Timeshare Donation Reviews
Timeshare donation scams are popping up all throughout the country illegally promising tax credits up to $5,000 and more. Many of these donate timeshare companies promise tax benefits that are simply not true and are the cause of many unwanted financial headaches. In this article, we provide honest Timeshare Donation Reviews that help you see through the potential downfalls you may encounter when attempting to donate a timeshare. While we believe that you should donate for a cause you truly believe in, timeshare donation may not provide a safe financial benefit for either you or the charity. Redemption and Release, LLC provides an ethical and inexpensive way to redeem your timeshare without the risks of defrauding the IRS, either on purpose or on accident. We hope that our timeshare donation reviews provide you with enough insight to make an educated decision with your timeshare liquidation plans. If you are unable to safely donate your timeshare, remember, our services are 100% guaranteed and we hope you consider our firm for all your timeshare redemption needs.
How to donate a timeshare to charity:
The first way is to contact the charity directly to see whether or not they accept timeshares as a donation. As you will find almost 100% of the time, these charitable organizations do NOT accept timeshares directly from owners. Many timeshare donation companies claim affiliations with charities that accept timeshare donations only to later discover that the charities consider those companies a SCAM. How can you donate to a cause that does not accept timeshares as donations? The simple reason why it is difficult to donate timeshare directly to a charity is because most timeshares are worth virtually nothing. The costs to maintain a timeshare are almost always more than what the property is worth. The second way to donate your timeshare is through a third party timeshare donation company. The timeshare donation reviews in this article will help to shed light on the unscrupulous segment of the timeshare donation industry. The timeshare donation reviews we found show that oftentimes consumers are given false tax advice and charged absorbent fees under the guise of tax savings. The picture is painted that by paying for a high priced donate timeshare service one will receive more than that paid fee back in tax benefits. This is hardly plausible. Our timeshare donation reviews showed that most timeshare owners were tricked into paying more for a service that provided no real value in tax savings.
* Donate For A Cause 2016 Update*
As of late 2015, timeshare donation company “Donate For A Cause” is being sued by the United States government for promoting an abusive timeshare donation tax scheme. The Department of Justice stated the following:
“The complaint alleges that Donate for a Cause is simply used as a conduit to briefly hold title to timeshares before they are sold for a fraction of the appraised amount. For example, the complaint alleges that one customer transferred a timeshare to Donate for a Cause that had originally been purchased for $10,597.50. Donate for a Cause used eBay’s charity platform to sell that timeshare to a third party for only $81, yet Tarpey appraised that timeshare for $8,740, the complaint states.”
According to the Department of Justice article, the timeshare donation scheme would encourage timeshare owners to donate their timeshare to Donate for a cause ( a tax exempt entity). Customers of Donate for a Cause would pay large processing fees to a company called Resort Closing Inc. in order to complete the transfer process. Once the timeshare was transferred, the owners of Donate for a Cause would appraise the timeshare property and inform the owner of how much they can claim as a donation on their taxes. The problem with this was that the company owners were not legally prohibited to appraise timeshares for their customers because they were too closely affiliated with Donate for A Cause. This further proves that timeshares are not worth anything on the secondary market and can be a real challenge to get rid of. The only true and reliable way to get out of your timeshare is through timeshare redemption.
Many of these 3rd party “timeshare donation companies” claim to be able to save you thousands of dollars in charitable tax write-offs. There’s almost always a catch to deals like this as our timeshare donation reviews revealed. The largest timeshare donation companies charge $2,500 – $6,000 to take control of your property, thousands more than Redemption and Release charges. This allows them to make a profit along with the charity of your choice. So in essence you are simply paying them a large sum to take your timeshare off your hands, and as you’ll see later on, there is no guarantee of actually receiving a large timeshare tax deduction in most cases.
