Have you decided to donate a car from your fleet to a good cause? Or are you part of a Rotary club that you want to assist with a vehicle? Perhaps you simply want to donate your old car to people in need. Whatever the motivation, it’s not that simple: giving a moveable asset to charity is more complicated than it seems. Here are a few things to consider:
- Consider why you should donate to charity.
For starters, you can make a genuine difference in the life of someone in need. If you choose the right charity, you have the potential to further a cause you believe in. You can also avoid the hassle of having to sell your car – you won’t have to list it on a website, in the classifieds or even trade it in. The charity will generally make the transition or change of ownership as easy as possible for you.
- Contact the charity of your choice.
Visit the charity’s website, social media pages or perhaps give them a call. This will help you to ascertain whether or not a car will benefit the said charity or whether another charity will be better served.
- Get the correct documentation in order.
From a donation form and change of ownership forms to getting a tax exemption certificate, make sure you have all the paperwork you need for the whole process of transferring ownership.
- Check whether the charity is legitimate.
Check the relevant organisation’s charity number, find them on a local charity database or check that they have some form of an online presence.
- You can get a tax benefit.
In South Africa, if you donate to a charity, you can qualify to receive tax relief. Donors can claim back tax charged on donations made to approved public benefit organisations.
- Check whether the organisation is approved by SARS.
SARS has a list of approved organisations and qualifying institutions that will let you know if the charity you have chosen will allow you a tax break. To claim your tax back, be sure to collect a copy of the tax exemption certificate from the charity you are donating to.
- Remind them to get insurance.
Car insurance is essential to protect both the owner of the car and other road users from the financial impact of accidents. You can send the charity a few recommended insurance quotes based on their budget or send them your insurance company details to get a new quote themselves.
They say, “charity begins at home”, but it shouldn’t end there. When you donate a vehicle to a charity, you can have a lasting impact on the world and make a difference in ways you may not know. Consider these points to equip yourself with the tools to help you enable others to live their way while you continue to live your way.
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