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Donate your Timeshare to a Charity?

RonLux

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Timeshare donation - Florida Veterans Assistance Association

Has anyone considered donating their unwanted timeshare to a charity?

I recently completed the donation process with the Florida Veterans Assistance Association, Inc http://www.veteransassistance.us/ (a 501 C-3 Charity). I have no affiliation with this Charity. I actually found it by reading a letter to the editor on TimeSharing Today www.tstoday.com The charities representative told me that they processed over 300 timeshares last year.

The paperwork process took about four months. They did send me donation receipt for the amount of $1095.00. The charity charged me a $95.00 processing fee. They use a closing company that charges a $195.00 fee for closing costs.

My timeshare was a Celebrity resorts unit in Steamboat Springs,CO that I purchased a few years ago for $500.00 and have used for RCI trading. There is always one or more of these units for sale for a few dollars on eBay, with some owners paying closing costs.

I choose to use a charity to unload this timeshare, rather than try to sell on eBay and possibly have an unhappy buyer on my hands.

The advantage to using Florida Veterans is they actually transfer title to the charity. The few other charities that I could find out there still accepting timeshares just acted as an agent and do not actually transfer title until your unit is sold.

I didn't like paying to donate but I understand the charities need to pay administrative espenses. I liked the prospect of paying maintenance fees on an unwanted timeshare forever even less. I am very satisfied with their service and have started the donation process of another cheap timeshare I own.
 

RonLux

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The closing company they use was:
"The Timeshare Company"
Email: customerservice@thetimesharecompany.com
I never spoke to anyone there, they mailed me a warranty deed made out to FL Vets, I signed it, had it notarized at my credit union and mailed it back to them.
 

PA-

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Timeshare donation - Florida Veterans Assistance Association

Has anyone considered donating their unwanted timeshare to a charity?

I recently completed the donation process with the Florida Veterans Assistance Association, Inc http://www.veteransassistance.us/ (a 501 C-3 Charity). I have no affiliation with this Charity. I actually found it by reading a letter to the editor on TimeSharing Today www.tstoday.com The charities representative told me that they processed over 300 timeshares last year.

The paperwork process took about four months. They did send me donation receipt for the amount of $1095.00. The charity charged me a $95.00 processing fee. They use a closing company that charges a $195.00 fee for closing costs.

My timeshare was a Celebrity resorts unit in Steamboat Springs,CO that I purchased a few years ago for $500.00 and have used for RCI trading. There is always one or more of these units for sale for a few dollars on eBay, with some owners paying closing costs.

I choose to use a charity to unload this timeshare, rather than try to sell on eBay and possibly have an unhappy buyer on my hands.

The advantage to using Florida Veterans is they actually transfer title to the charity. The few other charities that I could find out there still accepting timeshares just acted as an agent and do not actually transfer title until your unit is sold.

I didn't like paying to donate but I understand the charities need to pay administrative espenses. I liked the prospect of paying maintenance fees on an unwanted timeshare forever even less. I am very satisfied with their service and have started the donation process of another cheap timeshare I own.
Sounds a lot like an ad.
 

TUGBrian

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I would tend to agree however ron has been a member for awahile...and Fla Vet assist does advertise with us via banners.

Its a beneficial thing for members...and noone is really making money off of it for the most part.

Ill allow it.

Ron...this does read exactly like a cut and paste job for an ad to just about everyone =)
 

PA-

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I would tend to agree however ron has been a member for awahile...and Fla Vet assist does advertise with us via banners.

Its a beneficial thing for members...and noone is really making money off of it for the most part.

Ill allow it.

Ron...this does read exactly like a cut and paste job for an ad to just about everyone =)
It's not that big a deal, I'm certainly not complaining, I don't care that much if these outfits send their shills here to advertise, it really doesn't cause much harm.

I wonder if more than 1 penny out of every dollar reaches the "Florida Veterans"?
 

TUGBrian

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depends on what they do with it after its donated...ie sell it...or rent it out/use it themselves I would gather.
 

TUGBrian

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lol...yea...the closing company link....ohwell...maybe they will come be advertisers also.

I was just going off his acutal TUG membership date...not like he signed up today just to post that.

I think his intentions were in the right place.
 

KenK

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Maybe this post brought Ron to post?

http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=43535

Years ago, URI posted here, as did some of their associates. If I remember correctly, it wasn't due to mush positive info.

