Donating a car to the Kidney Kars program for a tax deduction

It’s super easy to give a car to charity, if all you want to do is get rid of it. The National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho has one of the longest running (since 1990) and most popular car donation programs in the country.  You can find us on line at www.towKars.org or you can call us 9-5/M-F at 1-800-TOW-KARS (869-5277).  We’ll tow away your heap, and help you maximize your tax benefit. Here’s the basic gist, but you should discuss these issues with your tax preparer before you donate you so understand your tax benefit.  Also check out the IRS’s Publication 4303, a donor’s guide to vehicle donation here:  https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4303.pdf

In order to benefit, you Must Itemize Your Return
If you want to claim a car donation to reduce your federal income taxes, you must itemize your deductions.

Here’s how it works: Suppose you’re in the 28 percent tax bracket and the allowable deduction for the vehicle’s donation is $1,000. That will save you $280 in taxes. If you’re in the 15 percent tax bracket and you get that same $1,000 deduction, it will reduce your taxes by $150.

If the car donation is your only deduction, it’s likely that taking a standard deduction would save you thousands more dollars in taxes. The only way that donating a car nets you any tax benefit is if you have many deductions and if their total, including the car, exceeds the standard deduction. And remember, you can always donate as much as you want to charities, but the IRS limits how much you can claim on your tax return.

The 2017 Tax Bill and Car Donations
Taxpayers who are considering donating a car to charity might be wondering how the tax bill passed into law in December 2017 could affect their decision. To begin with, the bill, called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, lowered tax rates but also altered the previous income brackets. Beginning in 2018 you may find yourself in a new bracket, which might result in either lower or higher taxes, depending on your individual situation. And that means the tax benefit from a donation might be more or less advantageous.

Another important change is that the new law raises the standard deductions from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals and married couples filing separately; from $9,350 to $18,000 for the head of a household; and from $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples filing jointly. This change likely means that fewer people will find it beneficial to itemize deductions.

“The vast majority of taxpayers are going to take the standard deduction,” says David L. Thompson, vice president of public policy for the National Council of Nonprofits. “That means most taxpayers have no incentive to give to charity. That’s a serious concern. We fully expect the doubling of the standard deduction to reduce giving by $13 [billion] to $20 billion a year.”

With these and other changes resulting from the revised tax laws, it’s more important than ever for consumers to consult with their financial adviser or tax preparer before making a decision about donating a car to charity.

The Charity Must Qualify
The National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho is a qualified 501 (c)(3) charity.  In order to claim your tax deduction, you should only donate to charities who qualify, like us.  A qualified charity is one that the IRS recognizes as a 501(c)(3) organization.

To help you determine whether a charity is qualified, the easiest thing to do is call the IRS toll-free number: 877-829-5500.

A Key Concept: Fair Market Value 
The IRS defines fair market value as “the price a willing buyer would pay and a willing seller would accept for the vehicle, when neither party is compelled to buy or sell and both parties have reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts.” In this scenario, neither the buyer nor the seller can be an auto dealer. Both must be private parties.

What complicates the matter for taxpayers is that under current IRS rules, you can only deduct a vehicle’s fair market value under four very specific conditions:

1. When a charity auctions your car for $500 or less, you can claim either the fair market value or $500, whichever is less.

2. When the charity intends to make “significant intervening use of the vehicle.” This means the charity will use the car in its work.

3. When the charity intends to make a “material improvement” to the vehicle, not just routine maintenance.

4. When the charity gives or sells the vehicle to a needy individual at a price significantly below fair market value.

Determining Fair Market Value
Vehicle values can be found in NADA, Blue Book, Edmund’s, Classified Ads. This can help you determine the car’s vehicle’s fair market value.  Fair Market Value must take into consideration the car’s year, make and model, mileage and condition.

Note the caution from IRS Publication 4303: “If you use a vehicle pricing guide to determine fair market value, be sure that the sales price listed is for a vehicle that is the same make, model and year, sold in the same condition, and with the same or substantially similar options or accessories as your vehicle.”

However, Getting Fair Market Value Is Actually Pretty Rare
It’s not realistic to expect that your car will meet one of the stringent fair market value requirements. Only about 5 percent of donated vehicles are suitable for use by charity recipients. About a third of donated cars are junked, and the rest are auctioned off.  So unless your car is in good or excellent condition, it will most likely be sold at auction or to an auto salvage yard.  At that point your deduction is based on the car’s actual selling price —  not your estimate of its fair market value. It is nearly impossible to gauge the actual selling price before you donate the car to Kidney Kars. It can take up to three years to sell a car.

