? Other Types of Durable Goods Charity Besides Used Car Donation
For many years now, charitable non-profit organizations (NPOs) have been taking donations of household, durable, non-cash goods as well as used car donation. This practice was adopted to increase the base of those who could be counted on for charitable gift giving to include the middle class and has been a smashing success.
However, in addition to used car donation, which may be the most commonly advertised type of giving, there are plenty of still valuable goods in most people’s homes, waiting to be put to a more charitable use. For instance, just about anything that isn’t consumable or appears made to last for more than a few years is perfect for donation.
Consider electronic goods, for instance. They are very similar to used car donation in that many times people don’t bother to donate them until they are well into obsolescence or broken beyond reasonable repair. Even though most charitable NPOs regularly request only working items, that is what they end up with most times.
As with used car donation, there are companies with an educational mission, who will teach people how to rebuild and refurbish older electronic goods (especially computers), teach them how to use open source software with the newly useful machines and then send them home with a fully loaded and functional computer.
And again, just like used car doantion, this model serves only a small segment of the used computer marketplace, with most being sold to scrapyards in China to have their gold removed. The actual value for people in your community is quite low in this scheme, so if charitable giving in your goal, it would be a good idea to check into such programs when you’re getting ready to make your donation.
Though many of the strict regulations that pertain to used car donation don’t apply in quite the same way to some other types of donated goods, recent changes have tightened up the rules for other non-cash donations that are likely to be deducted at a rate far higher than the condition-adjusted value.
This has the effect of decreasing the amount of money that one can claim from clothing and household goods (including furniture) in poor condition just as a used car dontaion of a running car doesn’t even warrant the “poor” rating in the Kelley Blue Book. There are even now regulations on the amount and condition of donation taxidermy.
Property was the largest component of non-cash donation to charity in 2002, right after stocks. Property is generally required to be professionally and independently appraised before it may be deducted as a charitable gift.
Other non-cash items that benefit charity in addition to used car donation, include art of whatever questionable taste you choose, as long as its in good or better condition. Intellectual properties may also be donated, as may securities and inventories.
If there is any way someone can make money off something you’ve donated, odds are, they will. It might be a good idea to talk to your tax preparer or CPA about whether your donation will be fully deductible. If not, there’s probably a way that it could be made to work. Find out.
If you’ll be claiming more than $500,000 in charitable deductions for a given year, you’ll automatically have to file some special paperwork. Generally, just as with used car donation, the more you hope to claim as deduction for a given item or for a great many items, the more documentation you’ll need to produce to back up your claims and the more likely the IRS is to ask you about it.
And just as the changes that impacted used car donation in 2005, it is unclear what effect this change will have. Will people continue to donate items without tax benefit or will it leave that many fewer resources for the poor and disadvantaged? It is unclear if charities themselves have been negatively affected, much less the communities they serve.
– 1 –
Auto Diesel/46_used car donation.txt