How do I Donate Cars to Junk for Jesus?

by Michael Keenan
Junk for Jesus gives donated cars to needy families.

Junk for Jesus is a qualified charity in Tuscon, Ariz., that, among other things, takes donated cars and distributes them to needy individuals who need a vehicle to remain employed and transport their families. An advantage to giving your old car to Junk for Jesus is that not only will the organization take it whether it's running or not, but, because it gives the vehicles to needy families as part of it's mission, you're allowed to deduct the fair market value of the car. If you gave the car to a charity that sold it to raise money, you could only deduct the proceeds -- even if they were drastically lower than the fair market value.

Complete Junk for Jesus's online donation form to get the ball rolling on your donation. The form requires your name and contact information as well as information about your car including the make, model, year, mileage, VIN and any damage to the car.

Deliver the car to Junk for Jesus after the charity contacts you about your donation. When you deliver the car, make sure you get a receipt for your donation so you can deduct it on your taxes. If the fair market value of your car is more than $5,000, you'll also need an appraisal to document the value for the IRS.

Itemize your deductions with IRS Schedule A, and report the value of your donated car on line 17. If the car is worth between $500 and $5,000, also complete Section A of Form 8283. If it's worth more than $5,000, you also need to complete Section B of Form 8283. The deduction, plus your other itemized deductions, replaces your standard deduction on line 40 of your Form 1040 tax return.

About the Author

Mark Kennan is a writer based in the Kansas City area, specializing in personal finance and business topics. He has been writing since 2009 and has been published by "Quicken," "TurboTax," and "The Motley Fool."

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