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Thinking of Donating Your Boat This Year? Now May Be the Best Time

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Thinking of donating your boat? If you’re looking to get a break on next year’s tax bill by donating your boat this year, you may not want to wait too long. That’s because the Internal Revenue Service bases the value of the charitable deduction on the actual selling price of the donated boat. Selling now, at peak season of demand, could potentially mean a greater benefit for the former boat owner.

“Donating your boat now aligns a charity’s interests with your own – they get the most value from the donation to run programs or operations, and more you stand to gain in tax benefits in the form of a tax deduction,” said BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water Boat Donation Program manager Ted Sensenbrenner. “More boats are sold now than at any time of year. If you wait to donate in late fall, it is less of a seller’s market. Additionally, if the boat doesn’t get sold until 2024, you delay any potential tax benefit.”

The BoatUS Foundation’s Boat Donation Program, unlike other charities that accept boats, may offer additional benefits to those looking to donate as it actively uses some donated boats for training purposes. In some cases, donated vessels − typically single engine center-console types − are needed for Foundation On-Water Training programs. With these boats, the donor may use the surveyed value at the time of donation for tax purposes, and the write-off may be taken immediately.

For boats donated but to be sold, the Foundation’s program uses a partner broker to advertise the boat to help realize its highest value. The nonprofit also ensures that the donation process is hassle-free, from picking up the boat to handling the paperwork.

If you have a boat in good or better condition that you are considering to donate, go to BoatUS.org/Donate/Boat-Donation. Also available are helpful IRS links, including the IRS brochure “A Donor’s Guide to Vehicle Donation,” IRS Publication 526 “Charitable Donations,” and IRS rules for determining maximum deductions for charitable contributions. Always consult a tax professional regarding boat donations.

About the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water

The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. Funded primarily by donations from the more than 800,000 members of Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the nonprofit provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America’s waterways and keeping boating safe for all. A range of safe and clean boating courses – including the nation’s largest free online boating safety course – can be found at BoatUS.org/Courses.

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