Tax deduction information when donating your vehicle

Tax deduction information when donating your vehicle

Here is some basic information if you are considering the donation of your vehicle. In 2005 the IRS changed the laws related to tax deductibility of vehicle donations because of exaggerated deductions based on inflated book values (book values tend to become less reliable as a vehicle ages). Under the new rules, the deductible amount of your donation is directly related to the selling price of your vehicle.

  • If your vehicle sells for less than $500 you can take a deduction equal to the 'fair market value' of your donation up to $500. Fair Market Value is loosely explained as the "Blue Book" or "Guide Book" value of your vehicle. Like Kelley Blue Book, NADA Guides or Edmunds.
  • If your vehicle sells for more than $500 your may deduct only the full selling price of the vehicle.
  • The charity is required by IRS to send to the donor a contemporaneous written acknowledgement (receipt) within 30 days of sale. This Receipt must include the following.
  • The gross selling price of the vehicle (if sold for greater than $500).
  • Year, Make, Model and VIN Information.
  • A statement that the vehicle was sold at arm's length between two unrelated parties.
  • And a statement that no goods or services were received in return for your contribution.



We like to make the experience of selling your car an experience that equals that of purchasing a car. Selling your used vehicle can be a rewarding process as well. Knowing that a vehicle that carried you for hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles, will now go on to be someone else’s transportation is satisfying.


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