The Tax Receipt and a Copy of the Title is Key
You need documentation.  Whether the car is recycled, or auctioned off. IRS Publication 4303 has all the details. Be sure to keep all the papers or electronic files. You’ll need them at tax time.

If there’s a delay in getting the car sold, you can ask the IRS for a six-month extension to submit your return (should you need it). Your second option is to file the return on time without claiming the deduction for the qualified vehicle. When the charity finally sends your notification, you can file an amended return using form 1040X to claim the deduction. You’ll have to attach a copy of the notification to your 1040X.

You Can Always Sell Your Car Instead
Besides giving your car directly to a charity, there is another way your vehicle can help a charity and also maximize your tax benefits: You can sell the car yourself and donate the proceeds. By doing so, you might be able to generate more cash than if you let the charity sell it.

Getting rid of a junker does help the National Kidney Foundation of Utah carry out its mission.  It will also make room in your garage for a new car :).  As long as you’re focused on getting rid of a junker with minimal effort and you’d look at the tax deduction as a nice bonus, then donating your car is a great option!

Me, doing taxes without a CPA

Right?  lol.  I hope you all got your Kidney Kars tax deduction from www.towKars.org before you filed your 2017 tax return.

April 17, 2017 is Tax Day. The National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho has received close to 3,000 Kidney Kars donations this year.  In the past 3 weeks, we’ve had 150 requests Kidney Kars Donors asking for their tax receipts.  Many call or write us angrily accusing us of never sending their tax receipts.  Almost 98% of the time the receipt was in fact, already sent (time stamped by our database, and our email server).  However, 50% of the time, the receipt was emailed to a bogus or junk mail email account, that the donors themselves provided at the onset of the donation process. The other 48% of missing tax receipts made their way into spam (because of our .org address) or was straight up overlooked and then deleted by the donor.

I have no problem with junk email addresses.  I have one (don’t we all?). But if you want a TAX RECEIPT for your charitable contribution, consider giving your ACTUAL email address for a start.  The National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho promises never to send junk mail. But I understand. There are a lot of charities that send a lot of additional promotions or continued appeals.  I guess Kidney Kars donations are the exception to that rule.  We’ve so carefully guarded the email addresses and pledged to use them only for tax purposes.   Anyway, to all of those who donated their car to Kidney Kars of Utah & Idaho for a tax deduction, we hope you get a tax return or that your payment to the IRS was not too painful.  Most specifically, we hope your Kidney Kars donation (free towing, tax deductible!) helped lower your tax liability.  So on behalf of the 3,000 Utah and Idaho kidney patients who benefit from the health and human medical financial services our programs provide, we thank you!

Donate a Kidney, Donate a Car, Both Save Lives

The National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho partners with Yes Utah! and Yes Idaho!

Organ Donor registry to promote organ donation. As of today, nearly 114,000 people are on the transplant waiting list, and over 2/3 of those on the list need kidneys, so organ donation is very important to the National Kidney Foundation. Kidney disease has no cure, only dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant. We opt for the latter if the patient qualifies and is healthy enough for a transplant. If you are interested in becoming a kidney donor in Utah, please visit https://www.yesutah.org/ or in Idaho at https://www.yesidaho.org/

In the meantime, donating your old car for a tax deduction (and free towing) to the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho is how we can continue to lighten the burden, and improve the quality of life for Utah and Idaho kidney patients while they await a life saving kidney.  So donate a kidney, donate a car, both save lives.  Donate your old car online to Kidney Kars at http://www.towKars.org

Elder Dale G. Renlund Shares Story of Faith About Organ Donation

On Saturday, March 31st LDS General Conference, LDS Church Authority, Elder Dale G. Renlund, a cardiologist shared a beautiful experience about a family’s faith and experience regarding organ donation. We will post the transcript when it is available.  We’ve attached the link to the talk.

