There are lots of opportunities for car donation in Houston. The list of charities willing to take your used car off your hands is very long. But how do you decide which is the right charity for your car donation in Houston?
First, a few basics. Most people who donate cars do so because, in addition to helping a worthy cause, they want a tax deduction. Changes in the IRS tax code limit the donation that can be taken for a car to the actual amount received by the charity. (Different rules apply if the value of the car is less than $500.) Because the amount of your deduction is dependent upon how much money the charity realizes, you want to choose your charity carefully. Choosing a charity that gets the most value from a car means that you get the best tax deduction for your Houston car donation.
Many charities sell cars at auction, and receive a fraction of the actual value of the car. It can be even worse if you donate through one of the “middleman” services that handle car donations and take a chunk of the proceeds. However, there is a way to get a deduction for the full market value of the car. If the charity uses the car (rather than selling it), you can take a deduction for the fair market value. This also applies if they give the car to someone who needs it, rather than selling it. (1-800-CharityCars gives cars to needy families.)
You should also consider if you wish to support the charity. You may wish to choose a charity that does work in which you believe.
When you donate a car to charity, you need to keep track of the necessary paperwork. First of all, you will need the car title in order donate your car to charity. Once you make the donation, the charity will provide an acknowledgment with the information you will need for your tax return. Records regarding the condition of the car can also be useful in proving the value of the donated car.
Here are some of the charities that accept Houston car donations:
Giving Heart of America/Operation Fallen Hero
Houston Can Academy/Cars for Kids