Go the last mile with your used vehicle.
If your automobile (truck, boat, motorcycle, RV or aircraft) is no longer of use to you, it can still go a long way towards supporting the programs you rely on as a donation to WAMU.
Frequently Asked Questions and Tax Info
Frequently Asked Questions and Tax Info
What are the benefits of donating my car to WAMU?
WAMU benefits by receiving a cash donation to fund new and existing programs and increase community awareness through local events.
You benefit by being able to reduce your taxable income when taxes are itemized. Plus you avoid the costs associated with selling your car. No need to pay for advertising, no loss of privacy and possible security risk, and no need to pay for vehicle registration, insurance, and repairs to keep your car in running condition while you wait for a buyer.
Does my car have to be running to donate it?
In some cases we can take your car, running or not. However, it must have an engine and be tow-able. Contact a representative at 1-866-WAMU-444 to find out if your vehicle qualifies for pick-up.
Do you only accept cars for donation?
Many types of motor vehicles are accepted including boats, motorcycles, trucks, and cars. If you are uncertain as to whether or not your vehicle is eligible, please contact the vehicle donation program toll free at 1-866-WAMU-444.
How long will it take to pick up my vehicle?
We make donating your car as simple and convenient as possible. A tow company will contact you within two to three business days. Call our representatives at 1-866-WAMU-444.
Do I have to be with the vehicle at the time of pick-up?
No. Special arrangements can be made by calling our representative.
What paperwork do I need?
The only paperwork needed is a signed, clear title. Please have your title with you when you call-in your donation. Note: a clear title indicates the title is in the name of the donor without a lien.
Do I need a smog certificate in order to donate my car?
For states that require smog certificates or safety inspections, you may donate your vehicle without these documents.
What if I receive legal notices?
In the rare event that you receive any notification of a lien sale, DMV actions or other activity related to your donated vehicle, please contact us at 1-866-WAMU-444 immediately for assistance.
Do I need to remove my license plates?
This law varies by state. Please refer to the DMV in your state for clear instructions. See our DVM Links page for more information.
How does the new law effect my tax deduction?
Donors are no longer responsible for determining the deductible value of their donation. Instead, they will receive IRS Form 1098-C, Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes if the proceeds from the sale exceed $500, stating the amount of the gross proceeds from the sale of the donated vehicle. The amount listed on IRS Form 1098-C, Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes will be the gross proceeds of the deductible donation.
Will I get a tax receipt for my donation?
Yes, our driver will issue a receipt at the time of pickup. This initial acknowledgement will indicate your name as well as the year, make, model and condition of the car you are donating. This is not your final tax receipt, but an acknowledgment of the pick-up of your vehicle. Please note that in some cases -- depending upon the location from which your vehicle was picked up -- you may not receive a towing receipt.
After the sale of your vehicle, you will receive a thank you letter from WAMU acknowledging your donated vehicle.
If your vehicle sold for less than $500, this letter or your 1098-C form will serve as your official acknowledgment. As the donor, you may make your best determination of the amount you wish to deduct for tax purposes, based on mileage, condition, etc., up to but not meeting or exceeding $500.
If your vehicle sold for $500 or greater at auction and you have provided your social security number, you will receive an IRS Form 1098-C, Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes with the WAMU acknowledgment letter, stating the amount of gross proceeds received from your car in Box 4C. This form will indicate the amount allowable for tax deduction purposes.
If your IRS Form 1098-C has Box 7 checked, you will be limited to a deduction of $500, even if your gross proceeds exceed the $500 threshold. The most common reason for this Box being checked is failure to provide your Social Security Number or estate tax I.D. number to our vehicle donation agency at the time of your donation. If you do not intend to deduct the vehicle donation on your tax return, no further action is necessary. If you wish to deduct the gross proceeds for the sale of your vehicle, please contact Charitable Auto ResourceS at 1-866-WAMU (9268)-444, provide your SSN, and CarS will issue an amended Form 1098-C to you.
How is the value determined on the vehicle donated?
The value is determined by the gross proceeds raised from the sale of the donated vehicle. You no longer have the burden of determining the value yourself.
Does the new law affect WAMU?
WAMU has additional paperwork in reporting the gross proceeds raised from the sale of the vehicle to the donor and IRS. The process of obtaining the cash donation from the vehicle remains the same.
What can I claim as a deduction?
According to the tax law effective January 1, 2005, if the claimed value of the donated vehicle exceeds $500, the taxpayer is limited to the gross proceeds of the sale.
What if my car is valued over $5000?
Effective January 1, 2005, you are no longer required to have vehicles appraised. The value you may claim will be the amount of gross proceeds received from your vehicle.