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Benefits Of Donating To Charity

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Car donation comes with benefits for you and Make-A-Wish kids!

The Benefits Of Car Donation And Other Items You Can Donate To Charity

The information below is intended to provide general information only. Tax issues are individual to each donor and change year to year. Please check with your own accountants, advisors and tax preparers with regard to all deductions, tax preparation and tax advice issues.

Non-cash charitable donation provides you with an opportunity to get  a tax deduction when you donate to an IRS registered 501(c)(3) charity. You can donate many things when it comes to non-cash items, including automobiles!

You can receive a deduction in charitable donations.. Take a look below to see the benefits of charitable donations, what items you can donate, and how much you can get for them.

Car Donation For Tax Deduction

Benefit 1: You Can Claim A Tax Deduction For Your Car Donation!

Because Wheels For Wishes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, you can receive a tax deduction for your car donation. After your vehicle is picked up, we will send you a  tax deductible receipt that you can use with your 1098-c when filing your taxes.

For example, if your car was sold for $2,000 at auction your tax deduction is limited to $2,000. If your car is sold for less than $500, you can claim up to $500 or the fair market value of the car, whichever is the lesser value. Example; If your car is valued at $700 but sells for $400 at auction you can claim $500. If your car is valued at $300 and sells for $200 you can claim $200. Check out the “Claim Your Tax Deduction” below for more information on vehicle tax deduction specifics.

What Is My Car's Fair Market Value?

Look up your vehicle on a reputable vehicle market value site like Kelly Blue Book. Search for the private party price of your car based on its model, make, and the condition of the car.

For your charitable non-cash donations to registered 501(c)(3) charities, you are able to claim the "fair market value" of that item on your taxes for that year. How can you know the fair market value of a non-cash item?

"Fair market value (FMV) is the price that property would sell for on the open market. It is the price that would be agreed on between a willing buyer and a willing seller, with neither being required to act, and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts." - IRS Publication 561

Check out IRS Publication 561 for the appraisal of any type of non-cash charitable donation, otherwise, we'll let you know the fair market price range that you can typically expect from just about any vehicle!

Benefit 2: Free Towing Of Any Vehicle

You can donate almost any vehicle to Wheels For Wishes, regardless of the condition. Broken down, non-running, rusty, old, new, used, the list goes on and on for all the types of vehicles you can donate!

  • Cars
  • SUV’s
  • Motorcycles
  • Trucks
  • Jet Skis
  • ATV's
  • Dirt Bikes
  • Watercraft
  • Boats
  • Motorhomes
  • RV’s
  • Trailers
  • And more!

Benefit 3: You Won't Have To Sell Or Trade Your Vehicle

Selling or trading in your vehicle can be a hassle. You have to post ads, meet with strangers and haggle for a price that is usually well below your car's fair market value. You can put a lot of extra money into trying to fix up the vehicle in order to sell it without a guarantee that it will sell for more.

You can claim the fair market value of a charitable car donation when you donate to a registered 501(c)(3) charity.

Benefit 4: Wheels For Wishes Takes Care Of The Paperwork For You

If you're confused about what you need for a car donation, Wheels For Wishes handles all of that for you. From title replacements to notarizing, we take care of all the details for you. This includes handling the DMV paperwork, title transfer and everything else you may encounter when donating a car. 

Benefit 5: Your Car Donation Benefits A Person In Need!

Since 2010, Wheels For Wishes has donated over $113 million, to Make-A-Wish chapters all over the country. Each individual car donation and donation of all other types of vehicles makes a big impact on Make-A-Wish and their ability to fund wish experiences for 'wish' kids.

Cell Phone Donation
Electronics Donation
Appliance Donation
Book Donation
Art Donation

What Other Items Can You Donate To Charity?

You can donate more than just cars to charity. You can recycle just about any item and write it off on you taxes.

  • Clothes
  • Furniture
  • Cell Phones
  • Electronics
  • Appliances
  • Books
  • Hygiene Essentials
  • Food
  • Blankets/Linens
  • Tools
  • School Supplies
  • Property


Clothes can begin to pile up if you're not careful. If you haven't worn some of your clothes in a while, it might be time to donate! Places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army will take the clothes you have and give you a receipt that you can use to get a deduction on your taxes. Here are the ranges of your typical donation and their fair market values:

  • Children’s jeans: $2 to $3.50
  • Children's skirts: $1.50
  • Women's skirts: $3
  • Children's slacks: $2
  • Women's slacks: $3.50 to $4
  • Men's slacks: $5 
  • Children's dresses: $2 to 3.50
  • Women's dresses: $4 to $6
  • Children's sweaters: $2 to $2.50
  • Women's sweaters: $3.75 to $4
  • Men's sweaters: $2.50 to $4 
  • Children's boots: $3 to $6
  • Women's boots: $2


Disposing of old furniture is back breaking and can cost you money even if the furniture still has value. The best way for you to avoid a "free sofa" listing when trying to get rid of your sofa is to donate it! Almost all types of furniture can be donated and written off on your taxes. Make sure the organization you are donating to gets you a receipt that proves your donation is valid for tax deduction.  Here are some of the ranges of deductions you could get from a furniture donation.

