In recent years the timeshare resale market has become tilted in the direction
of sellers, with far too few buyers looking for timeshare properties. The
solution for many people wanting to unload their timeshare has been to look at
timeshare donation, which is a legitimate way of getting rid of what may have
become a financial burden.
There are several methods of doing this. The first is to donate it to a friend,
usually for a nominal price of one pound or one dollar. However, this is not the
end of the process. You need to agree on who will pay any transfer fees, any
document stamps or taxes involved, the annual timeshare fees, and who will deal
with insurance and legal issues. This begins to look like a costly,
time-consuming and painful process. There has to be a better way.
The second and most popular method of donating a timeshare is to give it away to
charity. Some charities will use timeshares for generating revenue either by
renting them out or offering timeshare weeks at charity auctions. In this method
of timeshare donation, everybody wins. You are able to relieve yourself of your
timeshare contract and save yourself the effort of trying to sell it, and the
charity is able to continue its work by both raising funds and giving holidays
to people who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity.
If you are considering this method of disposing of your timeshare, you must
first contact your charity of choice to find out whether they accept timeshare
donations. Those charities willing to accept timeshare donations will know which
are most easily resold. Most do not charge any sales or administration fees, and
you will release yourself from the obligation to pay maintenance costs on the
property. However, you must also contact the co-owners of your timeshare to see
whether they are willing to donate to the charity at the same time. It may be
that the entire ownership will agree to donate with you, or only some of them.
You need to check that the donation is safe and legal, thoroughly check your
contract and send duplicates of all legal documents including a copy of your
deeds to your chosen charity.
The third method is to donate your timeshare to a charity in return for a tax
deduction. You first need to obtain documentation from your timeshare company
showing the value of the timeshare. Again, consult the other owners of the
timeshare property and try to get them together. A tax deduction makes an
excellent selling point. In the US, provided you list the timeshare donation on
your IRS appraisal at an amount equal to its market value at that time, you will
be able to obtain a charitable tax deduction from that year’s taxes. In the
UK, you can take advantage of the Gift Aid scheme, by making a declaration of
the value of the timeshare donated to your chosen charity on your
self-assessment tax return form or through your local tax office.