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/04/media/session_2_talk_12/5761587735001?lang=eng

 

 

 

Angel Elsie Saving Lives

Elsie’s Miracle

April 1st between sessions of the LDS General Conference, KSL ran a 25 minute special about our Angel Family, The Mahes. Three years ago, 3 year old Elsie Mahe’s life was cut short after a tragic accident in the family home, but her legacy lives on. The Mahe family says while they didn’t receive their miracle for Elsie, there were many miracles from Elsie. Elsie’s organs were donated to save many lives, but the miracles go far beyond this.  Her  sparkle and spirit of a little girl have helped to spread faith, love and kindness across the globe. Check here for the beautiful, brave story of what the Mahe’s chose to do in the face of unspeakable sadness at the loss of their beautiful daughter.

https://www.ksl.com/?sid=46290539&nid=1016

Kidney Transplant Recipient Helped Enact Landmark Idaho legislation

Today the Naional Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho received the pen that Governor Butch Otter used to sign this bill!We are very grateful to our Idaho friends who saw this very important piece of legislation through.

Landmark Legislation Signed by Idaho Governor to Protect Living Organ Donors
Legislation is first of its kind in the nation
March 20, 2018

The National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho is pleased to announce that Idaho Governor Butch Otter signed landmark legislation, S. 1302, to protect living organ donors from potential insurance discrimination. Too often living organ donors, who are healthier than the U.S. population at large, face insurance discrimination based solely on their
status as a living organ donor. “Today’s legislation in Idaho is the first of its kind in the nation designed to stop such discrimination. We hope soon every state in the nation follows suit. We were pleased to support the work of Marty Durand, an Idaho kidney transplant recipient and lawyer, who initiated the hearings on this bill” said Deen Vetterli, CEO National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho.
The Idaho legislation, S. 1302, makes it unlawful to discriminate in the offering, issuance, cancellation, price or conditions of a policy, including the amount of coverage provided, based solely upon the status of the individual as a living organ
donor. The National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho applauds Governor Otter for standing up for kidney patients, 100,000 of whom are waiting on a life-saving transplant right now.
The National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho thanks Idaho State Senator Cherie Buckner-Webb for sponsoring the bill and owes a debt of gratitude to Committee leaders in the Senate and House for their efforts in support of organ donation. In 2017, nearly 20,000 Americans received a kidney transplant and one-third of these transplants were made possible by living donors.
Expanding living donation by removing barriers will help more people obtain a life-saving transplant. Organ donors undergo significant testing prior to being approved as a donor and must be in very good overall health before being permitted to donate. Most donors do not experience long term complications related to organ donation and therefore insurance discrimination is unjustified.
The Idaho legislation is modeled after The Living Donor Protection Act, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in March 2017 by Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-kidney-foundation-statement-on-landmark-legislation-signed-by-idaho-governor-to-protect-living-organ-donors-300616897.html

 

Utah Man has used bionic hand to restore cars since 1957.

Anyone who knows me knows, I grew up with no less than 8 cars on our 2 acre lot in East County San Diego.  My Dad was a part time VW/Audi/Porsche mechanic.  I grew up driving anything from a diesel Ford Ranchero, to a 1967 VW Bug to a 1978 Porche 930 Turbo Carrera.  I spent most of my childhood getting dragged to wrecking yards and swap meets looking for certain car parts or tools.  When my Dad died, we found ourselves weeping over his most prized possessions: a Suzuki Hyabusa engine and 50 gallon drum of nitro fuel.  So I loved reading this story about Delwyn Friedl on KSL.  He reminded me of my Dad, if my Dad had been a superhero who had a hook for a hand since he was 18. Delwyn was working at animal feed company when he was 18.  He was trying to free up a jammed auger machine when his arm was pulled into the machinery. He lost the arm between the wrist and elbow. He has worked with the hook since 1957.  While my Dad grew up in SoCal racing and crashing cars through the orange groves, Delwyn Friedl grew up in Utah racing and crashing cars on the Bonneville Salt Flats. While my Dad built his first race car at 14 out of an old Model A using a chevy 350 engine, In high school, Friedl built his own hot rod by putting a Hemi engine into a Model A Roadster.  From there Mr. Friedly became a serious car builder/restorer. He estimates he has fixed up between 50 and 60 cars over the years. He still has about 10, including an original-built Buick (so says the title) powered by two Buick V-8 engines connected together. He said he’s driven it up to 120 miles per hour and it’s “real smooth.” He has built Model T’s, Model A’s, a salt flats racer and a ’60s convertible. His garage is full of beautiful cars, but none of them came in that way. He estimates he puts in about 1,000 hours on a typical restoration, and he does it all single-handed.

