The unfortunate cold, hard truth is that a surprising percentage of the timeshare donation companies out there are simply timeshare donation smoke and mirrors…where they will take your money as a “transfer fee,” and then avoid your calls, fail to answer your emails and hope that you just go away.
You will be stuck with your timeshare contract and all associated fees, AND be out all the funds you paid to the charity. Some other timeshare donation companies operate as a timeshare dumping ground, where they take the timeshare out of your name and put it into the name of a shell company that was created with the sole intention of filing bankruptcy and ultimately committing blatant financial fraud.
How to Conduct a Search for a Legitimate Timeshare Donation Charity
The Internet is full of timeshare donation reviews where disgruntled timeshare owners share their stories of how they, in good faith, followed the instructions from so-called charities to obtain timeshare tax donation credits, and ended up getting fleeced. When you are conducting your investigation into whether an organization is a legitimate timeshare donation charity, there are certain search terms you can use in your Google or Bing search box to help you find out what you need to know.
A few suggested search terms to get you started include:
- Timeshare donation reviews
- Timeshare donation scams
- Timeshare tax donation scams
- Timeshare donation charity scams
- Timeshare charitable donation scam
- Timeshare donation complaint
- Timeshare donation company complaints
One thing you need to know is that if you are trying to donate a timeshare to charity, you cannot write off the amount you paid for the timeshare as a charitable donation on your taxes…regardless of what a “legitimate timeshare donation charity” may tell you. The Internal Revenue Service only allows you to write of the fair market value of your timeshare, and they are well aware of the fact that timeshares are pretty much valueless in our current economy.
Any timeshare charitable donation organization that tries to convince you that you will benefit in any other way than philanthropically by giving away your timeshare is doing you a great disservice…and is likely a fraudulent entity.
Timeshare donation companies often employ their own “property assessors” that are instructed to inflate the value of your timeshare for timeshare donation tax deduction purposes. This type of tax scam could come back to haunt you years into the future, and could result in an audit and a hefty fine!What most timeshare owners do not realize is that the amount you can legally deduct is dependent on the fair market value. “Fair market value” is what a informed buyer would be willing to pay and not the amount that timeshare donation companies claim the timeshare is worth. As we all know, timeshares are not worth much once they have been purchased.If you choose the option to donate to a cause as a way to get rid of your timeshare contract obligations, be wise enough to know up front that there are no tricks or ways around the fact that your timeshare is worthless in monetary terms. The only value to a timeshare is the enjoyment you’ve gotten out of it. Should you actually be successful in transferring your timeshare to a legitimate timeshare donation charity, the only value to the charity will be the enjoyment that their members or benefactors get from using it. In fact, most legitimate charities won’t take a timeshare as a donation because of the costs and fees involved in timeshare ownership.
BBB Helps Evaluate if a Company is a Legitimate Timeshare Donation Charity
If you do think that you’ve found a real charity or non-profit that says they will accept your timeshare charitable donation, make sure to investigate them, too! It is wise to run a check on them at the Better Business Bureau’s website: http://www.bbb.org. The Better Business Bureau even will let you know if the charity meets their standards of operation, including whether any of the board members are receiving monetary gains as a result of their connection to the organization. This is a good measure to judge whether the charity is truly a non-profit organization that is operating solely for the purpose of helping others, or is just a shill company created to line the pockets of those at the top of the food chain.
While we would like to believe that all charities are operating solely for the betterment of society, this is not the case in our modern society. Many non-profits are formed for the main purpose of dodging taxes and taking money from people who are good enough to open their hearts and their wallets to help others.
As a rule, the best option to get rid of your timeshare contractual obligations is by paying a legitimate timeshare transfer company that will free you of your timeshare liability in a legal and permanent way. Then, if you are still inclined to give something back to society, use part of the savings you will subsequently pocket each year from not paying maintenance fees as a donation that will be a legitimate and unquestionable tax deduction. A timeshare charitable donation could ultimately do more harm than good.