How Do I Estimate the Value of My Donated Car for My Tax Deduction?

Donating used cars to charity can be a good deal for both you and the organization you give it to. A charity may keep your vehicle for its own use, donate it to someone in need or sell it to obtain the cash. Deducting your car donation can save you a significant amount of income tax; however, the IRS increased the documentation requirements you must adhere to. To avoid having the IRS question your deduction, be sure to follow the guidelines and keep every document that proves your donation. 

Step 1 - Find a qualified charity
The most important step in deducting the value of your car donation is to insure the charity you donate it to is an IRS tax-exempt organization. Only the donations you make to these types of organizations allow you to claim the deduction. Generally, these include religious groups, charities and organizations that promote education, literacy, scientific or humanitarian causes. 

Step 2 - Estimate the value of your car
Look up the fair market value of your car in a used-car guide such as the Kelley Blue Book. Find the make, model and year for your car and use the listed private-party value for the overall condition of the vehicle. For example, if the body is dented, the air-conditioning doesn't work and it has excessive mileage, it’s unreasonable to estimate the fair market value using the price for a car in “excellent” condition. 

Step 3 - Determine usage
Find out how the organization intends to use the car. If it's going to sell the car, the IRS limits your deduction to the sale price, even if it’s below the market value. However, if it sells for $500 or less, you can claim a deduction for the lesser of its fair market value or $500. If the organization plans to keep the car, then you can deduct the value you found in the used-car price guide. If that value is greater than $5,000 and the charity doesn’t sell the car, then the IRS requires you to obtain a written appraisal before claiming a deduction. 

Step 4 - Acquire documentation

Ask the charity for documentation. If it sells the car, IRS rules state that it must inform you of the sale amount within 30 days, generally on a Form 1098-C. Regardless of whether it keeps or sells the car, the organization must provide you with a written acknowledgement that serves as your proof of the donation. At a minimum, the document must include your name and Social Security number, the vehicle identification number, the date of contribution and a statement that either lists all goods and services you receive for the donation or confirms that you received nothing. If you do receive something of value from the organization, you must reduce your deduction by its value. 

Things You'll Need
  • IRS Publication 78 
  • Documentation from the charity 


Your donation is not complete until you transfer the car’s title to the charity. This also ensures you won't be held liable if the car racks up parking tickets.

Are There Different Types of Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma Claim- There are three main types of mesothelioma. First is Pleural mesothelioma which is basically located in the pleura which serves as the lining of the lungs. This is the most common among the three types. Next is the peritoneal mesothelioma. Peritoneal practically refers to the peritoneum or the abdomen. The tumor starts at the peritoneal lining of the abdominal cavity. Last type of the rarest of them all which is the pericardial mesothelioma which begins at the pericardium that lines the heart.


Asbestos dates all the way back to the ancient Egyptions. And even then, they knew it caused permanent, life-threatening respiratory problems.

It was first discovered between the 1920s and 1930s that repetitive exposure to asbestos was linked to the rare but aggressive form of cancer called mesothelioma. Asbestos has been used far and wide, most commonly in commercial and industrial applications. Practically every person has been exposed to the toxic mineral; which actually carries airborne carcinogenic fibers that can easily be ingested by individuals.

Many occupations had put people at risk due to constant exposure to asbestos. Military veterans, construction workers and the like mostly have developed mesothelioma and have filed lawsuits reaching up to thousands. Plaintiffs claim that companies who used asbestos as well as the companies that manufactured products that contained the mineral were aware of the risks of serious adverse asbestos related diseases and ignored to accommodate the safety of the public. They are being charged with negligence, among others.

Plaintiffs are seeking compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, punitive damages, lost wages, loss of quality of life, and even funeral expenses death in the case of family members that filed lawsuits in behalf of a deceased loved one. Family members of the deceased loved one who had developed asbestos-related diseases or mesothelioma can also charge defendants with wrongful death.

Many plaintiffs have been awarded in the millions of dollars through verdicts in these lawsuits. Some start as far as $5.1 million and have gone up to $250 million. Each of these lawsuits, of course, has been awarded because of different circumstances unique to each case.

While there are no class action lawsuits regarding mesothelioma, there is a mass tort. This tort is the longest running in the history of the United States, as it is the most expensive mass tort in the country as well.

Many companies have also filed for bankruptcy due to constant payments for suits and settlements. Some companies, however, had created asbestos bankruptcy trusts so that plaintiffs can still claim compensation for damages by companies who have eventually ran out of business.

