Here is a very interesting vehicle we received recently.
It is sort of a cross between a bus and a pickup truck
What is that thing?
But the history of the vehicle is more interesting. The side of the bus has a URL on it to www.DenisForStateAssembly.com which is no longer available. But The Wayback Machine, a website that saves copies of old web pages, has this snapshot from February 2nd 2011.
Which tells us that Nelson Denis ran for the 72nd district of the NY state assembly. Here is his full biography.
This must have been his campaign bus/pickup truck.
Here are some more cool pictures, for more interesting vehicles visit the Kars4Kids Garage.
Following Hurricane Sandy there was much discussion if the damage to vehicles in the tri-state area was being over inflated. Many articles were written about the numbers coming in from insurance companies and others.
Now, a new report from The Non Profit Times by Patrick Sullivan, details the numbers of car donations of Sandy damaged cars.
The NPT interviewed many car donation companies about the affect that Hurricane Sandy had on their donations and found a potpourri of mixed results.
Read the full article and the interview with Kars4Kids.
December is holiday season but it’s also the time of year when people start thinking about how they can save money on taxes. Filing a tax return is never a pleasant experience but taking some simple steps in December can make for a much more pleasant April. We at Kars4Kids have ten tax tips for you to consider that may help ease the pain this year.
1. Take advantage of all the tax credits that you are eligible for. The American Opportunity Tax Credit was extended through 2012, so don’t miss this one if you’re in your first four years of college. Other tax credits to be aware of are the child care and child tax credits and the earned income tax credit (EITC).
2. Save for retirement with an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA): contributions to a traditional IRA are tax-deductible. Contributions to a Roth IRA are not deductible but unlike a traditional IRA, withdrawals are tax-exempt.
3. Make a donation to a registered 501(c) (3) charity. A cash donation or even a car donation can help you cut that tax bill down.
4. Spend the balance in your flexible spending account (FSA). FSAs allow you to pay for health-care related expenses with pre-tax dollars but these are usually “use it or lose it” plans. Some ways to use up the money left in your account at the end of the year include stocking up on basic medical supplies like bandages and lens solution, getting the flu shot and paying a visit to the dentist.
5. Plan to file online for free. This is best if you’re just preparing a basic return; for anything more complicated, it may be worth paying a little. It’ll still be cheaper to do it yourself using one of the many online tools, like TaxSlayer and TurboTax, than to pay an accountant to do it for you. So do your homework now, know what documents and information you will need, and save time and money come April.
6. Find out if itemizing your deductions makes more sense for you than taking the standard deduction. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to that question. Here’s a neat calculator to help you make that decision.
7. If you have a small business, make big-ticket purchases and buy new equipment in December so that you can deduct those expenses and your taxable income for the year will be lower. Hat tip: mixergy.com
8. Claim a casualty loss if you live in a federal disaster area (think Hurricane Sandy) and suffered damage.
9. Make sure you’re taking all the tax deductions that you possibly can. Tax deductions reduce your taxable income, lowering your overall tax bill.
Today is America Recycles Day, and we thought you might be interested in learning how cars are recycled.
What happens to cars when they no longer run?
When a car has made it past its lifetime it is usually stripped for parts and then recycled. Even if an owner chooses to go through the car donation process for a favored charity the car will often be put through the same process.
Have you ever wondered what the process is by which cars are turned back into the core materials that make up a vehicle? Metals, plastics, and glass can be recycled and reused in a variety of different ways.
Volkswagen put out this amazing video about their recycling method called the Volkswagen-SiCon process, most of these steps and methods are used by all recycling centers. What happens to old cars when they’ve reached the end of their usefulness, let’s walk through this fascinating process together.
The first step in recycling a car is removing the battery. Most of the batteries found in cars are almost fully recyclable.
The three main components of a car battery are lead, plastic, and battery acid. The batteries are crushed and then the components are separated, purified, and the raw materials are then shipped back to the manufacturers. Read an in depth article from our friends at Earth911.
Video of battery recycling:
Video of plastic bag recycling, this is not the exact same process as the one used for the battery cases, however it is similar enough to get a general idea.
There are 275 million tires stockpiled in landfills across the United States. Recently there have been many improvements in the area of tire recycling and today 80% of all tires are recycled used for things like rubberized sidewalks and playground surfaces.