I don't know if Ron is legit or not. I know some here might be able to find out. I don't think the company advertising here should have an affect on whether or not we should keep a post or not.

I'd ask Ron if he has a direct or indirect benefit from posting the information here?

It doesn't quite match the linked info above.

Where can I find out exactly how much this group has benefited from it's timeshare chariy? Is there an address in DC? Is it the VA?
 

Pit

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It was the thread on Uri Fried that prompted me to ask for the name of the closing company. The Timeshare Company is owned by Uri. So, let's see how this might work.

You donate your timeshare to FVAA who turns it over to Uri & Co. They sell it on ebay (or elsewhere), collecting $290 (195 + 95) closing costs from the donor and another $495 from the buyer on top of the bid price. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose.
 

basham

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Taking your comments at face value, I don't see anything wrong with that either.
 

Dave M

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They did send me donation receipt for the amount of $1095.00.
This part of the process is bogus.

The donor is limited to a deduction equal to the resale value of the timeshare. And the donor is responsible for whatever value is claimed on the tax return as a charitable deduction. There is no IRS sanction of "value” as determined by the recipient charitable organization.

Further, if the value was truly $1,095, that means the owner could have sold the timeshare for that amount, with the purchaser likely paying all or most of the closing costs. The owner would likely net $1,095 with a sale. Conversely, donating would likely result in nominal or no positive cash flow – in this case, about $39. For someone in a 30% tax bracket, the tax savings would be $329 (30% X $1,095), offset by the related costs of $290 ($195 + $95).

Further (#2), in the current situation, where the OP purchased the timeshare for $500, it's extremely unlikely that the resale value at the date of the donation was really $1,095. Thus, the deductible amount was more likely about $500.

Accordingly, an owner should generally make such a donation in only three situations: 1) Where there is no market for the timeshare and, thus selling is not an option. 2) Where the owner doesn't want to be bothered with the effort to sell. 3) Where the owner has a charitable motive related to the particular charity.
 

RonLux

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It's Not an Add Guys! Just Information

A lot of interesting comments! I didn't mean to sound like an add! Let me give some background: (links etc are just there to be helpful, if anyone is interested, i'm not selling anything)

I purchased this timeshare on 11/7/05 from a charity for $500.00 plus a $33.00 recording fee, no closing costs. The charity Community Housing & Development Corp. of NV (www.communityhousingdevelopment.org) sold on eBay. This timeshare started out life as a Ramada Inn, I had stayed at in Steamboat Springs while traveling on business and liked it. My family stayed there this past June and found it was falling apart for lack of maintenance. We actually had a wet carpet due to water dripping from the condo above us. Stupid move on my part to buy before checking the place out again.

I knew that I needed to sell this before it became a financial burden. A ran adds in both TUG and Redweek offering it for $300 OBO. I had only one reply, some one from England wanting to buy it and send me a check for $600.00, I was to then send $300.00 to his property manager in the US. A scam warned about here at TUG.

So, as I had purchased it from a charity and had very little money invested, I looked to donate. I wasn't able to contact my purchasing charity, they seem to come and go on eBay. So I compiled a list from TUG and ones I had seen on the Fairfield board.

The only two charities I found to be still accepting donations were: Gifts for Sight timeshare donation program and Donate for a Cause. Both of these had lists of timeshare companies that they would not accept, Celebrity resorts was on both lists. I wasn't able to locate any other charities that were interested. Then I read a letter to the editor in Timesharing today complaining of having to pay $95.00 to donate to a charity, it was FL VETS, I then found their web site through a web search.

The letter they sent me said they work in affiliation with Donate for a Cause. I don't know how much money the charity gets, she did say it wasn't much and that they got nothing until the timeshare was sold, which was why they charged the $95.00 admin fee.

When I spoke to their representative a Kimberly McBride 800-969-8387, she told me that they specialize in hard to sell timeshares, and would take 98% of the timeshares offered. I asked how they did it, she said that they take title for about ten minutes and then deeded them to a wholesaler.

Back in September when I donated they weren't charging the $195.00 for the closing company (they started that this year),so I paid just the $95.00 administrative fee. I was not totally sold but decided it was worth the $95.00 to try them. They did require that I pay the 2007 maintenance fee and the resort transfer fee in my case $25.00 for this donation as I started the paperwork late in the year. Since I paid the maintnance fee I got the underlying week and transferred it to RCI. They did not require the maintenance fee for the second donation I started in March 2007.

