October 7, 2015
Families that have extensive land often find old and abandoned trash on their property. Furniture, scrap metal, and old bicycles are commonly found in a person’s woods, and generally have to be disposed of by the property owner. Occasionally one finds even larger objects abandoned on the property – such as a car.Vehicles are sometimes abandoned when the owner doesn’t know what else to do with the car and has no patience for disposing of it properly. In these cases, the property owner that finds the car should consider donating it to a charity. As car donation charities usually pick up the vehicles from the donor, this has the added benefit of getting the car off the land and potentially earning the landowner a tax deduction.Donating cars to charity is beneficial to all parties involved for a multitude of reasons. It provides the charity with a car and raises the charities visibility, allows the recipient of the car the means to better his or her situation, and takes the car off of the car owner’s hands while earning him or her a tax break. In the case of the landowner on whose property the car was abandoned, they have the added benefit of getting a tax refund for a car that they never had to pay for, and of having it removed from their land for free.If a car is abandoned on a person’s property, that person cannot immediately donate it. He or she must first apply for the title of the vehicle. This requires completing an abandoned vehicle form, contacting law enforcement, filling out the required information, and applying to the local DMV for a title. If the previous owner of the car can be found or if a record is found of the previous owner, then the landowner who found the car should try to contact that person and get the original title before attempting to donate the vehicle.Once a person has the title to a vehicle, donating cars to charity is a relatively simple process. A person considering a donation should research the different charities in his or her area and find out how each charity uses the cars. Some will sell donated cars at auction to the highest bidder and use the money to support the people in their area, while other repair the cars and offer them to impoverished families for reduced prices.It is also important to choose a charity that is recognized as tax exempt by the IRS. This will ensure that the car donation results in a tax deduction, helping the donor and compensating him or her for the trouble of donating the car as well as any lost profits. If a landowner donates an abandoned vehicle, he or she will receive a tax deduction as well, provided they have the title to the vehicle. The amount of a tax break is dependent on the value of the car and how the charity uses the donation. For this reason, it is also important for a car owner to have their vehicle appraised before donating (multiple times if possible) to ensure the most accurate estimation.