How to Donate a Car to the L'Chaim Society

By Brian Adler

  • Overview

    The L'Chaim Society is now called Lechaim to Life, and is listed on the IRS's search engine of tax-exempt organizations. Lechaim for Life works to alleviate the pain of those suffering from serious illness. Volunteers visit hospitals in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut brightening the lives of patients and bringing hope to families. Lechaim to Life is especially attentive to the needs of young children, bringing them gifts of toys, books, and clothing. Lechaim to Life will pick up your working or non-working vehicle free of charge.
    Donate Your Car to Lechaim to Life
    • Step 1

      Contact the L'Chaim Society at (800) 288-7799 or visit its online donation page (see Resources).
    • Step 2

      Get a receipt for your car donation. IRS rules require receipts for charitable tax deductions. For vehicles worth no more than $500, your own estimate of the car's value is sufficient. If your car was worth more than $500, Lechaim to Life will provide you with a receipt showing the amount its organization received for the sale of your vehicle. Vehicles worth more than $5,000 need an independent written appraisal. Non-working vehicles are either fixed or sold for parts or scrap. If Lechaim for Life actually uses your car as transportation, it will inform you of this. For cars used as transportation you can claim the vehicle's current fair market value. Use the Kelley Blue Book, or a similar resource, to determine your car's worth.

    • Step 3

      Transfer your car's title to Lechaim to Life. Transfer of title typically absolves you of future legal obligations. Some states require the completion of an additional form, such as a notice of sale. To transfer title, sign over your car's certificate of title. Many states provide special sections for both seller and purchaser. Many also treat donations as sales. Generally, you need to provide the name of the charity, along with your vehicle's current odometer reading and the date of sale. You and a representative of Lechaim to Life will likely have to print and sign your names. In some states, title is not needed on all kinds of vehicles. Off road vehicles, ATV's, and also sometimes snowmobiles (or similar vehicles), are exempt. Most states also have procedures for replacing lost titles. Some generate a copy of the existing title, while others provide an alternate form.
    • Skill: Easy
    • Tip: Remember to remove your car's license plates and, if required, return them to the appropriate authorities. Different states have different procedures for the removal or return of license plates.
    • Tip: Check with your state's department of motor vehicles for specific local regulations and forms.
    • Warning:
    • IRS regulations require completion of Form 8283 if your total charitable donations for the tax year are in excess of $500.

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