Technically speaking, you have between now and midnight on December 31 to donate a car if you plan on taking the tax deduction for 2010. That does not, however, imply that it’s okay – or even a good idea – to wait until December to start the donation process.
The summer months are actually the perfect time to start thinking about your car donation tax deduction. It may seem like the due date is months away, but you can take advantage of the longer days and the nicer weather to get your car ready to go. More than that, the towing companies will be available at your convenience, and you won’t have to fight with all the other people trying to donate their cars at the same time.
The “holiday rush” is always a stressful period, whether you are shopping for gifts or doing your taxes. This is not the time to try and donate a car for your deduction. It’s one thing to run to the accountant at the last minute to get your taxes prepared, but it’s a different thing entirely to try and contact a charity or car donation agency and get your car towed, gather the necessary documentation, wait for the final sale of the car and get the necessary receipts at the last minute. Planning ahead will make tax season a far more manageable experience.
Of course, if you do take care of the car donation during the summer months, you will be responsible for keeping track of your receipts and documentation for a while. You should always keep your tax documents together so that when the time comes you won’t have to run around trying to pull together everything you need to get the best deduction possible. Many of us don’t like to think or plan this far ahead, but when everything is said and done, you will be grateful that you did.