How do I qualify for a 2008 Tax Deduction through a Car Donation?

Qualifying for a Tax Deduction in 2008 in the United States

You can deduct contributions to charity only if you itemize deductions on your Schedule A of Form 1040.
You must take into account certain limitations on charitable contribution deductions. For example, your deduction cannot exceed 50% of your adjusted gross income. Other limitations may apply. Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, provides detailed information on claiming deductions and the deduction limits. It also describes the types of organizations that are qualified to receive tax-deductible contributions.

See, there is a list of companies and foundations that ‘qualify’ to accept car donations…this is to protect against scammers ‘donating’ thier cars to a child or spose.

Publication 526 is available online at www.irs.gov or by calling (800) 829-3676 (toll-free). acknowledgment must include the name of the charity, a description (but not value) of your car, and one of the following:

  • a statement that no goods or services were provided by the charity in return for the contribution, if that was the case,
  • a description and good faith estimate of the value of goods or services, if any, that the charity provided in return for the contribution, or
  • a statement that goods or services that the charity provided in return for the contribution consisted entirely of intangible religious benefits, if that was the case.
  • You must get the written acknowledgment on or before the earlier of the date you file your return for the year you make the contribution, or the due date, including extensions, for filing the return. A charity can provide either a paper copy of the acknowledgment to
    the donor, or a charity can provide the acknowledgment electronically, such as via e-mail addressed to the donor.
    Do not attach the acknowledgment to your income tax return; instead, retain it with your records to substantiate your contribution.

    So you have to get this stuff all in writing, then make sure not to attach it to the tax return forms!


    Depending on the amount of the deduction you claim for the car, you may have to file an additional form with the IRS with your Form 1040. If the deduction you are claiming for a donated car is greater than $500, you must complete Section A of Form 8283.

    If this is your car then you DON’T have to get all these estimates in writing and such…Cars that are worth less then 500 are easy to make a tax deduction on when donating to charity.

    If the deduction you are claiming is greater than $5,000, you must get a written appraisal of your car (see Written
    Appraisal below). You must also complete Section B of Form 8283, which must include the signature of an authorized official of the charity, and attach it to your return. WRITTEN APPRAISAL – Your written appraisal must be from a qualified appraiser. See Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property. The appraisal must be made no more than 60 days before you contribute the car. You must receive the appraisal before the due date (including extensions) of the return on which you first claim a deduction for the car.

    For a deduction first claimed on an amended return, the appraisal must be received before the date the amended return is filed.

    So basically do your homework and get this done immediately if your car is actually worth something 🙂

    When you file your income tax return (Form 1040 orForm 1040X), you will need to complete Section B of Form 8283, and attach it to your return.
    If Section B is required and the charity sells or otherwise disposes of a car within two years after the date of receipt, the charity must file Form 8282, Donee Information Return, with the IRS. On Form 8282, the charity reports information identifying the donor and itself, and the amount it received upon sale or other disposition of the car. The charity must provide you with a copy of the form. The chart below provides items of recordkeeping and filing requirements, based on the amount you claim as a deduction.

    This chart shows what the requirements are for having to do recordkeeping and filing for making a car donation in 2008 in the usa.

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