Mesothelioma Litigation

Filed lawsuits started in the 1960s, with workers, consumers and even families filing for these thousands of mesothelioma lawsuits. These lawsuits are against companies that manufactured products that contain products, or companies that allowed the installation of these products.

Over the years, juries have found that asbestos companies acted with malice due to the concealment of the dangers of asbestos. Because of the disregard for public safety, the cancer that could have been prevented has now become widespread.

Those diagnosed with asbestos related diseases including mesothelioma can claim compensation for the negligence of asbestos companies. Most plaintiffs filed lawsuits to gain compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of quality of life, and funeral expenses. It is common that these cases are settled outside of the court in spite of some lawsuits leading to beneficial jury verdicts.

Families who have lost loved ones due to asbestos related diseases are able to file wrongful death lawsuits, as well as military veterans who were exposed to the mineral while serving in the military are able to file lawsuits against manufacturers and can claim with the United States Department of Veteran Affairs for Veterans Affairs disability benefits.

Other people can also file claims against a company that is no longer operational. Claims with an asbestos bankruptcy trust that was created by these companies can be restored to plaintiffs who were damaged through exposure to the mineral.

Mesothelioma cases cannot be handled as class action lawsuits because of the variety of each case, covering various companies as defendants. Another reason for these lawsuits’ inability to be handled as class actions is because they normally take a lengthy time to settle and mesothelioma patients may not survive these long trials.

Mass torts give plaintiffs the freedom to keep their own lawyers. Mass torts work in such a way that the cases are grouped together to be more efficient, thereby saving time and money. Asbestos litigation is the longest running and one of the most expensive mass torts in the history of the United States because the litigation started in the 1970s. The litigation has cost defendants billions of dollars.

Roby Worthington, a former employee of U.S. Steel, won a verdict worth $250 million in 2003. Worthington worked for the company from 1950 to 1981 and was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Three years later, David Bakkie was awarded $18.5 million because of the occupational setting of the plastic molder worker from 1974 to 1975. Bakkie was diagnosed with the same disease in 2005. The construction worker was exposed to asbestos in the 60s and 70s. He was diagnosed with the rare cancer they year before.

In 2007, family members of Richard Walmach, a United States Navy machinist mate, received $5.1 million through a verdict. The veteran died in 2006 of mesothelioma. Bobbie Izell won a favorable jury verdict in 2012. Veterans are often exposed to asbestos because of the military ships, army proving grounds and military bases across the world.

Mesothelioma Class Action Lawsuit

Mesothelioma Suit- While mesothelioma is almost limited to the exposure to asbestos, the mineral, on the other hand, can also lead to other illnesses like lung cancer and asbestosis. Workers in various industries have been faced with hazardous amounts of asbestos in practically every phase in production.

There have been many alternatives for asbestos that have been proven to be safer for people, but many companies still opt to use the toxic mineral because it is more affordable than its fire-resistant counterparts.  Companies and manufacturers are aware of the health risks associated with asbestos use and exposure but never actually publicized the dangers of it. Because of this outright disregard for public health, the companies have suffered the consequences of paying billions of dollars for lawsuits and settlements related to asbestos. Almost a hundred companies have declared bankruptcy because of this.

Because of the widespread use of asbestos in the 20th century, practically every person in the world has already been exposed to the airborne carcinogen. The risk of exposure to asbestos is normally minimal in individuals; however, abundant and frequent exposure, which is an often occurrence in occupational environments, is more perilous.

Persons who have mesothelioma have developed the disease through the inhalation of asbestos. The microscopic fibers make their way to the end points of small airways in the body. These, in turn, become wedged in the lining of either the chest or the lungs. After some time, these lodges cause scarring and genetic changes in an individual – basically developing pleural mesothelioma. Fibers that find their way in the lining of the abdomen causing peritoneal mesothelioma are those consumed orally, like through contaminated drinking water or through coughing.

As mentioned before, the development of mesothelioma takes a long time. Same goes for its diagnosis. Because the symptoms can be mistaken for other more common illnesses, patients don’t pay much attention to them. Various tests are also needed prior to diagnosis, including chest X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, PET scans, and biopsies. Biopsies are crucial in determining if a certain patient has cancer or not.

The International Mesothelioma Interest Group (IMIG) system is the formal system used to determine which stage a patient’s mesothelioma is in. The IMIG system divides cancer stages into four, using Roman numerals from I to IV. However, peritoneal mesothelioma has no formal staging system.