 

This makes me miss my Dad.  His last car races were in Tecate and San Felipe Baja California in a modified mini Mustang he named the Baby Grand.  I keep up the Kidney Kars program for the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho, because in 1991 I was the only person in Utah who had a background in fundraising, grant writing and also experience parting/recycling/reselling cars. Today, the Kidney Kars of Utah & Idaho car donation program at towKars.org is still one of the country’s largest car donation programs.  I’m so proud to run the Kidney Kars program.  I was so happy to be the daughter of someone who loved cars.  It was fun. And to this day, my kids play a game on road trips called “what’s the year, make and model?” I’m pretty darn good at this game, if I do say so myself.

Anyway, as I get older myself my health, my knees my body has failed me in lots of way.  Reading this story about Mr. Friedly inspired me.  He lost his hand at 18 and didn’t let that deter him at all. If you love something, there is always a way to make it part of you.  I hope to be as mentally and emotionally resourceful one day as a one armed mechanics, and the kidney patients who survive kidney disease in Utah and Idaho. Kidney Patients rely upon the services of the National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho. So please donate your old car to www.towKars.org or (801) 226-5111. Kidney Kars donations are tax deductible and towing is free.  So please,don’t just junk your old car!  Help us to lighten the burden and improve the quality of life for Utah and Idaho kidney patients!  Donate online at http://www.towKars.org

How to donate your car in Utah and Idaho for a tax deduction

So we are coming close to April 15th otherwise known as taxpocalypse. We receive anywhere between 14 and 24 phone calls a day asking how to donate a car to Kidney Kars (www.towKars.org) for a tax deduction (and how much their car is worth).  It’s an easy enough process to call Kidney Kars at 1-800-Tow-Kars or find us online at www.towKars.org but the tax deduction part is a little bit buried in the site under the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section entitled: What about the Tax Deduction?  There we have a brief explanation from the IRS publication 526 “Charitable Contributions: found here (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526.pdf) and IRS Publication 561 “Determining the Value of Donated Property” found here: (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p561.pdf) and IRS Publication 4303 “A Donor’s guide to Vehicle Donation” Found here. (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4303.pdf).

The general idea, however, is that the tax deduction applies to those who itemize deductions on their 1040 federal tax return. The amount of the tax deduction depends on the actual sale value of the Kidney Kar donation.  Donors are allowed to claim a fair market value up to $499 unless the vehicle sells for $500 or more. If your Kidney Kar donation is sold for more than $500, you can claim the actual sale value as your deduction. Please check with a tax professional regarding your personal tax benefit.  Then we have the links to IRS Forms one needs in order to claim their deduction on their IRS 1040, mainly Form 8283 Found here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8283.pdf  and Form 1098-C prepared for you by the National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho’s program administrators, but found here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1098c.pdf

This time of year promts a lot of calls to us about how much a car is worth, so again, the deduction is based on the selling price the foundation is able to get for the car, then measured against if the donor received any kind of promotional item as a reward for donating (in which case the cost of that  promotional item must be subtracted from the tax deduction).  People don’t realize that organizations who offer a hotel stay, or a free vacation are not actually charities running charitable car donation programs — they are businesses marketing a car donation program FOR a charity and most likely charge the charity 30-90% of the car proceeds before sending a very small amount to the charity.  It is so important the charity you choose is local, has a low (under 25% overhead), is a qualified charity (has a 501 (c)(3), is in good standing with the state Division of Consumer Protection and the Better Business Bureau).

If you have more questions about how a car/vehicle donation can be tax deductible, check with a tax preparartax deductible 2018 or tax specialists to have them take a closer look at your taxes to determine the specific benefit donating a car to Kidney Kars or Utah & Idaho can mean to you.  Once you feel it’s the right thing to do, just call our Utah/Idaho office at 1-800-Tow-Kars or (801) 226-5111 or just visit the donation website at www.towKars.org !

March is Kidney Month in Utah & Idaho — so donate your car to Kidney Kars!

March is Kidney Month so the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho will be posting public service announcements throughout the month about kidney health and of course about donating an old car for a tax deduction to the Kidney Kars program.  Because the funds raised from the Kidney Kars and www.towKars.org fund local kidney dialysis and transplant patient services its really a great way to combine both public information and a fundraising campaign.  I love the memes that the National Kidney Foundation came up with to post on Facebook.  Go ahead and scroll through them to get to know your Kidney better!  After you do, don’t hestatate to call us at 1-800-Tow-Kars or visit us at www.towKars.org to donate your old car to keep the ball rolling on kidney health.  You Kidney Kars donation lightens the burden and improves the quality of life for over 3,000 Utah and Idaho kidney patients!  So #HeartYourKidneys everybody — it’s #MarchisKidneyMonth