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If the amount of your deduction for all non-cash gifts is more then $500 then you must file IRS Form 8283 with your itemized tax return. A copy should be mailed to the charity or donation program. The IRS requires that the charity or donation program verify your donation and file IRS Form 8282, Donee Information Return. You should be sent a copy for your records.

Deductions over $5,000 - if you intend to claim a deduction over $5,000 for a vehicle donation, you must obtain a written appraisal of the donated property from a qualified appraiser. This must be accomplished prior to the pick-up of your vehicle. You must complete IRS Form 8283, Non-cash Charitable Contributions: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8283.pdf and forward a copy to the charity or donation program. In this situation a signature from a qualified charitable organization is also required.

When to deduct & file - you can deduct your contributions only in the year you actually make them in cash or in other property. File Form 8283 with your tax return for the year you contribute the property and first claim a deduction. The date of donation is the date in which you endorse the donation paperwork. For example, with automobiles this would be your title or odometer statement. (Keep in mind you must itemize the tax return in order to claim a tax deduction.)

Tax information from the IRS

For information about determining the "fair market value" of a vehicle you can read "Publication 526 Charitable Contributions". You should read the entire publication. Be sure to read the section entitled "Contribution of Property" and a section called "Determining Fair Market Value." Another section called "Cars, boats, and aircraft" will help you in situations of donating these types of properties. Another helpful IRS document is Publication 561, entitled "Publication 561 Determining the Value of Donated Property"

Records you must obtain

When you make any non-cash contributions, you must get and keep a receipt from the charitable organization showing: Name of the charity, date and location of the charitable contribution, and a detailed description of the donation. This receipt also includes the charity's tax identification number for your records.


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