How to Donate a Car in Elgin, IL

By Faith O

  • Overview

    Accepting car donations is one way that charities raise money; for their part, donors can claim a tax credit. Several car-donation services service Elgin, IL, and many of them have an online presence, making the donation process much easier. It is even possible to complete the entire process online, after which your car will be picked up and the appropriate documentation you need to file your tax return will be sent to you.
    • Step 1

      Find a car-donation company, starting with the ones listed in the Resources section, which serve Elgin and the greater Chicago area. Some collect donations for particular charities. If you are interested in a particular charity, focus your online search on that.
    • Step 2

      Call the company or fill out their contact form online to make sure you meet their requirements. Companies that provide car-donation services have different requirements and forms you need to fill out.


    • Step 3

      Have an idea of what your car is worth, especially if you plan on claiming a tax deduction.
    • Step 4

      Arrange for pickup. Most car-donation services provide this service.
    • Step 5

      Get the appropriate documentation for tax time. If you are claiming a value of more than $500, you will need documentation when filing your tax return. You can estimate the fair-market value using Kelley Blue Book, or you may simply wait for the company to sell your car and send you documentation showing what that value is. You are allowed to claim up to fair market value as a tax deduction. If you are claiming more than $500 and you do not wait for the vehicle to be sold, you will need to get an official appraisal.
    • Skill: Easy
    • Tip: You can only claim a car donation if you itemize deductions on your tax return. If you do not, you do not receive a tax benefit from donating a car.

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