Most timeshare donation organizations state false claims of $5000 tax deductions for your property. However, unless you happen to own one of the few very valuable timeshares around, then this is essentially a flat out lie and a scam to get you to donate the property and a large amount of money to the donation company. Only a few timeshare donation companies are non-profit, and most are just seeking to take thousands of your dollars to sell your timeshare for what usually results in a very minimal donation to charity.
The way that some timeshare donation scams work is that you will have to pay a large up-front fee to the donation organization, which they will guarantee you back in terms of a timeshare tax deduction. The company will then donate timeshare to a charity, and the charity will then look to sell it so they can make a profit. Since most charities are not able to take control of the property, the timeshare donation company has the deed put in its name and then sells the property for the charity. If you take the time to read the internet timeshare donation reviews you will find many companies lambasted for their less than upfront marketing tactics.
Even if the timeshare donation reviews seem to prove a company is legitimate, there is still one major problem with this process. The charity will want to sell the timeshare to make a profit, however the majority of timeshares have almost no resale value. The charity will want to get rid of the timeshare quickly so they don’t have to pay any maintenance fees or property taxes, so they will usually accept a very low amount, often somewhere around $100. This is then where the IRS regulations come in and why you are usually only able to claim a very small deduction.
Many timeshare donation organizations are actually scams, and they will simply take your money for the “donation” and you’ll end up still stuck with the timeshare, or worse you could get in deep trouble with the IRS. One of the few companies we confirm that is not a scam, is Project Philanthropy, Inc. dba Donate For a Cause. While some may consider their timeshare fees to be exorbitant, it is a company that does fulfill on it promises.
Timeshare Donation Reviews and the IRS
The reason many companies promise you can claim up to a $5000 deduction on your tax return is because this is the maximum amount allowed without having the timeshare appraised. A few organizations claim they can get you an even larger deduction and may give you a fake appraisal claiming your property is much more valuable than it really is, sometimes as much as eighty percent of the price you originally paid for the property. These companies normally charge even higher fees which they claim you will recoup by way of a huge tax reduction or refund. The negative timeshare donation reviews for these types of companies normally don’t get exposed until much later as their clients become susceptible to being audited.
Whether or not you believe your property is worth more than $5000, you should always have the appraisal done by a licensed appraisal company that you hire yourself, or at least do some research to try and determine the actual value of your property. This will help you avoid a later IRS audit as the appraiser must use the same criteria that the IRS uses in determining the Fair Market Value of the property. These criteria will be discussed in detail later on.
If after donating a timeshare property, you then file your taxes and claim your timeshare tax deduction of several thousand dollars for your donation, this will almost always end up with the IRS auditing your tax return. This is due to the fact that the charity is required to inform the IRS of how much the timeshare donation organization sold the property for on their behalf. The IRS’ automated system will pick up on the fact that the charity sold the property for much less than the value you claimed your donation was worth. When the IRS audits your taxes, they will see that you claimed your donation was worth much more than its actual market value. This will leave you potentially owing the IRS thousands of dollars in penalties and taxes.
If the timeshare donation organization gives you an appraisal for your property that is worth more than the actual value, which is usually only done in cases where they promise you can claim over $5000, then you may even be charged with tax fraud. This is because the IRS knows that most timeshares have no resale value, and anyone who has tried to sell a timeshare usually knows this as well. Since most people look to sell their timeshare before donating it, then it can reasonably be assumed that the person who donated the timeshare knew that the appraisal of the value of their property was indeed a fake. This analysis and timeshare donation review can help you avoid major legal issues by avoiding timeshare donation all together.
After all, timeshares depreciate extremely quickly and often lose up to 80% of their value as soon as they are purchased. Even if the individual was not aware of the actual value of their timeshare, it makes no difference to the IRS, as ignorance is not an excuse for breaking the law. This can result in the individual not only owing the IRS a large sum of money, but also possibly even facing jail time if the IRS deems the crime to be severe enough.
