Planning to Donate a Vehicle Before Year-End For Tax Deduction? Edmunds.com Advises Consumers How to Survive an Automotive Audit


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Planning to Donate a Vehicle Before Year-End For Tax Deduction? Edmunds.com Advises Consumers How to Survive an Automotive Audit

Santa Monica, CA - December 27, 2001 - As 2001 comes to a close, many people are looking for last minute tax deductions. One popular way to achieve this is to donate an old car to charity. However, according to a release issued earlier this month, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is paying close attention to the value placed on donated vehicles. Edmunds.com, the web’s leading consumer resource for unbiased automotive information, offers pricing tools that can help in the process of deducting a vehicle.

“Taxpayers who itemize deductions on their tax returns can deduct, within limits, the fair market value of their contributions to qualified charities,” according to the December 3 press release entitled “IRS and State Charity Officials Urge Care When Making a Car Donation.” The release goes on to warn, “The fair market value of the taxpayer’s car may be substantially different from the ‘Blue Book’ value.”

According to IRS Publication 561 entitled “Determining the Value of Donated Property,” “Fair market value is the price at which property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither having to buy or sell, and both having reasonable knowledge of all the relevant facts.”

The Edmunds.com True Market Value® (TMV®) automotive pricing tools were developed to provide this type of information, serving as the industry's best guide to market value pricing and the only pricing system designed with the consumer in mind.

The IRS directs taxpayers to consider a full range of criteria such as accessories, mileage and condition in determining the appropriate value of their vehicles. The TMV Used Vehicle Appraiser asks for these and other facts about each vehicle, then provides a valuation report. The report may be of use in preparing your return and it is a good practice to keep it with your tax papers in the event of an audit. As with all tax matters, you should always consult a certified tax advisor.

“The TMV is, in essence, what you would expect to pay or receive for your vehicle given current market conditions, and it should be useful in approximating the value the IRS expects you to claim,” according to Jeremy Anwyl, President of Edmunds.com.

The Used Vehicle Appraiser presents each user with three sets of TMV prices representing the three types of used vehicle transactions: dealer trade-in (what you should expect to receive from the dealer as a trade-in), dealer retail (what you should expect to pay a dealer for this vehicle), and private party (what you should expect to pay or receive in a private party transaction). Anwyl suggests that taxpayers take all three values to their certified tax advisor when determining their deductions.

Check http://www.edmunds.com/advice/selling/articles/42975/article.html for more information on donating your vehicle to charity.

About Edmunds.com
Headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, Edmunds.com is the Internet's pioneer and leader in providing free, third party automotive information, tools and services for consumers. Edmunds.com empowers, educates, and engages visitors by providing them with straightforward information on key aspects of buying, selling, and owning a vehicle. For example, Edmunds has launched its True Market Value products to inform the general public of the actual transaction prices of cars and trucks while the Edmunds.com PowershopperSM offers car shoppers the opportunity to research and pursue online and offline purchase options in the informative, consumer-friendly environment of the Edmunds web site. Visitors are also provided extensive automobile reviews, consumer information, safety updates, incentive and rebate news, expert analysis of developments in the automotive world, and the Town Hall, an interactive community of more than 500,000 members. Many of these resources are powered by Edmunds Data Services, which provides a complete automotive data set to the Edmunds.com Web site and licenses such data to third parties. Edmunds.com was ranked number one in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites as reported by The Wall Street Journal, rated number one automotive and second overall web site in the Dialscore loyalty study above Yahoo!, Amazon and Mapquest, was named as one of Yahoo! Internet Life's 50 Most Incredibly Useful Sites, one of Money's 50 Most Useful Financial Websites, and is regularly mentioned as a valuable resource in these and other publications.

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