I sent them a copy of my deed and the closing company returned the transfer deed to me, I had it notarized and mailed it back. I then tracked their progress online.

Steamboat Springs is in Routt county if anyone wants they can find the deeds recorded here, it's public information www/co/routt.co.us/clerk After reading the post about Uri Fried I dug out my deeds on the transfer that I had downloaded from the County website. The first one recorded on 10/26/06 was from myself to Florida Veterans Assistance Association, the second one dated 10/31/06 was from the Florida Veterans Assistance Association to TTC Holdings, LLC with a WI address. My account with celebrity also had online access, it was transfered in Dec. I received the sale price information in late January. I'm retired now and no longer itemize, so I just filed it. I don't know if it's the actual price, but I would question it also.

I started my second donation, (I have a another older resort at Goldenwoods Condo in Powderhorn, a local ski resort) in February. This one isn't going as fast, I just called them as I hadn't received the deed yet and found out they lost my paperwork so I had to fax it again. But it worked the first time so i'm hopeful.

I returned to the FL VETS because of my first experience with them. If I were at the first stage of the process again where I was looking to donate, I would first look to a charity that didn't charge you to donate, might save you some money.

Giving a timeshare to a charity is like giving your old clothes to goodwill, your motivation is to clean out your closet, the fact that goodwill make a little money is just a nice added benefit!

I'm sorry if I sounded like a billboard. Again my motivation in posting this was just to maybe be helpful to someone in a similar situation. If anyone knows of a charity they could recommend, it would be great if they would post it here. Seems charities come in go very fast and most lists i've seen are not current!
 

2manyTS

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Ron - just got off the phone with Kim at FL Vets and the fees gone up since April. I'm trying to donate my Celebrity Resorts Orlando - Oaks.

$195 Disposal Fee (same as before), tax deductible
$250 Celebrity Transfer fee from me to the Charity, tax deductible
$250 Celebrity Transfer fee from the Charity to the Wholesaler, tax deductible
$250 FL Vets Administrative Fee (this is with $100 discount), tax deductible
Total = $945

She also told me we can claim up to a $5000 tax write off without an appraisal regardless of what the week sells for (you may have noted this before). Reg. #CH6948 – 501(C-3). That's a total tax deduction of $5,945 which more than makes up for the above fees. This contradicts what Dave said below. I will be investigating further since this is the make-or-brake part of the deal.

On the downside, the wholesaler they use requires the 2008 maintenance fees be paid. As we all know, that amount is currently unknown and may be as much as $200 more depending on the outcome of the whole Power of attorney issue. Regardless, I get to bank the week and use it as I will not be reimbursed for this expense.

Kim sent me a couple testimonials along with the documentation outlining the above. If any of you want to see it, send me a private message.
 

Dave M

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I believe she is incorrect. I believe those fees are not deductible. If she has an authority for claiming those deductions, I would love to see it and I'll become more educated.

Those expenditures, although "for the benefit" of a charity, as required by the Internal Revenue Code, are considered part of the timeshare donation (i.e., they are added to the tax basis of the timeshare). However, the deductible amount is limited to fair market value - not tax basis – of the timeshare as determined in the resale market. Thus, those expenditures would have no impact for income tax purposes. As far as I know, there is no tax law or IRS rule that allows a deduction for those expenses.

The only allowable deduction in addition to the fair market value of the timeshare is the cost of an appraisal, if one needs to be obtained (e.g., when the value is over $5,000). The authority for claiming that deduction - which is claimed as a miscellaneous itemized deduction subject to the 2% limitation, not as a charitable donation - is Revenue Ruling 67-641.

I don't believe there is any authority for deducting the separate items listed.

As I stated, the allowable deduction is the fair market value of the timeshare as determined in the resale market. Thus, it's misleading to imply that the deduction for the timeshare would be $5,000, even without considering those extraneous expenses. The allowable deduction is $5,000 only if the timeshare could be sold for that much. And if it could, an owner would be foolish to donate it unless he/she had a particular affinity for the specific charitable organization involved. Selling the timeshare would produce a significantly higher economic return than donating it.

This representation - that these expenses are deductible - reminds me of the postcard company representations that an owner's loss on sale to the postcard company of a timeshare used for personal purposes is tax deductible. Not!
 

2manyTS

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Dave - we're have the same conversation in two posts. No need to respond to the other one.

