3 Most Popular Car Donation Charities that Will Maximize Your Tax Deduction

January 27, 2012

When researching car donation charities, knowing which ones will make the most of your tax donation can be difficult to determine. As a general rule, working directly with a receiving charity versus coordinating through a for-profit company to make a donation will maximize your auto tax write off, because there is no 'fee' paid to the middle-man for coordinating your donation. Another important detail is what the organization does with your donation. The Internal Revenue Service has guidelines and limitations on the deduction that taxpayers can claim, based on how the charity utilizes the donation. Charities with existing car donation programs are well versed in gaining the highest sale price at auction, selling your vehicle for scrap or putting the car in service for the organization. Additionally, existing charity car donation programs have experience with the tax documentation needed for claiming the deduction on your income taxes, making it easier at tax time. Here are three popular car donation charities that can help maximize your deduction. 

1. Habitat For Humanity - Cars For Homes

Habitat For Humanity's Cars For Homes program works directly with donors to reduce the amount of costs paid in the sale of your car donation. They typically utilize 80 percent of the proceeds of the sale of your car, with only 20 percent in costs related to the sale. Proceeds are put to use locally.

2. American Cancer Society - Cars for a Cure

Cars for a Cure is another popular choice. They sell donated cars and use the proceeds to fund cancer research. Sometimes the donated vehicle is put into use for the organization, rather than sold, and this situation can further maximize your donation because there are no costs associated with the preparation and sale of your donation.

3. National Kidney Foundation

The NKF's Kidney Car program has been a popular donation charity, raising money for kidney disease research. Since the mid-1980s the Kidney Car program has raised more than $250 million from donated cars.

Programs vary from state to state, so researching charities before making a charity car donation will help you make the best decision and get the highest tax write off.

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