Car Donation In Montana, MT
What You Need To Know
When you donate a used car to charity in Montana, the process is a little bit more involved then just dropping off your car and wishing the charity well with it.
You have to make sure that all the I’s are dotted and all of the T’s are crossed when donating a car.
We have, therefore, provided all the information you are likely to need if you are thinking about donating your car in Montana.
We have also included links to the Motor Vehicle Division of the Montana Department of Justice where appropriate.
1. What Can You Donate In Montana, Mt.?
While you can make a car donation, there are other things you can donate besides cars and trucks (see truck donation) in Montana.
For instance, it is perfectly legal to donate motorcycles & mopeds, all-terrain vehicles, recreational vehicles, campers, trailers, off-road vehicles, boats (see boat donations) and any other sort of vehicle that can legally be used on the roads, in the water or in the skies. You can also donate junk cars.
If you have an unusual sort of vehicle, perhaps a plane or a piece of mobile farm equipment, call the charity and confirm that your donation will be accepted before coming.
2. Where Can You Donate In Montana?
There are a variety of places you can donate your car in Montana, ranging from charity car auctions to charity vehicle donation programs.
However, you need to be sure that you donate your vehicle to an acceptable 501(c)(3) charitable organization in order for you to qualify for a tax deduction.
Locate a Charity
So before you just choose a place to donate, review the list of charities in Montana compiled by the Better Business Bureau as well as www.charitynavigator.org.
You should be able to a find a large number of qualifying charities in all towns and cities in the state of Montana.
- Big Fork
Once you find a charity you wish to donate to all you have to do is contact the main office and ask if your donation will be accepted, and where you should drop it off in the state of Montana.
Live Near a State Border?
The IRS in publication 4303 does not restrict you geographically when you donate your car. Therefore, if you live near another state, it may be more convenient to make your donation there:
For general travel and tourism in Montana, visit visitmt.com.
3. How To Release Liability Of Your Vehicle?
When you make a used car donation, or really any kind of vehicle donation at all, you need to make sure you’re released from liability.
Liability is the legal term that says you’re responsible for accidents, damages or injuries that occur involving your vehicle.
To transfer liability bring your vehicle title and fill out all of the blanks in the title transfer section, listing the charity as the new owner of the vehicle.
Obtaining Duplicate Vehicle Titles in Montana
If you need to acquire a replacement copy of the vehicle title you need to download and complete Form MV7, Application For Duplicate Vehicle Title in Montana.
If you have any questions about the Montana vehicle titles and transfers, contact the Montana Department of Justice as follows:
Title and Registration Bureau
Motor Vehicle Division
Montana Department of Justice
1003 Buckskin Drive
Deer Lodge, MT 59722
Phone: (406) 846-6000
We also recommend you look at the very informative dmv.org website which contains very detailed information about vehicle titles in Montana, Mt.
4. What Documents You Need To Donate?
When you donate your car you need to have the proper documentation on hand in order to prove it’s yours and that you have the right to donate it.
In Montana, that means you’re going to have to have the vehicle title, and the only exception to this is people that are donating mopeds to charity.
Everyone else will need to bring a copy of the vehicle’s title, especially since it’s necessary for a proper transfer of vehicle ownership as well as the liability of the vehicle to the charity and away from the owner. Read more about Montana vehicle registration and titles.
5. How To Maximize Your Charity’s Donation?
When you donate a car to charity you have to remember that the charity is still incurring costs and expenses before your donation can be sold, and the money returned to the charity’s coffers.
So in order to help out your charity, it’s important that you pay attention and follow the simple steps to maximize the charity’s earnings.
Avoid ‘For-Profit’ Partners
Number one; avoid any charity that uses a for-profit partner or agent in sales, as these situations result in a split of the proceeds, which means the charity gets a cut rather than all of the profits.
Additionally, make sure that you clean and repair your vehicle before donation. While junked cars can be donated (see donate junk car), those that work will sell better than those that don’t.
Lastly, drop the car off rather than letting the charity pay for the tow, as that’s one more cost the organization can do without.
6. How To Maximize Your IRS Tax Reduction?
When you give a car to charity, you can claim a car donation tax deduction.
Can You Claim Fair Market Value?
However, when it the time comes to donate your vehicle you should seek out a charity that will use your donation for a significant period of time before sale (in the course of its charitable activities), which will give your donation away for free to a needy person, or who will sell your donation at a price far below fair market value in furtherance of the charity’s goals.
When this happens you can claim the fair market value of the car on the day you donated it as your deduction.
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