DISHONEST CAR GIVERS

Physician's Money Digest, June30 2003, Volume 10, Issue 12

Net to the charity:

It sounds like a good idea—get atax write-off and do good at thesame time by donating your old carto charity. But the IRS is gettingskeptical about deductions for usedcars, suspecting that the actual valuemay be far lower than the average$3400 that gets written off. Accordingto the General AccountingOffice (GAO), the charity probablydoesn't benefit much either. In 1case, the GAO says, a taxpayer tooka deduction of $2400 on a usedpickup truck, which then sold at auctionfor just $375. After backing outexpenses for cleaning and repairs,the net profit was $63, which thecharity split with its fund-raisingagency. $31.50.