The Next Level: repurposing for a good cause

Giving a new purpose to things not needed anymore


Questions & Answers


1. Is FEA a non-profit organization? Yes, FEA is a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity, IRS Tax ID 47-5045020
2. What is FEA’s purpose with this program? Over the years, members of the FEA team have acquired a lot of experience in the automobile industry especially in regards to the donation & resale environment. FEA is applying a very lucrative business model to its own mission, redistributing the proceeds the way it should be, i.e. for the benefit of the intended recipients so that ideally the full value of the donation actually goes where it is meant to.
3. Is my donations tax deductible? How much can I deduct? All donations to FEA are tax deductible. However, the amount of the donation is based on several factors as explained in the IRS Publication Donors Guide to Car Donation (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4303.pdf). Here’s a summary: A donor may deduct the fair market value up to $500 or the amount the vehicle sells, whichever is greater. If the vehicle is used in the charity’s mission, for example if it is provided to a qualified person or entity, the donor may deduct the “fair market value”. The IRS requires that the donor, not the charity, must determine the “Fair market value” which they (the IRS) describe as the price that a willing buyer and a willing seller would agree to if neither were pressured to do so. Good information on vehicle values can be found at kbb.com (Kelly Blue Books) where you may use “Private Party Value” as a guide. Please note that Donors valuing their donation in excess of $5,000 must acquire an independent appraisal.
4. How much should I expect back from the IRS? This is not a question we can answer for you – it all depends on your own tax situation and the numerous related factors involved in your tax return. However, we can give you an example: all other considerations excluded, a tax payer in the 28% tax bracket could receive $1,400 in return for a vehicle valued at $5,000.
5. Why is it better to donate my vehicle instead trading it in for another vehicle? Let’s use a $5,000 car for example, that you want to trade in at a local car dealer. Historically, you would receive the wholesale value less expected repairs, so you can assume about $2,000 as trade in. However, that also means that you will not get the other discounts the dealer could give you if paying cash or financing the full amount. Therefore, the actual cash you are getting for your trade in is most probably in the $500 to $1,000 range. Why settling for that little when you could get $1,400 back from the IRS (using the example above) by donation your vehicle and serving a good cause in the process?
6. Why should I avoid donating my vehicle to highly advertised entities? We recommend you avoid the for-profit intermediary organizations that advertise so pervasively to handle vehicle donations. In most cases these organizations keep the vast majority of the dollars created from your donation, some keeping 75% or even more so while the general public believes their donation goes to a good cause, only a fraction of it actually does. Bottom line: ignore the quick and easy television & billboard appeals.
7. Is my donation actually going to where I want it to go? This is a question that should be asked every time you make any kind of donation, to any entity. The reality may be very deceiving. A quick search on the Internet will provide large amount of data and statistics. Here’s one, as an example, published in the Tampa Bay Times a couple of years ago: out of over $1 billion donated that year in the USA, less than 4% was actually cash allocated to direct aid (http://www.tampabay.com/americas-worst-charities/). Our goal at FEA is to have a minimum of 95% of all donations actually going to where it is intended to go. The reality is that FEA relies on public grants and other non-donation sources to pay for its administration, operation and marketing expenses, leaving 100% of the donations benefiting the specific causes.
8. Can I specify what I want my donation to benefit? FEA is very unique as it works with thousands of non-profit entities in the USA and around the world. If you have a special request, you tell us what you would like the proceeds to serve and with a little research we should find a high-performing charity that does the kind of work you like, in the region you wish to target, and does that work well – in other words, we will find a beneficiary.
9. Must the vehicle be in driving/moving condition? Depending on the location, FEA may have to pay someone to pick-up or tow your vehicle, thus another cost that cuts into the amount that gets to the right cause. If you can get the car to one of our numerous drop off points, we would greatly appreciate it.
10. Where can I drop off my vehicle? We have made arrangements with other non-profit entities all over the USA. Please email us for a drop-off location near you.
11. Why donate to FEA instead of another charity? There are numerous reasons but here are some of the key ones:
  - Our goal is to maximize the amount that will go to the cause you choose, up to 100%
  - You can determine the purpose of the use of the funds generated from your donation
  - You can actually split the donation between two or more purposes. For example, 40% for cancer research, 20% for handicapped children, 20% for veterans rehab, etc.
  - FEA does not use a costly middle man to dispose of your vehicle
  - Your donation is tax deductible to the full extent of the IRS rules and regulations
12.  What kind of vehicles can I donate?  Pretty much anything and everything with wheels, although we prefer automobiles, pickups, trucks, RVs, boats, trailers, horse trailers, golf carts, motorcycles, tractors.
13.  Why should I transfer the Car title to FEA?  If you don't formally sign your car over to FEA, you may be held responsible for any anything that could subsequently incur, like parking tickets for example.
14.  Why should I value my vehicle correctly?  With to the proliferation of car donations, the IRS is concerned about how taxpayers value the vehicles they donate to charity. The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 prevents taxpayers from simply deducting the published fair market value of vehicles worth more than $500. Instead, the deduction is determined once a car is sold and FEA sends you a receipt indicating the exact amount the car sold for, unless it is used in directly relation with FEA’s mission. The IRS requires that you value correctly your vehicle, and you must get a formal appraisal if you are planning to claim a value of $5,000 or higher.
15.  Can I use Fair Market Value (FMV) for my donation?  You can only deduct the amount indicated on the written receipt the charity sends you if it sells the vehicle to auction or to a third party. Use the true FMV, not simply the highest value listed for the year and make of your vehicle, when:
 - FEA keeps and uses your vehicle, or donates it to a legitimate recipient as part of its mission
 - FEA makes improvements to the car before selling it
 - You vehicle is sold at a discounted price to a person with a low income
 - Your vehicle is worth less than $500
16.  Why is it important to complete all the paperwork?  Non-cash donations are the most common triggers of audits, so it is important to keep thorough documentation of a vehicle donation.
 - If your vehicle is valued over $250, you need to obtain and retain FEA’s written acknowledgement
 - If your vehicle is worth more than $500, you must complete section A of the IRS Form 8283 and attach it to your yearly tax return
 - If your vehicle is worth over $5,000, you must have an independent appraisal and fill out section B of IRS Form 8283.
17.  Is there any cost to me?  FEA takes care of all costs after the donation of the vehicle, unless there are issues you did not declare and that you are liable for, such as a lien on the vehicle or other issue(s) FEA is not responsible for.
18.  How do I donate a vehicle to FEA? Next step?  The process is simple as explained on the program's information page. You can also go directly to the Vehicle Donation Online Form. If you need additional information please email us at donations@EquestrianAthletes.org and we will gladly send you the correct information.


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