So, that's really discouraging regarding the market value deduction. I thought somehow I could come out ahead here. I guess the question is, how much could I deduct, not ever knowing how much they sold it for, without triggering an audit?
 
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theo

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Ad, or information?

Sounds a lot like an ad.
Sounds instead to me a lot like an objective description of a donation avenue to a worthwhile non-profit entity. How upset can one get about that???
 

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Bumping this up to see if anyone else has dealt with the FL veterans assistance. I did a search and it looks like only one poster on here has donated to them. I've checked the BBB site and it doesn't give me complete confidence in dealing with them. Thanks!
 
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JLB

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I am going to assume you are still looking for a place to donate. We donated to the German Language School, with Timeshare Transfer handling it all, but I have heard that program is no longer.

One that I believe is still going is right here in Branson, with proceeds going to the Turpentine wildlife refuge, just south of Eureka Springs. That's a place that is a home for big cat type critters.

Let me see if I can find a link, and see if I can get accused of advertising. :D

http://www.turpentinecreek.org/donations.html

http://www.trejesto.com/

transfers@trejesto.com

Bumping this up to see if anyone else has dealt with the FL veterans assistance. I did a search and it looks like only one poster on here has donated to them. I've checked the BBB site and it doesn't give me complete confidence in dealing with them. Thanks!
 

bcthn

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Thanks for responding. I should have probably asked more about it before I was really leaning that way. We know a family IRL who donated to the Florida veterans and were pleased with it. Dh had been talking to them a couple weeks ago and couldn't remember if it was the same organization. We confirmed it with them last night after I posted here.

FYI, yes the fees have gone up since the original post but ours will be less than the other person who checked them out.
 

2manyTS

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FYI - I went ahead with the donation to Florida Veterans. All the documentation (and fees) are in their hands as of late December. I'll post updates as I get them. I'm due for another follow-up call to see how things are progressing.
 

Aptman

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Donating a worthless timeshare

My dad was suckered into 3 weeks at Sunset Lagoon in Cancun (mandatory all-inclusive, which ends up costing huge bucks just to use your already paid for week), and had wanted to dump it. Of course, since, between maintenance fees and the all-inclusive costs, a week there costs more than the nicest Four Seasons resort, he has never used it, and can't unload it. Who would want to pay him for a week there and then pay the absurd all-inclusive costs as well?

My question is, if he donates this to charity, what would he be able to write off? The value right now (that would be less than zero), or the price he paid? In effect, there is no resale value on these, so there is no resale market for them, because anyone who knowns anything wouldn't buy them. Thus they are sold only new, for crazy amounts of money. This means the value appears to be $10k per week, or so, even though we all know that is not the real value.

On the upside, my dad's woes sent me online trying to figure out a way out of his situation, and I found TUG. Now I'm a proud owner of an HGVC resale. So, sucks to be him, but it worked out for me. If only I could just help him unload this. It seems that he can't even just give it up, because he's still on the hook for maintenance fees (does anyone know if Sunset Lagoon goes after people to collect unpaid maintenance fees on timeshares they've just given up on?).
 

2manyTS

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FYI - I went ahead with the donation to Florida Veterans. All the documentation (and fees) are in their hands as of late December. I'll post updates as I get them. I'm due for another follow-up call to see how things are progressing.
Hello again, just wanted to let you all know my Celebrity Resorts Orlando - Oaks donation to Florida Veterans Assistance is almost complete. They sent me "tax receipt" for the $545 in total fees. I've contacted Nancy Cox at Celebrity just to make sure the deed transfer has gone through. Still waiting to hear back from here.

As to the prior discussion with Dave above regarding tax deductions, I've done a fair amount of looking around and have to agree that Florida Vets seem to have no basis in tax law saying all these fees are tax deductible. I read the FAQs of several other charitable orgs that accept timeshares, none of them refer to fees being deductible - only Fair Market Value as referenced above.

Therein lies the rub. What is Fair Market Value for a week that not many will buy? I found one transaction on the TUG sales database for a recent sale of a 3BDR at my resort for $1444. That's it. There are myriads of weeks for sale on Redweek, Ebay, Sell My TimeShare Now, etc. I'm hoping to get some additional data from either here or the Celebrity Owners Yahoo users group to come up with a Fair Market Value on my 2008 taxes. I've also read you can try the Florida County Recorder of Deeds. The ones on ebay just never sell. In any case, it won't be anywhere near the $5000 I mentioned above. I could probably "get away" with that but I do not want to trigger an audit.
 
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