To avoid a car donation scam there are few precautions that need to be followed if you are planning to donate your car to any charity or NGO. Here are five key aspects that will enable you ascertain that your donation will be of some help to the charity when you donate your car:
Don’t Involve the Middleman
Donate directly to the charity whenever you want. Doubtful car charity donation programs usually involve middlemen. They are pleased to take your vehicle donation, sell it, give a fraction of it to the charity, and keep a big pie as ‘operating costs’.
Investigate about the Charity You want to Donate Your Car
Internet can advice you a couple of easy ways which you can follow in case you are thinking of donating cars. Better Business Bureau is one such site that evaluates charities on 20 Standards of Charity Accountability which includes how they spend their money, if the charity is trustworthy, and the willingness of the charity in terms of disclosing important information to the public. Yet another good resource is Charity Navigator.
A Bigger Slice Means a Better Place to Donate
If you’re donating your cars for a tax write-off, the greater percentage of your donation will help the homeless or needy. When you're planning to donate a used car, it is advisable to take time off to inquire what percentage of your vehicle donation will be used into the programs for helping people. Reputed charities will provide this information on their website, or in an online edition of their annual report. Few sites like Better Business Bureau or Charity Navigator can also help you out to get such details.
Look for Local Impact
If the charity, to which you are planning or thinking of donating cars, is not very generous and clear about the programs they offer and where and when they offer them, it should raise a suspicion. If you are open to the idea of assisting people close to your home, search out for those charitable organizations that run programs in your vicinity or state. The closeness of the charity will have another advantage – when you donate a used car to such a charity that provides community programs close in your vicinity – you can attend the programs you donated to, and can personally witness your donation helping others. Volunteers of America provides programs that are conducted on local level from coast to coast helping up hundreds of poor people by providing thousands of meals each year fighting the tough economy, offering shelter to the homeless, treating addicts and training for thousands of people trying to make their lives better.
Ensure that the Charity is Designated as an Official 501(c)(3) Charity by the IRS
If you’re planning to donate cars to avail a tax deduction then be sure it goes to a 501( c )(3) charity, which is an official designation that is provided by the Federal Government only. If the charity to which you are planning to donate your car doesn’t have a 501(c) (3) status, your deduction may not be valid for a tax deduction and you could end up giving money to the IRS for unpaid taxes, including interest and penalties. If you are looking to avail the facility of tax deduction for your care donation, you should donate to such an organization which has acquired the status of official 501( c )(3) charity.