Wheels for Wishes, the Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul are charities accepting vehicle donations, as of March 2015. All three are 501 c (3) organizations, making donations tax deductible under certain Internal Revenue Service guidelines.
Wheels for Wishes is associated with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, using the income from vehicle sales to help fund local Michigan chapters and grant wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. The Salvation Army uses funding from car sales to support its local rehabilitation programs. St. Vincent de Paul helps the homeless and people living in poverty. Income from car donations goes directly to those being served, unless the donor specifies a recipient.
Donors need to protect themselves and their gifts by researching organizations before selecting a charity for a proposed donation. Some intermediary organizations accept autos for charities, but may hold the majority of the sale amount for expenses. Fraud is prevalent in the charitable donation environment, and most legitimate charities post fraud alerts on their web sites. Transferring the vehicle title to the charitable organization prevents post-donation responsibility if a criminal activity occurs using the car. Understanding the IRS guidelines associated with automobile donations ensures the maximum allowable deduction for these types of gifts.