This video on tire shredding is a bit outdated but enlightening just the same:
Before crushing the vehicle all fluids, hazardous and otherwise, must be removed.
Any competent mechanic will be able to easily remove all of these fluids and dispose of them in a safe environmentally friendly manner.
Remove Catalytic Converter
The Catalytic Converter is removed for recycling of the metals found inside.
Air bags ignited/disarmed
The air bags must be ignited before the vehicle can be safely recycled.
Removal of parts that are in good working condition
Many parts can be reused. One of the most important parts of the car recycling process is stripping out the parts that can be reused. Check out this fascinating video where a group of mechanics demonstrate how quickly it is possible to strip all removable parts off of a car.
Crushing the car
Now the real fun begins. First, what’s left of the car gets crushed.
This is a video of the Australian police crushing cars confiscated from drunk drivers or drivers caught speeding excessively.
Shredding the car
Huge shredders tear apart the car into small pieces. The massive strength of these machines is absolutely awe inspiring.
Separate the materials
Using magnets or other cutting edge processes, the metals are separated out from the glass and plastic for separate recycling.
Now the raw materials can be melted down for reuse in a myriad of products.
Now you know how cars are recycled, pretty cool isn’t it?
Hurricane Sandy has left a tremendous amount of devastated cars in it’s wake. From flood damaged cars, to cars suffering from tree damage, or cars suffering any kind of damage at all. Cars suffering from flood damage have been the most common kind of damage we at Kars4Kids have been seeing, although there are way too many of the others as well.
We’ve created this resource for those of you unfortunate to be dealing with a flood damaged car or the like.
List of insurance companies phone numbers for filing claims
If you don’t know your insurance company call 888-379-9531 or visit www.floodsmart.gov and they can pull it up with your name and zipcode
In heavily damaged areas, contact www.fema.gov, (800) 621-3362 for government assistance.
Check your insurance policy or credit card benefits, as many will offer free roadside assistance
Don’t try to start the car. If there’s water in the engine, transmission or fuel system, you’ll just compound the damage.
Disconnect the battery ground strap first
You need to clean out as much liquid and mud as you can and dry out your car as soon as possible
Assess the damage ; if water got into the interior and mechanical systems that can be dried out or cleaned with a lot of labor, but the electrical systems usually cannot.
For the seats and carpet -Use a carpet cleaner or a wet-dry vacuum to bring up the water, then use a towel to dry as much as possible. Put down baking soda after the carpet is dry to remove odors.
Ways to Tell a Car has been Flood Damaged
If recent history is any indication, a number of seriously flood-damaged vehicles will wind up on used car lots and sold to unsuspecting consumers.
To protect yourself from buying a flood victim, rebuilt wreck, rebuilt stolen vehicle, or a salvage vehicle make sure you have a pre-purchase vehicle inspection done by a trusted repair shop and conduct a title history report through a reputable company such as CARFAX. Flood damage information is reported to CARFAX from all 50 state DMVs and, as a service to consumers everywhere, is available for free at www.carfax.com/flood. Following these guidelines should help steer you away from a potential flood victim or any other vehicle fraud.
Water or condensation in the headlights or taillights could be a tip-off to flood-related problems.
A musty odor in the vehicle, which may be from moldy carpeting or padding. If possible, pull up the carpeting to see how far water may have risen in the vehicle, and also if any moisture remains.
Mud in the seat belt tracks or seat belt tensions.
Water in the spare tire well in a vehicle’s trunk.
A sagging headliner, particularly on a late-model vehicle.
Corrosion in the vehicle’s undercarriage, such as on brake lines or around the fuel tank.
And remember, possessions are replaceable, the most important thing is that you and your family stay safe.
Chocolate sheet cake – (any plain brownie recipe will do) icing, black food coloring, three color piping red, white and black, piping tips, sharp knife, 11×14 print out of Roger and spatula
Cut out your roger printout.
Place the roger shape over the cake and use it as a guide to cut the cake
You will need two shades of gray icing. Make a large bowl of the light gray and a small bowl of icing a darker gray
Smear the light gray icing over the entire cake Using your print out as a guide, make lines of where you will need to shade the cake Use the dark gray icing for the shading Using your tips and colored icing, color in the rest of the cake Now pipe the entire cake in black
The Kars4Kids SEO team has long been fans and subscribers of SEOmoz, the premier SEO software company and community.
