In 2006 my parents bought me a used car. In 2017 I donated the car to charity and they report it sold for $575.

Can I deduct that $575 from my taxes given that I did not personally pay for the car in the first place?

  • 1
    You cannot deduct the $575 from your taxes. You might be able to deduct the amount from your taxable income but only if you file Schedule A and your total deductions on Schedule A exceed the standard deduction. Else you are better off taking the standard deduction and foregoing that charitable deduction. (Note: I am assuming that your status is not Married Filing Separately and your spouse has chosen to itemize, in which case you are required to itemize too, and that $575 will help a lot in increasing the sum total of your itemized deductions.) Mar 15, 2018 at 2:14
  • Yes, I worded that poorly. I’m already itemizing thanks to mortgage interest exceeding the standard deduction.
    – Pace
    Mar 15, 2018 at 2:53

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can deduct that as a charitable contribution on your Schedule A if you are itemizing deductions.

The car was a gift from your parents. When you donated the car, you owned it. It doesn’t matter how you obtained it or who originally paid for it. The car was determined to be worth $575 when you donated it (based on the sale), so that is what you can deduct.

Since the deduction is more than $500, you’ll need to file Form 8283. You also need to attach a copy of the 1098-C form you received to your tax return.

IRS Publication 526 has a section detailing the special rules for deducting car donations.

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