Mesothelioma has several treatment options, depending on the patient. Thus, specialists of this certain kind of cancer create customized treatment plans for every patient in order to get the best results and treatment. Doctors consider the following factors in planning treatment options for patients with mesothelioma: cancer stage, mesothelioma subtype, overall health, and the patient’s ability to perform day to day activities.

Standard therapies for mesothelioma include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy – as with most cancer types. However, many medical experts have been conducting clinical trials to figure out new ways of treating the rare cancer disease. Unfortunately, there have been poor survival rates of mesothelioma in patients due to its aggressiveness.

FDA Warnings and Reports

Reports that date as far back as the 1920s have said that medical evidence had already surfaced regarding the association of asbestos exposure to the rare cancer and other similar illnesses as reported today. Many manufacturers and asbestos product-using companies opted to neglect the data presented.

Medical literature has reported that the average survival rate for mesothelioma patients range from four to 18 months. A factor to this low survival rate is also attributed to late diagnosis or the inability to diagnose a mesothelioma patient in the early stages of the cancer. Doctors typically tell patients that the prognosis is only about a year.

In January 1997, a group of doctors and medical professionals convened to discuss Simian Virus 40 (SV40): A Possible Human Polyomavirus Workshop; where the professionals present ideas and findings regarding cancer and its tumors, including mesothelioma. The workshop was created due to reports that showed the presence of the SV40 viral sequences in tissue, including rare tumors in humans.

The FDA also discussed drugs intended to treat mesothelioma in the Drug Safety Newsletter of Spring 2008. Pemetrexed was the first approved drug for malignant pleural mesothelioma. It was approved by the FDA in February 2004.

As seen in the FDA website, a 2007 brochure from MESOMARK was sent out to patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. Mesomark assay is the first blood serum based test sensitive and is the most reknowned blood test for mesothelioma. The FDA approved blood test checks the blood levels for a protein from the cancerous cells called mesothelin-related peptide or SMRP.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Loans and Pre Settlement Funding

Mesothelioma is a very rare form of cancer with about 3,000 cases diagnosed each year in the United States. However, the incidence rate of this disease is increasing at an alarming rate worldwide. This is primarily because mesothelioma is caused by long-term on-the-job exposure to asbestos. It is a well known disease nowadays and is highly preventable primarily because workers who deal with asbestos are properly educated on how to use protective measures at work to prevent injury (mesothelioma suit).

If you’ve been seriously injured, are currently involved in a drawn-out legal fight, have retained a contingent-fee attorney, have strong liability against a sufficiently insured defendant and you’re in a financial bind because it’s taking forever to settle your case but you could really use some of your future settlement money now, we can help you (mesothelioma class action suits).

TriMark Legal Funding LLC, The Settlement Funding Company, provides fast, affordable, non-recourse lawsuit cash advances from $500 to $500,000+ on hundreds of different types of personal injury, civil rights and employment claims, often in as little as 12-24 hours, with no credit check, no up-front fees and no hassles. Best of all, you only repay the cash advance if you win your case (mesothelioma lawsuit).

Class Action Lawsuits (mesothelioma class action lawsuit)

Class action lawsuits involving mesothelioma and asbestos began surfacing in the late 1960s after the public became aware of the serious health hazards associated with asbestos exposure. Since, judges have resorted to a number of procedural methods to manage asbestos claims that now number in the millions. In the American judicial system, class action lawsuits long have been a way to resolve disagreements involving similar claimants with similar injuries and defendants. Compared to other mass torts, however, class actions have not been widely used in asbestos cases (
Mesothelioma Lawsuit Funding).

A class action lawsuit is a claim in which a group of people collectively bring a complaint to court. These types of lawsuits are filed against a defendant by one or more plaintiffs on behalf of a group of “similarly situated” people. State and federal courts have their own procedural rules governing class actions. Generally, in order to maintain a class action lawsuit, the group must share similar injuries caused by shared circumstances that raise the same legal issues. If the court determines that there are sufficient similarities and that separate lawsuits would be impractical or burdensome, it will certify the group as a class and allow them to litigate their case collectively.

Mesothelioma class actions typically are filed against companies that knew the dangers of asbestos exposure but did not inform employees of the risks. Manufacturers and distributors of asbestos-containing products, mining and construction companies and shipbuilders are often named as defendants in these types of class actions.