Even though we make donating to American Lung Association easy, we understand that you may have additional questions regarding the donation process, tax deductions, and motor vehicle regulations. We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help provide answers to questions you may have about donating your used car, truck, RV, boat, camper or other vehicle.
If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Donor Support Line at: 888-300-LUNG (888-300-5864).
Is my vehicle donation tax-deductible?
Yes! Vehicle donations are tax-deductible. Individual tax situations vary. For specific tax-related questions, please consult your tax advisor or refer to IRS Publication 4303.
How is the value of my tax deduction determined?
Most vehicles are sold through local auctions and we work to get the highest return per vehicle for you and American Lung Association. According to the IRS Guidelines, you may claim fair market value for your donation up to the actual sale value. If your vehicle is sold for more than $500, the maximum amount of your deduction will be the sales price of the vehicle which will be listed on your IRS Form 1098-C.
A special rule may apply if the donated vehicle sells for $500 or less. In this case, a deduction for the lesser of the vehicle’s fair market value on the date of the contribution may be claimed, or $500, provided you have written acknowledgment (i.e. the initial donation receipt or the thank you letter you receive once the donation process is complete).
Defining the Fair Market Value
The “fair market value” of a vehicle is the price that you could sell it for in its current condition to another individual, willing seller and willing buyer, and it represents the cash that you give up to make the donation. A convenient source of this information is the private party sale value as shown in online valuation guides such as Kelley Blue Book
What tax forms will I receive and how do I receive them?
In most cases, you will receive an initial donation receipt from the tow driver at the time of your vehicle pick-up. This initial acknowledgement will indicate your name as well as the year, make, model and condition of the vehicle you are donating. You will then be mailed a Thank You Letter on behalf of the American Lung Association, which serves as a tax receipt, within 30 days of the sale of the vehicle. This will be your final tax document if your vehicle sold for less than $500.
If your vehicle sells for more than $500 and your tax identification number has been provided, an IRS Form 1098-C, ‘Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes’, will be mailed to you within 30 days of the sale stating the amount of gross proceeds received from your donation.
How do I request a donation or tax receipt?
Please call us at 888-300-LUNG (888-300-5864) during regular hours of operation, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we would be happy to help you.
What if my vehicle is valued over $5,000?
Effective January 1, 2005, you are no longer required to have vehicles appraised. The value you may claim will be the amount of gross proceeds received from your vehicle. If your vehicle sells for more than $5,000, you will need to complete Section B of Form 8283 and obtain an acknowledgment signature on the form prior to claiming the deduction, and the completed form will need to be included with your income tax return.
Where can I find additional IRS tax deduction requirements for a charitable car donation?
There are many resources available to guide you through the vehicle donation process. Please click the links below to access IRS publications and resources.
If you still have questions, please feel free to reach out to us toll-free at 888-300-LUNG (888-300-5864) seven days a week during regular hours of operation.
Do I need to notify my local Motor Vehicle Division when I donate my vehicle?
State Notification proves that you are no longer the registered owner of your donated vehicle. The steps needed for you to release your liability of your vehicle vary by state. Some states require that you remove and submit the license plates to a local Motor Vehicle Division and other states require a Release of Liability.
Please reach out to us at 888-300-LUNG (888-300-5864) or email email@example.com if you have any questions on how to notify your state about your donated vehicle. Our Donor Service Representatives can provide you with the steps necessary for each state.