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When you donate your car to Father Joe’s Villages you’ll be helping the most vulnerable members of our society. In return, you’ll save yourself the hassle of selling your own car and will also be able to make a tax deduction.

What are the benefits of donating my car to Father Joe’s Villages?

San Diego Union Tribune’s reader’s poll named Father Joe’s Villages San Diego’s best charity of 2019. And for good reason: 83% of our revenue is spent on our life-changing programs. We exceed the 75% of revenues that watchdog organizations say a charity ought to spend on their services. When you donate your vehicle, you help us go the extra mile!

Help a charity whose work you believe in

Got a cause you care about? There’s no better way to help than by making a donation! And with the car gone that’s one less thing to worry about. That’s twice the peace of mind!

Provide a vehicle for the charity to use

When you donate your car to Father Joe’s Villages, it can help us get a lot done! We can deliver more assistance more often, including at the most crucial of moments. All those moments add up to invaluable aid!

Get a healthy tax write-off

Writing your donation off may be a little complicated but that’s only because there’s so many different ways your donation can be useful! Luckily, in all instances, you’ll get a tax write-off.

Free pick-up

A lot of charities that take cars offer the option to pick up the cars themselves, but if towing and getting the cars cost money then they may deduct that from the car’s value, which makes your tax deduction smaller. Not us! Although, we do give you the opportunity to cover the gas with a donation. Just ask the driver.

Get rid of a car that does not have proper title

Replacing a car’s title comes at a price. Luckily, if you don’t have a title, we’ll still take your car. We will strive to obtain the highest value based on the donated vehicles condition.

Does my car have to be running to donate it?

Running or not, we’ll take your vehicle. Just contact 1-619-HOMELESS (466-3537) to speak to a friendly representative!

Do you only accept cars for donation?

Any motor vehicle is acceptable! Car, truck, motorcycle, boat, RV; you name it and we’ll probably take it! We can’t, however, accept anything abandoned. That you have to report to the police. And if the vehicle’s owner is deceased, we can only take it if you have a copy of the death certificate and proof that you’re the true inheritor of the deceased’s possessions.

How long will it take to pick up my vehicle?

We’ll schedule a pick-up ASAP and make things as easy as possible for you!

Do I have to be with the vehicle at the time of pick-up?

No, just let our representative know and we’ll figure it out.

What paperwork do I need?

Please bring your title with your vehicle. If you don’t have a title then bring your registration. Aside from these two forms, we’ll also need a proof of Lien release, if necessary. When we get your car, we’ll give you DMV paperwork. You’ll have to fill out the following:

  • Release of Liability
  • Statement of Errors
  • Bill of Sale
  • Application for Duplicate Title
  • Transfer without Probate
  • Statement of Facts

Do I need a smog certificate in order to donate my car?

You do not.

What should I do with my license plate after I donate my car?

Unlike most states, in California you can leave the license plate on the car. The same is true for Alaska, Hawaii, and Minnesota. In California you have to give a release of liability to the DMV. You have to do that in Arizona, Illinois, Minnesota, and Washington too. You don’t have to turn in a Report of Sale like you do in Washington, Illinois and Minnesota. And you don’t need to fill out that Notice of Vehicle Sale form at the bottom of your title like you do in Alaska and Hawaii.

How does the new law affect my tax deduction?

The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 limited the amount one could take as a deduction for a motor vehicle that was donated with a fair-market value that exceeds $500. It’s now also necessary to document the way in which we use the vehicle and in many cases an independent, professional appraisal is necessary.

Will I get a tax receipt for my donation?

If your car is worth over $500 and it gets sold for more than $500, you’ll receive a receipt from us that says it was, “sold in an arm’s length transaction between unrelated parties,” as well as the gross proceeds from the transaction. If we’re going to use the car, you get a receipt explaining for what uses and for how long. We cannot sell or exchange before that time runs out.

What can I claim as a deduction?

Your deduction will depend on what we do with the car. However, if you know how the deduction is calculated in advance, you can use all the information available to you to make the decision that best suits your wants.

How is the value determined on the vehicle donated?

The value of the car must be professionally, independently appraised if its value exceeds $5,000.

What if my car is valued over $5000?

You’ll have to fill out and attach IRS Form 8283. The value of the car must be professionally, independently appraised if it’s value exceeds $5,000. If your car’s value exceeds $5,000, you’ll attach IRS Form 8283, the independent appraisal, and our receipt to your return.

How Do Tax Deductions Work When Donating a Car?

Step 1: Find out how much the charity sold the car for

The amount we get from the sale is the amount you should use for the deduction. If the car is sold for $3,000 then that’s the amount you deduct even if the fair market value is greater than $3,000. If the car is sold to someone in need for a drastically reduced amount or keeps the car for its own use, then the deduction can be for its fair market value.

Step 2: Determine the car’s fair market value

Per the recommendation of the IRS, you can use a reputable guide to used-car prices to get a fair market value. Just search for your car using its make, model, condition using an online or print guide such as the Kelley Blue Book.

Step 3: Claiming the deduction

The amount of your deduction will be marked down on line 17 of Schedule A. You only claim a deduction for your car if you itemize your donation, so the total of all your Schedule A donations must be greater than your filing stuses’s standard deduction amounts.

Step 4: Additional forms you’ll need

There are some extra forms that you’ll need:

  • You’ll need to fill out Form 8283 if your donation exceeds $500.
  • You’ll need to fill out Section A if your deduction falls between $501 and $5,000.
  • If your deduction exceeds $5,000 you’ll have to fill out Section B. You will need an independent, professional written appraisal if you do so.

Take note, if your car sells for under $500, you can deduct the lesser of $500 or your car’s fair market value. So if your car’s fair market value is $890 but it sells for $450, you can deduct $500. Additionally, Form 1098-C is the form we’ll use to report the sales price of your car to you.

The Bottom Line on Car Donation

The most challenging part of donating your car is doing the eventual paperwork to get your tax deduction! Everything else? Easy! Saving you the hassle of selling your car, arranging to have your car picked up, and doing a good deed? Easy! It’s a shame that helping others and helping ourselves don’t overlap often enough even though helping others is helping ourselves. At least in the case of Father Joe’s Villages, we make it easy to set things right one donation at a time!