Key Filing and Disclosure Requirements for Car Donation


If you have donated a car to any charity or planning to do so, it is advisable to educate yourself about the legal binding and requirements that needs to be complied with. Under mentioned are the filing and disclosure requirements that are mandatory in car donation: 

FORM 990 SERIES (Annual Information Return)

Most charities are liable to file an annual information return – Form 990 series (990, 990-EZ, or 990-PF), divulging details about the charity's revenue, expenses, activities, and financial status. See IRS Publication 557, Tax Exempt Status for your organization, and the instructions to the annual information returns for further information.

FORMS 8282 AND 8283

A donor is liable to file Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions, to inform about non-cash charitable donations if deductions for all non-cash gifts in the year does beyond $500.

For most property contributions for which the deduction claimed exceeds $5,000, the donor should get an appraisal. A perfect appraiser should complete and sign Section B of Form 8283, which is termed as the appraisal summary; and some authorized personnel of the charity should complete a part of the form and put his signature. The donor should hand over the charity a copy of Section B. A charity should sign Form 8283 and for acknowledgement of a car should file Form 8282, Donee Information Return. The charity is responsible for offering the donor a copy of the completed Form 8282.

Written Acknowledgement of Donation

A donor cannot file for deduction of any single charitable donation exceeding $250 unless the donor gets written acknowledgment of the contribution from the concerned charity. A charity is not liable to offer written acknowledgement; but without a written acknowledgment, a donor will not be able to file a tax deduction.

Written Statements Stating Quid Pro Quo Contributions

If a charity offers goods or services in lieu of some property valued over $75, it should offer the donor a written statement.

Charities and their solicitors are subject to state law requirements in terms of titling of vehicles and transfers of title. Usually, state charity personnel instruct the donor to transfer the title of car to the charity's name and provide the copy of title transfer, when possible. There are also exceptions in some of the states, and in these states an agent can also hold title or insert a dealer's name. It is also expected that the donor should remove the license plates. This will not attract any liability problems after the car is transferred.

Assistance of State Charity Official

It is advisable to make yourself aware of your state requirements prior to starting a car donation program. Charities that accept contributions are mostly required to register with state attorney general or the secretary of state. You can also get some information from any state charity official regarding paid fundraisers on their web site. You should visit your state charity official office if you have complaint or any concern that a charity is not adhering to the state laws.

IRS Assistance

IRS officials can answer your tax queries and provide you with the IRS tax forms, publications, and other related documents to get the idea for further help. IRS details are available on the Internet, through telephone request, and at IRS walk-in offices in several areas across the country.