Dateline: June 14, 2001
You've probably seen the ads on billboards or heard them on the radio.
"Help your favorite charity by donating your old car and receive a great tax deduction in the process. We'll even tow your car away free!"
It's true…you can donate an older car that you might have difficulty selling to the National MS Society and receive a tax write-off. But there are important matters you should know about this process. First and most important, the deduction won't be any more than what the car is worth. Thus, if your 1990 Chevy is worth $1000 on the used car market, that's what you'll get as a deduction.
It's Easy To Donate Your Car
Let's say you've decided to donate that 1990 Chevy to the National MS Society. What happens next?
1. Call the Society's Christine Function at 1-800-548-4611. She'll refer you directly to our auction network's 800 number, so you can provide them with all necessary information about the vehicle and its location over the telephone.
2. The auction network will send a driver to your home to pick up the vehicle and the title, or the car owner can mail the title to the auction. At the time the vehicle is picked up, you'll receive a, "Thank You for Your Donation," letter from the auction network. "It takes approximately five business days from the time of the call to the vehicle pick-up by the auction network," Ms. Funchion says.
3. Next, the auction network transfers the title into a Salvage Certificate in the National MS Society's name, insuring that the vehicle cannot be registered or driven. The auction network then places the vehicle in a live auction where it is sold.
4. The auction company deducts the cost of the tow and a $68 administrative fee from the proceeds of the sale. If the vehicle does not sell for more than the costs incurred to bring it in and sell it, the Society is not charged for any balance due.
5. After the sale,
the auction network completes and files two additional forms for the National
MS Society, and the group then receives a check of any proceeds.
The car donor will receive IRS form 8283 for Non Cash Charitable contributions along with a print out of the Blue Book value of the car. NOTE: The car's Blue Book value will not necessarily reflect its retail value. Cars in poor or inoperable condition will likely have a retail value that is less than Blue Book value. The car's retail value is the tax-deductible contribution to the Society.
IRS form 8283 does not need to be signed by a representative of the National MS Society unless the value of the contribution is $5,000 or more.
If you have any questions
about the program or how you can donate your used vehicle to help those
with MS, please call Christine Funchion at 1-800-548-4611.