"Donate Car To Charity" Scheme May End

Shawn Mamros mamros@MIT.EDU
Mon Dec 20 11:22:38 EST 2004

>Now, the charities never tell you an amount you can deduct.  That's up to
>you and your CPA to determine.

Actually, I believe charities are obligated to tell you how much of your
donation is considered tax-deductible, if you request that information
from them.  For example, if you make a simple cash contribution to your
favorite non-commercial radio station that's also organized as a non-profit
organization, and receive some sort of premium (T-shirt, etc.) in return
from them, the organization has to tell you (at least if you ask) what the
cash value of the premium is.  The actual tax-deductible amount is the
total donation minus the cost of the premium(s), if you want to stay within
the letter of the law w.r.t. the IRS.

I don't know exactly how the figure is determined if one were to donate
a car - AFAIK, no one's ever offered one to the non-profit I do work for,
and if anyone were to offer one, I'd probably suggest that we turn it
down.  (Parking in Cambridge is bad enough without us having to find
space to put donated cars, after all... ;-)

Back to the original subject - has anyone else noted that 'BZ's "Helping
Hands of America" spots have always been voiced by name talent, as opposed
to their "no name" spot announcers?  It used to be the late David Brudnoy
who did those spots.  The one they currently run uses Gil Santos' voice.
One wonders how they make the decision to use name vs. no-name voices -
do the former cost extra for the sponsor?  And how much say does a name
announcer have in deciding whether he does a spot or not?

-Shawn Mamros
E-mail to: mamros -at- mit dot edu

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