Most people have heard about car donations. Who hasn't seen a commercial or billboard promoting the idea, and even offering to come tow away those vehicles that are not drive-able? However, far fewer people realize that boats can be donated, too. Learn more about boat donations by clicking here!
Determining the Value of Your Boat Donation
Determining the value of your boat is a first smart step. Provided the organization to whom you donate your boat is not going to resell it within three years, then one big perk of making this gift is that you'll be able to claim its worth as a tax deduction. (If the boat is going to be resold, you'll only be able to claim its sale price.) Just like with a car donation, this means knowing the boat's fair market value!
Unfortunately, determining the fair market value of a boat donation isn't quite as easy as with a car. The best way is going to be through an appraisal by a certified marine surveyor. Also just like with a car donation, such an appraisal will actually be required if the boat's worth is over $5,000.
Choosing an Organization for Your Gift
A next smart step is deciding to what group you wish to bestow your gift. Watch out for organizations that take in massive amounts of vehicles and boats with a plan of passing them off to resale outlets that sell them at auctions. As mentioned above, this means you'll only be entitled to a deduction equal to the amount for which it is sold, and you won't have any control over how the boat is used beyond that point.
If you're donating to a cause you really care about, you'll also want to make sure that the organization you choose actually uses the donations (or proceeds earned from them) to benefit the cause you believe in. More than one charity has been known to have skewed approaches that benefit the administration more than those in need.
Whatever you decide, careful planning will always work in your favor, so be sure to take the time you need to make a choice you'll feel good about.