If I donate my timeshare to a charity, is it tax deductible?
A little over a year ago (September 2017), a little known federal court decision made the process of donating a timeshare to charity a little more confusing.
A charitable organization that was set up under the 501(c)(3) IRS code assisted timeshare owners by taking their timeshares as a donation to their charity. The timeshare owner would be rid of their unwanted timeshare and they had a tax write off as a bonus.
And why not timeshares? There are quite a few charities that accept items for resale or use. You could, for example, donate your old car to Purple Hearts. Or you could donate clothing items to Goodwill. Donations are routinely solicited for various causes throughout the year. Every time there is a hurricane or fire disaster there is a flood of donations to help out the survivors.
So why not timeshares?
At least in this case the charity charged a fee to the timeshare owner. This fee was to defray the cost of marketing and closing costs in “disposing” of the timeshare. The problem was that this charity was acting just like a for profit business and was in direct competition with timeshare resort developers.
They would sell off timeshares at HUGE discounts compared to what the resort charged. But the timeshare owner was glad to be rid of their timeshare once and for all. So in reality, the charity performed a service for the timeshare owner for a fee.
The court ruled that the charity conducted their business the same as for profit companies and could no longer hold a tax exempt status.
If you want to donate your timeshare to charity you need to realize it is not an easy task. Most charities will not even consider it. It carries annual fees that are expensive. You may also be surprised how little of a tax write off it would be – if any.
You would be far better off selling your timeshare through a resale broker. At least you’d have something to show for it. Even if it sells for a low price.
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