The deduction for a charitable gift of movable property, like boats and cars, has changed drastically in recent years. You used to be able to deduct the fair market value of your gift, like the Blue Book value in the case of automobiles.
But things have changed. You now can only deduct the value of whatever the charity gets when they sell your gift. And if they don’t plan on selling your gift? Then there has to be a full explanation of how the charity plans to use your gift and how values were determined.
When you donate cars, boats or other movable property valued between $500 and $5,000, you must file IRS Form 8283 for tax deductions. In that form, you have to describe the condition of the property and how the value was arrived at.
You also need a receipt from the charity, along with written documentation indicating whether the property will be sold or used by the organization. Deductions of more than $5,000 require written appraisals. And, you have to keep track of the receipts and other documents for any IRS audit.