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Given the sacrifices they make on our behalf, it’s only natural that you would want to donate to veterans. One popular form of veterans donations is people’s used vehicles. Instead of going through the time and trouble of selling your car, consider donating it to a worthy cause like helping our country’s veterans.
Fortunately, there are countless charities that take cars in the form of veterans donations. Some examples include:
For a complete list of organizations that can legitimately accept and process veterans donations, simply go to the Veteran’s Association.
Best of all, thanks to the Internet, most of these charities make veterans donations extremely simple. Generally, all you need to do is fill out a form on their website and within a week, they’ll send a tow truck to your home to pick up the vehicle. If you want to save the charity time and money you can drive the vehicle there yourself or rent a dolly and tow it to the charities location. If the car is valued at more than $500, you’ll receive a charitable tax receipt to deduct from this year’s filing.
Before you ever commit your car to a charity, however—whether it’s for veterans or not—you need to do your due diligence to ensure it’s not a scam. The above examples are beyond reproach though.
Sometimes, these charities accept vehicles as veterans donations and literally hand them off to a needy individual. Many veterans find themselves without the means to get around, which, amongst other things, can hurt their chances of employment, often making it nearly impossible.
Other times, these philanthropies will auction off your vehicle. They then use the profits to help pay for important veterans’ services. This could mean funding classes that will give them the skills they need to join the workforce, getting important medical services—often therapy—or just covering normal living expenses like food, rent and utilities.
Usually, though, the car will go to sale. Once it does, you’ll be given a receipt for the amount it sold for.
You’d be surprised how many vehicles qualify for veterans donations. There’s a misconception that it needs to be in great running order or that donating a car that has seen better days may be insulting.
Neither is the case though. While it’s true that you won’t get a charitable receipt if your car isn’t worth more than $500, it can still go to good use. Even cars that don’t start are usually accepted. As they say, every little bit helps. Check with the philanthropy first to ensure the vehicle you plan on donating is acceptable. In the case where your vehicle will be handed off to a veteran, it will obviously need to be in good working order.
Aside from filling out the aforementioned forms, all you need is the title in hand and an address for the tow truck to pick up from. If you lost your title, request one from the RMV before donating your vehicle.
The reason you want to have your veterans donations processed by a real charity is, amongst other things, because you’ll get a tax receipt in return. However, along these same lines, there’s nothing wrong with shopping around to ensure you’ll get the best possible deal for your car.
The way you do this is by essentially asking the organization how much your car will be valued at. Some organizations may simply sell it off to a veteran for a flat $100, while others may actually assess your vehicle’s worth and give the veteran some kind of payment plan. It’s worth finding out because that’s how much you’ll be able to deduct on your taxes. Obviously, it makes a lot of sense to go with the charity that will value your car at the highest amount, especially since you can only deduct your donation if the car is valued or sold for $500 or more.
If you are unsure of the value of your vehicle, check out the Kelley Blue Book.
Veterans donations couldn’t be easier and will give you a sense of pride knowing you helped those who already helped you.