Do Charities Accept Timeshare Donations?

The Ultimate Win-Win Negotiation

Feeling stuck with a timeshare is exhausting: The resale timeshare market is saturated and it can be difficult to unload for a profit. Donating your timeshare to a charitable organization is a feasible way to release your monthly maintenance fees to resorts and even get a tax deduction.

If you decide that donating your timeshare is the best option for you then consider a few helpful guidelines to ease the process and ensure that your purchase was not a colossal loss and reap the financial benefit of a tax deduction. There is little to no cost to have your timeshare donated, the contribution will go to a good cause and leave you with a substantial tax deduction.

The guidelines discussed below will help you understand potential obstacles in donating your timeshare, determine the value of your timeshare based on market value, find a legitimate organization that accepts timeshare donations, and ensure that your donation is tax deductible.

There may be light at the end of the dimly lit timeshare tunnel. Freedom from the financial burden of your timeshare could be a simple philanthropic act away that enables you to find the ideal symbiotic relationship with a charitable organization of your choice: A win-win for all involved.

Is Your Timeshare An Ideal One For Charitable Donations?

It can take months or even years to re-sell your timeshare, while you wait for a buyer you could be spending an exuberant amount of money on monthly maintenance and membership fees to resorts and condos for a vacation destination you do not even use. If you decide that you would like to donate your timeshare, there are a few specifications that organizations will look for before accepting your donations.

Firstly, it is best if you own your timeshare outright. This means that the principal amount has already been paid in full and you are no longer making payments towards the principal amount of your timeshare: payments are made only for maintenance and membership fees. Most organizations will only accept your donation if you have paid for your timeshare in full and no longer owe any money to the principal amount.

Secondly, is your timeshare in a desirable destination? Do you own a timeshare during prime vacation season? If you own a timeshare in a less than desirable destination and if the time of year you own it during is less than favorable for vacations then it is less likely that charitable organizations will accept your donation.

Thirdly, all condo fees and maintenance payments are up to date. Resorts and condominiums can have lethal ‘late payment’ fees, sometimes upwards of 10% to 30 % of the original maintenance fees. All payments must be up to date without any outstanding late charges.

Remember, if you have an international timeshare the resort or condominium will not be subject to the same laws surrounding interest that you may be familiar with in your own country. These institutions can be ruthless with late fees, and rely on high interest for late payments without being accountable to the financial laws of their own country because they are a private institution. Please stay up to date with maintenance fees; otherwise you may be slammed with thousands of dollars in interest for being late on payment without recourse to legislative laws governing interest rates on.

Before attempting to donate your timeshare to a charity, ensure that you own it outright, that your timeshare is in a desirable vacation destination during a favorable time of the year, and lastly, that all maintenance and membership fees have been paid in full.

Determine The Value Of Your Timeshare

Having established that your timeshare is a viable candidate for charitable donations you will need to have your timeshare appraised.

The tax write off for timeshares is based on a fair market value, not the price it is actually sold for.

You will be responsible for having your timeshare appraised, keep in mind that insurance appraisals are not acceptable. Appraisals completed by a professional within 60 days of the donation are acceptable.

Your tax deduction will be for the established fair market value completed by an appraiser at your cost.

It should be noted that some charities will accept your donation, and then sell your timeshare for you and your tax-write off will only be for the final sale price. In general though, you can assume that your deduction will be for the market value at the time of donation.

Finding A Legitimate Charity: A Helpful Guide

If you are determined to donate your timeshare to a good cause, be sure that your charity is legitimate. Individuals have donated their timeshare in the past only to find that their name is still on the deed and they are still responsible for membership and maintenance fees. Choose a legitimate charity and be sure to be thorough in your transference paperwork.

The website RCIVIP has created a list of established charitable organizations that will accept your timeshare donation provided you qualify under the parameters established in the above paragraphs.

A List Of Legitimate Charitable Organizations Accepting Timeshare Donations provided by RCIVIP:

• Donate for a Cause – Project Philanthropy: An organization that manages timeshare conversions and allows the donor to designate an organization of choice to receive the proceeds. Participating charities include: The American Kidney Fund, Big Sky Youth Empowerment Movement, The Florida Veterans Assistance Organization, International Hearing Dog, Logan’s Hearts and Smiles, The National Foundation for Cancer Research, The Network Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse, The Thomas Moore School, The Real Gift Foundation, Great Beginnings Montessori School, The Children’s Home, and THRIVE. https:// donateforacause.org/

• Helping Hands of America: A northeastern US-based nonprofit affiliated with Meals on Wheels, The ALS Association, The Association of Blind Citizens, and Sacred Hearts Missions. http://helpinghandsofamerica.org/ real_estate_donation

• Southern New Hampshire University: Donation proceeds help SNHU students pay for tuition, buy textbooks, improve/ build new facilities, and enhance academic offerings. http://plannedgiving.snhu.edu/ what-you-can-give/real-estate

Final Considerations: Transferring Your Timeshare And Receiving Your Tax Deduction

Once you have found an organization that will accept your timeshare as a donation: Be thorough in the transference process through proper notarized documentation and be sure to fill out the necessary paperwork for the IRS.

You will be able to make the official donation by phone or through a website. You will need to obtain written acknowledgement from the organization including, the full name of the organization, their address and contact information. A full description of the property that has been donated and you will also need the written letter of acknowledgment to include details regarding your timeshare including, address, unit number, and time of year that your timeshare was purchased to be used. Be sure that the market price as determined by a professional appraiser is included. A statement must be made that no cash, goods, or services were included in the exchange.

If your timeshare was valued at over $5,000.00 you will need to fill out the IRS form 8238 (Noncash Charitable Contributions). This form must include the professional appraisal completed within 60 days prior to the donation as well as the official statement from the recipient organization.

Donating Your Timeshare To A Charitable Organization: A Win-Win

Yes, donating your timeshare can be an excellent solution to alleviate you from your burdensome investment. There are several steps to carefully follow to ensure that this is the correct choice for you.

Before donating your timeshare be mindful of the following necessary circumstances:

  • Choose a legitimate organization that you have researched thoroughly. (Consider some of the options listed above.)
  • Your timeshare will need to be paid in full: The primary amount should have no funds owing.
  • All maintenance and membership fees must be up to date in payment.
  • Your timeshare will most likely need to be in desirable destination that permits access to the unit during prime vacation season.
  • An appraisal must be completed 60 days prior to donation by a professional appraisal company.
  • Fill out necessary tax documents to receive the deduction.

If after following these guidelines you are ready to donate your timeshare to an organization you will find great relief in letting go of the burden. In addition to freeing yourself of timeshare ownership you will also be contributing to an organization that is in need of your help. Become a philanthropist and lose the shackles of timeshare ownership: The ultimate symbiotic negotiation!


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