  • Bed (Smaller Than Full Size): $36 to $104
  • Bed (Full Size +): $52 - $176
  • Dresser: $21 - $104
  • Couch: $36 - $207
  • Desk: $26 - $145
  • Chest: $26 - $99
  • Rug: $21 - $93
  • Coffee Table: $16 - $67
  • Chair: $26 - $104

Cell Phones

Donating your cell phone reduces the pollution of wasting a cell phone through recycling. Since the materials used to make cell phones are limited, donating your cell phone helps the environment by reducing waste and reusing materials. Donating your phone can get you between the ranges of $25 to $100 back on your taxes.


Finding a good use for your old monitor can be tough after an upgrade. Electronics are constantly becoming outdated and keeping up can be difficult without breaking the bank. Donating your old electronics is a great way to recoup some of that money on your taxes.

  • Copier: $41 - $207
  • Printer: $5 - $155
  • Computer: $104 - $415
  • Computer Monitors: $5 - $51
  • Floor Lamp: $6 - $52


Home appliances can be extremely difficult to sell for even a fraction of what you paid for them. Luckily, the fair market value for home appliances can be higher than what most people would pay to buy a used one. Instead of trying to sell your old home appliance when you upgrade, try donating it.

  • A/C Unit: $21 - $93     
  • Dryer: $47 - $93
  • Washing Machine: $41 - $156
  • Microwave: $10 - $50
  • Gas Powered Stove: $52 - $130  
  • TV's: $78 - $233
  • Electric Powered Stove: $78 - $156

Meaningful Items To Donate With Less Defined "Fair Market Value"

Not all charitable item donations are easily defined. Things such as an unopened tooth brush, an old text book, a bottle of shampoo, or even a hammer can be donated and deducted from your taxes.

  • Books $1- $3
  • Hygiene Essentials
  • Non-Perishable Foods
  • Blankets & Linens $3 - $16
  • Tools
  • School Supplies

For these items, look at the condition that they are in and the price at which they were originally purchased to determine the fair market value for donating.

Other Non-Cash Items You Can Donate To Charity

The list of items you can donate to charity goes on. Regardless of what you donate, any items worth over $5000 must have a written appraisal, a letter from the charity, and section B of IRS form 8283 filled out in order to receive your tax deduction.

  • Art
  • Real Estate/Property
  • Jewelry
  • Collections
  • Patents
  • Stocks

How You Can Claim Your Tax Benefits

Donate Car Tax Write Off

If you are donating a car or vehicle, Wheels For Wishes will send the right forms right to you when you donate. Here are the forms you will need to receive your tax benefits for donating a non-cash charitable item.

Donations That Sell For Less Than $250

You can claim these deductions at the fair market value up to $500 without filling out any extra paperwork.

Donations That Sell For More Than $250 But Less Than $500

You can claim these deductions at the fair market value up to $500 with a written acknowledgement from the charity.

Donations That Sell For More Than $500 But Less Than $5,000

You will be able to claim the exact amount for which your property is appraised with a 1098-c form or a 8283 form. The 1098-c form is specifically for any motor vehicles, the 8283 form is for general property.

Donations That Sell For Over $5,000

If your non-cash charitable donation is appraised for more than $5,000 you will need a 1098-c form or a 8283 form with a written appraisal. You fill out the form on section B of the 8283 IRS Form for non-cash charitable contributions or complete the 1098-c form.

Still Have Questions?

  • Give us a call at 1-855-278-9474 for more help on filing your paperwork.
  • Click here to donate a car.
  • Try our car donation tax deduction calculator here. The calculator is for example purposes only. Please check with your accountant, advisor or tax preparer for personal tax information and advice. 
  • For more information about fair market value, click here.


  1. https://www.irs.gov/publications/p561
  2. https://satruck.org/Home/DonationValueGuide
  3. https://www.thebalance.com/donation-value-guide-2018-4172778
  4. https://mashable.com/2015/06/09/items-to-donate-unexpected/
  5. https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=335
  6. https://www.usa.gov/donate-to-charity
  7. https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=31
  8. https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/taxes/get-charitable-contribution-tax-deduction-3-steps/
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CDF also runs the following programs:
Wheels for Wishes benefiting Make-A-Wish®, Wheels for Wishes & Wellness benefiting local children's hospitals and charities, Vehicles for Veterans benefiting disabled veterans, and Animal Car Donation benefiting animal rescue organizations.

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CDF's mission is to help these benefitting charities fulfill their missions with proceeds from CDF's car donation programs. CDF and all benefitting charities are separate and unaffiliated 501c organizations.
© 2009 - 2024 Wheels For Wishes (Car Donation Foundation)
A federally registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization