Frequently Asked Questions about Donating Your Vehicle to The Independence Center
What are the benefits of donating my car to The Independence Center?
The Independence Center benefits by receiving a cash donation to fund new and existing programs and increase community awareness through local events. You benefit by being able to reduce your taxable income when taxes are itemized. Plus you avoid the costs associated with selling your car. No need to pay for advertising, no loss of privacy and possible security risk, and no need to pay for vehicle registration, insurance, and repairs to keep your car in running condition while you wait for a buyer.
What can I donate?
You can donate most any vehicle, including cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles and recreational vehicles. They do not have to be currently running. Your vehicle donation will be sold at an auction or to salvage depending on condition.
Does my car have to be running to donate it?
In some cases we can take your car, running or not. However, it must have an engine and be tow-able. Contact a representative at 1-866-628-2277 to find out if your vehicle qualifies for pick-up.
Do you only accept cars for donation?
Many types of motor vehicles are accepted including boats, motorcycles, trucks, and cars. If you are uncertain as to whether or not your vehicle is eligible, please contact the vehicle donation program toll free at 1-866-628-2277.
Will you pick up my car?
A towing company will call you to schedule the pick-up of your vehicle. You will need to give the driver the keys to the vehicle as well as your signed title.
How long will it take to pick up my vehicle?
We make donating your car as simple and convenient as possible. A tow company will contact you within two to three business days. Call our representatives at 1-866-628-2277.
Do I have to be with the vehicle at the time of pick-up?
No. Special arrangements can be made by calling our representative.
What paperwork do I need?
The only paperwork needed is a signed, clear title. Have your title with you when you call-in your donation. (Please note: a clear title indicates the title is in the name of the donor without a lien). The title to the car must be in your name. We will also need some information about where the car is located and the condition of the car. This will assist us in scheduling appropriate towing arrangements.
Do I need a smog certificate in order to donate my car?
For states that require smog certificates or safety inspections, you may donate your vehicle without these documents.
Is my donation tax-deductible?
Yes, The Independence Center is a non-profit organization and all donations qualify as a charitable deduction on your federal income tax return.
How does the new law effect my tax deduction?
Donors are no longer responsible for determining the deductible value of their donation. Instead, they will receive IRS Form 1098-C, Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes if the proceeds from the sale exceed $500, stating the amount of the gross proceeds from the sale of the donated vehicle. The amount listed on IRS Form 1098-C, Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes will be the gross proceeds of the deductible donation.
Will I get a tax receipt for my donation?
Yes, our driver will issue a tow receipt at the time of pick-up. This is not your final tax receipt unless the sale of your vehicle does not exceed $500. This initial acknowledgement will indicate your name as well as the year, make, model and condition of the car you are donating. It will be your only receipt if your vehicle sells for less than $500.
What can I claim as a deduction?
According to the tax law effective January 1, 2005, if the claimed value of the donated vehicle exceeds $500, the taxpayer is limited to the gross proceeds of the sale. An IRS Form 1098-C, “Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes” will be mailed to you within 30 days of the sale stating the amount of gross proceeds received from your car, provided your vehicle sold for more than $500 and you have submitted your social security number. This will be your tax receipt for your charitable contribution.
How is the value determined on the vehicle donated?
The value is determined by the gross proceeds raised from the sale of the donated vehicle. You no longer have the burden of determining the value yourself. The IRS allows you to take a charitable tax deduction on your federal income tax form equal to the amount the vehicle sells for at auction unless it sells for less than $500. If your vehicle sells for less than $500 you may deduct no more than $500. If your vehicle sells for more than $500, you will need to include the IRS form 1098C. Vehicles for Charity will supply this documentation after your vehicle sells. We recommend you consult your tax advisor with questions about your deduction.
What if my car is valued over $5000?
Effective January 1, 2005, you are no longer required to have vehicles appraised. The value you may claim will be the amount of gross proceeds received from your vehicle.