Car Donation In Massachusetts, MA
What You Need To Know
When you donate a car to charity in Massachusetts you are providing a great source of income for that charity to continue doing its good work.
However, if before you make your donation in MA, it’s important that you check all of the legal rules for car donation before turning in your car.
Below, therefore, we have provided all the information you require to safely donate your car and release your legal liability in the process as well as maximize your charity’s donation and, of course, your IRS tax write-off.
You will find relevant links to the Massachusetts Registry of Vehicles to help you.
1. Where Can You Donate In Massachusetts?
There are a huge variety of places that will accept a car donation in Massachusetts, ranging from charity car donation programs to charity car auctions.
It’s important that you donate your car to a registered, tax exempt, 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The Better Business Bureau has provided a list of organizations on its website and we also recommend www.charitynavigator.org for a list of Massachusetts charities.
You should be able to locate charities in all the main towns and cities in Massachusetts, Ma:
- Cape Cod
- Fall River
- New Bedford
Once you’ve chosen your charity you have to contact them, clear your donation to make sure it’s acceptable, and then ask where you can drop it off in the state.
Donating Out of State
The IRS places no limits or restrictions on where you donate your car within the United States. We recommend you download and read IRS publication 4303, A Donor’s Guide To Vehicle Donations, which explains this and everything else you need to know from a tax perspective.
If you live near a state border, you may consider it more convenient to find a qualifying section 501(c)(3) charity in a neighboring state:
For general travel and tourism information, visit www.massvacation.com.
2. What Can You Donate in Ma?
While car donation is always an option in Massachusetts, there are a number of other vehicles that you can give to charity if you wish to.
As a for instance, in addition to cars and trucks, you can also donate motorcycles, mopeds, all-terrain vehicles, recreational vehicles, trailers, boats (see boat donation), planes and any other sort of vehicle that can be used and sold.
If there’s ever a doubt about a vehicle you want to donate to charity then contact the charity you want to donate to and ask whether or not your vehicle would be accepted before you show up to donate it.
3. What Documents Are Required To Donate?
If you’re going to make a vehicle donation in Massachusetts then you’re going to need the vehicle title.
In order to transfer ownership to the charity you need to fill out the title transfer section on your title and make sure that the charity’s information is filled out in the new owner section.
How To Obtain a Replacement Vehicle Title
If you need to get a replacement vehicle title in Massachusetts, visit Massachusetts Department of Transportation website. You can also make a car registration enquiry as well as a title/lien-holder check.
This site has all of the contact information for branch offices throughout the state so that you can call or drive to your closest DOT branch and get all of your questions about a replacement title answered promptly and professionally.
4. How To Release Liability In Massachusetts?
When you make any kind of auto donation in Massachusetts it’s important that you release yourself from all liability concerning the vehicle.
Liability, of course, is the legal term that says you are responsible for damages and accidents that the vehicle is involved with, so it’s very important that you hand over liability to the charity along with the keys.
How To Transfer Liability
In order to do this you have to sign the release section on the title and transfer it to the charity as the new owner. Once you’ve transferred the title, you’ve also transferred liability. Learn more about title transfers for Massachusetts car donors at the very comprehensive dmv.org website.
You also have to cancel your registration plates and remove them from the vehicle and bring them to the MA Motor Vehicle Registry in person in order to un-register the vehicle from your name.
5. Maximizing Your Charity’s Donation in Ma
When you donate a car to charity you are putting your financial weight behind that organization’s goals.
So, before you donate, you should go through a short checklist to be sure that your donation does the most good possible.
Present Your Car As Best You Can
For instance, you should clean your vehicle before donating it. Additionally, if you were planning on making repairs or improvements (especially material improvements, which are the ones that increase the overall value of the vehicle) make them before you donate.
While your vehicle doesn’t technically have to be in working order to be donated, it does increase the sales price. Lastly, drop the vehicle off yourself.
If the charity tows the vehicle to a donation center then that’s one more cost the charity has to absorb.
6. How To Maximize Your IRS Tax Deduction?
A tax deductible car donation is your reward for donating a vehicle to charity.
Under normal circumstances you donate your vehicle to a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization, the charity then sells your vehicle and gives you notice of the sale, and you may then claim the gross proceeds of the sale as an itemized deduction on your taxes.
Can You Claim The Fair Market Value?
However, you should seek out a charity that will use your vehicle for a significant period of time itself before sale, who will give or sell your vehicle at a price significantly below fair market value to a needy person.
The reason being that, in all of these circumstances, you can claim the fair market value of your vehicle on the day it was donated, which is likely to be a higher tax write-off value than the sale price.
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