(www.bbb.org/us/article/tips-on-contributing-used-cars-to-charity-458)

WHERE CAN I COMPLAIN IF I’M DISSATISFIED WITH A DONATION PROGRAM?

The Public Charities Unit, jointly administered by the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Consumer Protection, provides information available to the public on all charities registered with the State of Connecticut so individuals can make informed decisions regarding charitable contributions. The Public Charities Unit investigates reports of charity scams and fraud occurring in Connecticut, and will investigate false or misleading fundraising practices.
Tips for charitable giving can also be found at the website of the Attorney General,  http://www.ct.gov/ag/cwp/view.asp?a=2093&q=482928

TO FIND PROVIDERS IN CONNECTICUT'S COMMUNITY RESOURCES DATABASE:
Search by service names:
Automobile Donation Programs
Charitable Organization Complaints

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SOURCES:  "A Donor's Guide to Vehicle Donations", brochure posted on the Internal Revenue Service website; State of Connecticut Office of the Attorney General website;"Tips on Contributing Used Cars to Charity": article posted on the website of the Better Business Bureau
PREPARED BY: 211/pt
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: December2013

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United Way of Connecticut

2-1-1 is a program of United Way of Connecticut and is supported by the State of Connecticut and Connecticut United Ways.

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