"Donate Car To Charity" Scheme May End

Laurence Glavin lglavin@lycos.com
Sat Dec 18 14:06:31 EST 2004

Several commercial stations (the ones I've heard are WBZ-AM and WTKK-FM)
have run spots for a scheme whereby listeners are invited to "donate"
their cars to "charities" for re-sale, and the "donors" get a hefty
tax deduction.  A few months ago, the Boston Sunday Globe's consumer
reporter Bruce Mohl published a story outlining how a private firm (I won't
name it but you may know who it is) profited greatly from this scheme.
As the IRS became aware of it, they promulgated a new rule that should
diminish or wipe out this process.  Previously you could deduct what 
you considered "book value" for the car, deduct it hope you don't get
audited.  Now you can only deduct the proceeds of the car after it's
sold, which may be far less.  Since almost by definition, people 
interested in this are already itemizing deductions, the comparatively
niggardly (not a naughty word) return in most cases won't be worth it.
Just today (12/18, 168 hours before the Big Day) I heard an
underwriting message on WBUR promoting an auto "donation" for the station.
I wonder if these commercials or underwriting messages will continue 
into 2005, perhaps with some caveats, or will they go merrily on
like the International Star Register scam with no comments!
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