Making Sure Your Car Is Ready For Winter

December 31st, 2010

When winter hits, many people think of winterizing their houses, but winterizing their car is far from their minds. Just how do you make sure your car is ready for winter? Depending on where you live, the snow is probably already there, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late. If you haven’t prepared your car, then there is no better time like the present.

When winterizing your car, always check your tires to make sure the tread is still good and that the tire pressure is correct. Not only will this help you save on gas, it will help you when or if you ever encounter any snow or ice. Check the fluids in your car to make sure there is enough antifreeze and window washer fluid, which will certainly come in handy when the dirty snow gets on your windshield. Have your battery, lights, defroster, brakes, heater, belts and hoses checked by a professional to make sure your car is functioning properly.

If you live in (or are travelling to) an area where you might get snowed in, make sure that you put emergency materials in your trunk, including a blanket and first aid kit. It’s also a good idea to put some kitty litter and a shovel back there in case you slip off the road and you need some extra help in getting out of your situation.

If you have checked everything on your car, and you still aren’t sure whether your car will make it to where you need to go, then you might want to consider donating your car to charity. It is too late to get a tax deduction for 2010, but if you need a new car anyway, then you can donate your car in 2011 and get the tax benefits then. Charities always can use the help, no matter the time of year, so if your car can’t take the cold, then make sure it goes to a good cause.

Tis The Season To Be Donating A Car

December 24th, 2010

The holidays usually bring out the best in everyone, with many individuals donating to charities or volunteering their time to help out others who are less fortunate. There are many great reasons why you should consider donating your car to charity this time of year, and the fact that it is the holidays is only one of them.

Holiday Giving

No matter your religion or lack thereof, we could all use a little more kindness in the world, and when you donate a car, you are helping someone who desperately needs it while helping yourself at the same time. With a car donation to our organization, a substantial portion of the proceeds go directly to children who aren’t in a position to help themselves. On top of that, you also receive a tax deduction from the government, so you don’t have anything to lose besides that piece of junk that has taken over your garage.

There are four main benefits to donating your car now. It helps the charities and the individuals it represents, it helps you, it helps spread the cheer this holiday season and also it helps to donate now because the deadline is quickly approaching to donate your car for this year’s tax deductions.

Whether this is something you have been considering for some time or it is something that you only recently thought of, it is always a good idea. The end of the year is coming up fast, and there is no time like the present to give a gift of your own.

Dangerous Holiday Travelling – And How to Avoid It With A Car Donation

December 17th, 2010

It is the time of year when many people hit the roads to see family and travel for holiday vacation. The road conditions are often poor, as the winter weather has taken its toll on the roads, and sometimes snow plows just can’t keep up. If you are planning on travelling this season, make sure your car is in the very best condition. With bad roads, an older car in bad shape has much higher odds of getting in an accident. If you are afraid your car might not make the trip, then now is a perfect time to donate a car to charity and pick out something new for yourself.

There are usually many different holiday sales going on at car dealerships, and the deadline for receiving a car donation tax donation for 2010 on your used car is quickly approaching. If you donate a car to charity before the end of the year, you can get a refund for 2010, but if you wait until the new year, then you will have to wait on your tax deduction as well.

With the combination of the government deadline and the bad roads, now is the time to consider whether or not your car is safe for you and your family. No matter the condition of your car, we can always accept your car donation, even if it no longer drives. This holiday season, you can end up with a little extra cash in your pocket because of your gift, instead of the other way around.

Countdown to Final 2010 Car Donation Tax Deductions

December 10th, 2010

The year is quickly winding down. The holiday season is here, and we are all extremely busy with various commitments and activities. Before you know it, the year will be over and you may have missed your chance to donate a car to charity. This, of course, means you may have also missed your chance to take a sizeable tax deduction. If you get everything in order now, though, you can do some good for some worthy and needy organizations, and still make sure you can claim the proper deduction on this year’s returns.

December 31 is the cutoff day for getting a car donation tax deduction this year. Time may be running out, but if you start getting ready now, you can still make sure that the entire process goes smoothly.

Starting the Process

The holidays are always really busy, but if you take the time to get everything in order, you won’t run into any snags at the last minute. We previously covered some of the IRS tips for making charitable donations, and this is a great place to get started.

In basic terms, you need to get all your documentation in order and ready to go. You are going to have to itemize the contribution on Form 1040, Schedule A, and you will be required to keep records of donation and the amount you received. Keep these documents safe, because even though your car donation has to be made by the end of the year, you may not actually file your returns until next April. If you lose those documents between now and then, you could be in for some hard times down the road.

Planning Ahead

With only days left before the end of the year, you have to plan ahead to get the most out of donating a car. It could take some time to get an appraisal if you have a particularly valuable car, or the tow services might be backed up because you’re not the only one trying to get a last minute donation in before the end of the year. Now is the time to make your donations. There are many worthy causes out there that need your help, and if you want to maximize your returns, be sure to get it done as fast as you can.

It’s a Tough Time for Car Donation Nonprofits

December 6th, 2010

But, according to a study done by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative, things are starting to get a little better. This report showed that about a third of the charities in America had an increase in donations throughout the first nine months of 2010. Unfortunately, this increase hasn’t been enough to keep up with the demand for charitable services.

Just like many other industries, nonprofit companies have been hit hard by the recession. They rely on the charity of others to generate their operational budgets, and when economic times are tough, people are less likely to make a donation. Of course, when economic times are tough, there is usually more unemployment and increasing need for the services these nonprofit organizations provide.

Last year was one of the hardest ones in a long time. Our giving was at the lowest it had been since 1956. This can be very troubling for both the nonprofit organizations and the people who rely on their services. And that is why this slight increase in giving has been viewed by some as a positive sign for the future.

Despite the increase in car donations, worthy nonprofit organizations always need more. There might be some positive signs in the economy, but that doesn’t mean everyone suddenly has more money that they can part with. Things still seem a little shaky, and it’s this kind of uncertainty that makes people hesitate about making charitable donations.

This is where donating a car to charity can make a real difference. You don’t always have to donate cash when you are looking for ways to help these important organizations. If you have a vehicle that has reached the end of its useful life, or you don’t think you’d get much for it on a trade it, you can always donate a car for a tax deduction and help this trend continue.

Car Donation Charity Scams and How to Avoid Them

November 26th, 2010

More and more, we hear bad press about car donation companies that are scamming their customers and shortchanging charities of much-needed money. You don’t want to fall victim to their games, but increasingly, these companies are becoming trickier and harder to escape. You need to be able to recognize the signs when you see them, so keep the following guidelines in mind when you’re considering donating a car to charity.

Sarah Lee Marks, author of “The Complete Internet Car Buying Guide” spoke on avoiding car donation scams, and had some very good advice. For example, when the company comes to retrieve your car, “make sure they come with preprinted forms, uniforms and a branded tow vehicle before you sign over the title.”

Research the company both with a phone call and through an online search. If you are still unsure, you can request certain forms from the charity, including the 501(c)(3) letter that is granted by the IRS as well as the incorporation document given by the secretary of state’s office.

S.E. Day commented “Visit the charity, contact the IRS to inquire about the charity’s viability, request its IRS Form 990 (nonprofit tax return) and make sure the title is signed by the company receiving the vehicle.”

One of the biggest scams to look out for when you donate a car is when the organization asks you to turn over your car without signing over the title.

“The individual will advise the victim that he or she is not authorized to sign the title,” Day says. “He or she will inform the victim that the title has to be signed by the authorized personnel at the office.”

Always make sure the title is transferred correctly and completely, otherwise the organization can use the open title to resell your car for money.

If you still happen to fall victim to a scam, contact the consumer fraud investigation division of your state government or the attorney general.

Tips and Tricks: Car Donations Made Easy

November 19th, 2010

We like to keep things simple, so when we found this video on car donations, we thought it had some great basic information to share.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_ctBPU-YJw&feature=related

Some highlights to take away from the video:

  1. Research the car donation charity to make sure it is legitimate.
  1. Figure out what percentage of the proceeds go to the charity, and how much goes towards costs of operating the business.
  2. Get the title of ownership for your vehicle.
  3. Complete their requested information and provide your contact information.
  4. Sign your title over to the charity and do not leave that portion blank.

We’re here for you if you have any questions, so don’t hesitate to ask! Now is a great time to donate a car to charity, and as the year comes to a close, you need to think about a car donation tax deduction for this year. It’s never too late to do a great thing.

The Basics Of Donating A Car To Charity

November 12th, 2010

Sometimes we all need to go back to basics. Information overload can take its toll, and when it comes to donating a car, we often like to jump into all the details. Taking a step back with car donations, allows you to focus on how you can make sure you’re not being scammed.

  1. The first way you can check and make sure a charity is legitimate is you do your research. See whether there are any open investigations by researching online and with the Better Business Bureau.
  2. Check the percentage of money that goes to the charity. Charities will use a portion of their proceeds to operate their own business, but you can usually find a company that takes under 15% for their own needs.
  3. Know the write-off rules. You know the IRS has changed the rules, so take some time to learn how this will affect your individual situation. If you need help, call the car donation charity to ask questions.
  4. Value your car correctly. You usually can’t deduct the fair market value of your car, so make sure you get all the paperwork and know how much your car went for.

The biggest thing you need to keep in mind when you decide to donate a car to charity is to do your homework. It is an immensely satisfying experience, and it won’t take a lot of work, but if you don’t put in some time you might find that your donation didn’t do as much as you originally thought.

James Bond Car Donation Goes for $4.1 Million

November 8th, 2010



Back in June, we posted about the James Bond “Goldfinger” car going up for auction for charity. As far as car donations go, this one brought in $4.1 million (2.6 million pounds) in London as it was auctioned off on Wednesday, October 27th.

This car was feature packed with special ejector seats, rotating license plates, machine guns and other spy tricks, and was expected to go for even more than it did. But just because your clunker won’t bring in as much money does not mean you should not consider donating your car to charity.

James Bond Car Donation

Part of the appeal to the Aston Martin was that it was featured in Goldfinger and Thunderball, with Sean Connery as James Bond, one of the more popular actors of the franchise. The British carmaker actually received worldwide publicity from the movies, but though it was a household name, many of the cars were still too expensive for many.

This car donation for charity was expected to get to $5.5 million, and many still think it will end up on public display. However, you can make a direct impact with your charitable car donation, even if it doesn’t make quite a splash like this one. And though this James Bond car was in excellent working condition, your donation doesn’t have to be. We willingly accept car donations for your old beaters and clunkers, and with them you can still make a difference.

Get Your Car Donation Tax Deduction

October 29th, 2010

Getting in Your Deduction

The year is winding down, and as November gets started and the holiday season begins to claim our attention, the idea of paying our taxes gets pushed to the bottom of the priority list. However, if you are sitting on a vehicle that has seen better days or you intend to donate a car for the tax deduction, it has to be done before December 31 at 11:59pm.

If you are going to donate a car and take a deduction on your 2010 taxes, you should start the process as soon as possible. Right now, there are a lot of people who are thinking about donating their own cars at the last minute, and soon it will be difficult to set an appointment for pickup that fits your schedule, and you are going to feel rushed and pressured to get all the paperwork in order. December is coming faster than you think, and you don’t want to let your car donation tax deduction get lost in the holiday rush.

Tax Deduction

Get Organized

We’ve given a lot of car donation tips and information on this blog, and by adhering to these practices and starting the process as early as possible you can make the most of your car donation tax deduction. Wondering where to get started? Take a moment and review some of these important posts:

Just remember, when you are planning on taking a car donation tax deduction, you should get as much information as you can before you start the process. However, you should also remember that we’re ready to provide all the support and help we can to make this experience as simple and painless as possible.