Our Timeshare Donation Reviews revealed that the only time you can claim up to $5000 with no possible repercussions is if the charitable organization holds on to the property for at least 36 months. If the property is then sold after the initial thirty six months then the person who donated it is not liable for the difference. If the property is sold within 3 years, the donator is responsible to pay back the IRS for the difference between what they claimed for their deduction and the actual sales price of the property plus all penalties and fees. Nonetheless, it is highly unlikely that the charity would be willing to hold onto the deed for the timeshare for 3 years and continue to pay the taxes and maintenance fees.
The bottom line is that no matter what the timeshare donation organization or charity promises you in terms of tax deductions, you will never be able to claim more than they sold the property for, which is almost always very minimal. This means you may possibly end up paying thousands up front to get rid of your timeshare and never receive anything in return.
Timeshare Donations – “Fair Market Value”
In order to avoid having your tax return audited by the IRS, it is very important that you understand the regulations which govern charitable property donations. The way that the IRS determines how much you can deduct from your taxes for your timeshare donation is a based on a principle that they refer to as Fair Market Value. According to IRS Publication 526 which regards charitable contributions, “Fair market value is the price at which property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither having to buy or sell, and both having reasonable knowledge of all the relevant facts.” (http://www.irs.gov/publications/p526/index.html)
When you donate a property with a stated value between $500 and $5000, you must fill out IRS form 8283 and state what you believe the value of the property to be in Column D on the form. However, you must also fill out Column H which asks how you arrived at this value. In this situation you must use either an appraisal or comparable sales. The charity will have to sign this form to state they received the property, but the value you claim the property is worth is of no concern to them.
After taking control of the property, the charitable organization will usually send you a thank you letter stating that they received the property and what they believe the value of it to be. If the property is not sold within 36 months then this does not matter. Still, if they sell the property within 36 months, then they must fill out IRS form 8282, the Donee Information Sheet, in which they must state the difference between what they sold the property for and what they claimed the property was worth in the letter of receipt that they sent to you. This form then must be sent to the IRS and the person who donated the property.
In this situation, the actual price that the charity received for selling your property will usually determine its value. Since you may find the charity is desperate to get rid of the property, they may accept a price that is lower than the property’s fair market value. Still, since their value is hard to determine and timeshare are hard to sell, the selling price will usually be all you can claim as a deduction unless you had the property appraised before donating it.
Therefore, it is quite important to understand that you will essentially be paying a large upfront fee and both the charity and yourself will receive very little in return. Once most timeshare owners understand how donations really work, they usually start to look for a cheaper and safer way to get rid of their property.
Redemption and Release – A Safer Alternative
Timeshare redemption is a way to pay a fixed amount with a guarantee that you will finally be done with your timeshare forever. It differs significantly from a timeshare reseller who will ask you pay to money just to list your timeshare, usually with no hope of it ever being sold. Timeshare redemption is a process where you pay a company a flat fee, which is much smaller than you would pay to either a reseller or donation organization, and in exchange they quickly and easily take your timeshare off your hands.
Redemption and Release is the nation’s largest and most reputable timeshare redemption company. They work with many wholesale travel clubs and inventory aggregates that absorb inventory on a large scale basis. Of course this means that you will not be making a profit on the sale, however as you have seen, this is pretty much impossible no matter which method you choose. But it does finally bring you the timeshare freedom you have been looking for, saving you thousands of dollars in maintenance fees.
With Redemption and Release, you receive a guarantee that your timeshare will no longer be in your name, and there will be no hidden fees involved in the transfer of the deed. This is also the only way to ensure that there will be no penalties or possible IRS trouble in the future regarding the timeshare transfer. After looking at the many negatives and high costs associated with selling or donating a timeshare, it becomes quite clear that timeshare redemption is really the only logical choice for those wanting to finally be free of their timeshare contract and the financial responsibilities that come along with it.
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IRS Circular 230 DisclosureTo ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this document is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter that is contained in this document.