Car Donation In Indiana, IN
What You Need To Know
Car donation in Indiana is no more difficult than it is in any other state, and actually a fair sight simpler than in some of them.
However, if you really want to get the biggest value for your charity car donation then it pays to know a few simple tips and tricks.
Below, therefore, we have provided answers to all the important questions that you are likely to have if you are thinking about making a car donation in Indiana. We have also provided important links to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles where necessary.
1. What Can You Donate in Indiana, In?
While auto donation might be one of the more common charity offerings, you can give all sorts of different vehicles to charity in Indiana.
For instance, in addition to cars, you could donate motorcycles, all terrain vehicles, mopeds, junk cars, trailers, boats, recreational vehicles or really any other sort of transportation that’s allowed on the roads, in the water or in the sky.
If you’re ever unsure about your donation, perhaps you have an old, military issue half track or some other unusual vehicle, then all you need to do is call the charity and ask.
2. How To Maximize Your Donation In Indiana?
When you donate a car to charity you should take a moment to think about how you can get the most money for the charity in question before you drop off your vehicle.
For instance, if you drop your donation off at the charity then that’s just one more cost that the charity doesn’t have to pick up in the long run.
Beware ‘For-Profit’ Agent Partners
Additionally, avoid charities that work with a ‘for-profit’ partner or agent because then the charity will have to split the proceeds with another party.
Many donors do not realize that the large majority of charities work like this. If you want to donate to a smaller local charity this may be something that you can’t avoid.
Present Your Vehicle As Well As Possible
Additionally, it always helps if you clean and repair the vehicle to save the charity the trouble of doing so.
This is especially true if you intend on making material improvements that will increase the value of the vehicle when it goes up for sale.
3. Documents You Need To Donate in Indiana?
When you donate your car in Indiana you’re going to need certain paperwork before you hand over the vehicle.
Normally you have to have the title, but you can ignore that requirement if you’re donating an all-terrain vehicle, a snowmobile, a moped or any trailer purchased before the year 1990.
Replacement Vehicle Titles
If you don’t have a title then you need to apply for a replacement or duplicate at any office of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The Bureau’s website accepts online applications and speedy applications that can be processed within 72 hours.
Additionally, the website lists contact information and phone numbers that you can use to get real, human assistance in your area.
For help with this, we also recommend consulting the Indiana section of the dmv.org website.
Additional Vehicle Licensing & Driver Information
By creating an account and logging on at the Bureau’s website you can view your vehicle title documents as well as your driving record. You can find more information about vehicle licensing in Indiana as well as plates and registrations for Indiana vehicles.
4. How To Release Vehicle Liability In Indiana?
When you make an car donation in Indiana you want to make sure that you’re released from all liabilty.
If you’re not then any accidents or damages that happen in association with your car, even after you donated it, could still be technically considered your fault.
In order to be sure that you transfer liability along with the keys of the vehicle fill out the title with all of the new owner’s information and be sure that you fill in all of the appropriate blanks.
For any questions regarding transfer of liability and title of a donation, contact the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles or read their very information section on buying and selling vehicles in Indiana.
5. How To Maximize Your IRS Tax Deduction?
When you donate a car to charity in Indiana, your reward is a car donation tax write off.
However, with a little bit of preparation, you can claim the biggest possible deduction. What you need to do is find a charity that either intends on using your vehicle (for their own charitable activities) for a significant amount of time before sale, or who will give the vehicle away to a needy person in furtherance of charity goals, or who will sell the vehicle for a price substantially below fair market value for the same reason.
All of these situations allow you, as the donor, to deduct the fair market value of your vehicle, and to claim it as soon as you’ve made your donation.
With traditional car donation, where the charity sells your vehicle and uses the proceeds to fund the charity, you have to wait till the vehicle’s been sold and then you can only claim the value of the gross proceeds of the sale.
This alternative is faster, and nets you a bigger deduction providing you can find a charity willing to do so.
6. Where Can Your Donate Cars In Indiana?
There are plenty of places in Indiana where you could donate your vehicle, ranging from charity car auctions to car donation programs you need to be sure you’re donating to the right organization.
Fortunately, the Better Business Bureau has put out a list of applicable, tax exempt 501(c)(3) not for profits that you can donate to. It is also worth looking at Indiana charities on the Charity Navigator website.
You should be able to locate charities in all the major towns and cities in Indiana:
- Fort Wayne
- South Bend
- Terre Haute
All that’s left to do, once you’ve chosen the charity that will receive your vehicle donation, is to contact the head office and find out where the donation centers in your part of Indiana are.
Donating Vehicles In Other States
The IRS do not place any restrictions on where you can donate your car. If, therefore, you live the Indiana state border, it might be more convenient to find a charity in a neighboring state as follows:
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