COSTA MESA, CA – Lots of people are talking about the new car donation tax law going into effect on January 1. Industry leaders say car donors and charities alike will still benefit greatly. The change is that taxpayers can no longer estimate, for themselves, the fair market value of their donated vehicle for a write-off of over $500. With a few exceptions that the IRS has yet to clarify, in 2005, deductions more than $500 will be capped at what the charity sells your car for and then you´ll receive written notification of that sales price from the non-profit.
Some charities that receive significant dollars from donated vehicles have been worried that their funding could nose dive, but that´s unlikely according to Mark Perleberg, lead auto expert at www.NADAguides.com/, a vehicle information Web site.
"It boils down to the fact that car donors want to find a home for older vehicles and they want to do it conveniently and easily," said Perleberg. "Most consumers don´t want to hand-sell a vehicle that´s worth very little money anyway. Besides, donors get peace-of-mind knowing they´re helping a good cause. That´s why we believe vehicle donations will still be going strong in 2005 and beyond."
Jodi Christy, a resident of Coto De Caza, Calif., and a recent vehicle donor, looked for a simple way to dispose of her older car after it broke down about 50 miles from her house.
"My husband and I were driving home from a weekend trip and our car died," said Christy. "The thought of having to hire a towing company to go pick up the car and take it to a mechanic was out of the question, especially since we had two other cars we use every day."
The service Christy used to donate her car is available online at www.NADAguides.com/. Consumers can click on the "Donate Your Vehicle" tab in the "Resources" section of the Web site´s home page and from there, they can choose between 300 car donation charities. Donors may complete a simple application online or call a live representative on the phone seven days a week to walk them through the donation process. Then, a qualified transportation company will come and pick up the vehicle at the donor´s convenience.