So when SEOmoz announced a contest inviting subscribers to draw their mascot Roger, the Kars4Kids team saw this as the perfect opportunity to waste time, ahem, to promote inter-departmental cooperation and team building.
Yesterday the Kars4Kids Roger contest was in full swing with entrants spending most of their working time designing and implementing their Rogers.
@kars4kids Can’t wait to see what I look like! But don’t forget about those kids.
With the 2012 filing deadline closing in, many of us are scrambling to get in before it’s too late. Preparing your tax documents too fast is a dangerous proposition often resulting in costly oversights and errors. Here is a list of some of the most common mistakes people make when filing. Here’s hoping it saves you from a headache or two!
1. Forgetting to claim a car donation deduction:
If you donated a car in 2012 to a reputable car donation charity, you don’t want to forget to claim that deduction. Not sure if you are eligible or what information you’ll need to provide? Kars4Kids has created a handy Accountants Guide to Car Donation which is easy enough for the average person as well.
2. Forgetting the stamp on your envelope:
Thousands of people every year completely forget the stamp when mailing out their return, or they remember the stamp but use insufficient postage. Luckily, a return that’s a little late will usually incur no more than a small penalty. From Investopedia’s, Personal Income Tax Guide.
3. Forgetting to sign your return:
Another common mistake is forgetting to sign your return. Unsigned returns are considered by the IRS as if they were never submitted, and the IRS may not notify you for a month or more. By then the penalties and interest may already be adding up.From Investopedia’s, Personal Income Tax Guide.
4. GreenAppliances and Home Improvement:
There are many home improvements that are eligible for a tax credit. Things like energy efficient new windows, roofs, HVAC systems and many other improvements may be eligible. Don’t forget to file for this credit. See Energy Star for more details.
5. Filing correctly for those home improvements:
If you will be filing for home improvements, Houselogic warns that some items can be very complex to file for, after you’ve come this far you don’t want to lose out on this credit because of a simple filing error. Read the directions carefully.
6. Environmentally friendly vehicles:
Tax breaks are available for those who purchased an electric vehicle or a plug-in-hybrid in 2012, don’t forget to maximize the benefits of being a good friend of the planet. From efile.com.
7. Federal student loans:
Payments made on federal student loans last year may be eligible for a tax deduction using Form 1098-E. Students of the world, this is your big chance, don’t blow it! More info at ed.gov.
8. Private Mortgage Insurance:
If you bought your house with a down payment of less than 20% you were probably required to purchase private mortgage insurance. If your adjusted gross income is less than $109,000 you may be able to deduct those payments, which can add up. Source and more info at Houselogic.
9. Political Tax Credit:
States like Oregon allow you to claim a tax credit for contributions made to a political group. Check if this credit is available in your state as well. If it is, it’s like free money.
10. Save money with free online filing:
If you want to save more money, file online for free. Two of the more popular tools are Turbo Tax, and H&R Block.
It’s that time of year again! The time of year when your clients are calling you trying to dig up any possible tax deduction they can before 2012. For many people car donation will be a wonderful option to ease the pain a little when filing. Kars4Kids has prepared this handy simple little guide to get you the answers you need fast. Feel free to download, print, share or even embed this guide on your site. To read the guide visit the car donation guide pdf or just click on the image below. Then, use the social sharing buttons above to spread this great reference, print it out for your clients (feel free to add your company logo), and copy the embed code below for your blog or website.
Or, embed it on your site for your client’s convenience
<div style=”text-align: center;width:500px;”>
<h3>The Accountants Guide to Car Donation</h3>
<a href=”http://www.kars4kids.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/accountants-guide-to-car-donation.pdf”><img src=”http://www.kars4kids.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Car-money-small-2.jpg” title=”Accountants Guide to Car Donation” alt=”" width=”448px” height=”299px” /></a><br/>
Guide produced by the Kars4Kids <a href=”http://www.kars4kids.org”>car donation</a> program
November 15th is America Recycles Day. In that spirit, we’ve created this beautiful Infographic to illustrate some statistics about car recycling in the US.
Millions of cars are recycled every year in the United States, the metal, plastics, tires, glass, and other materials going to create thousands of new products. Did you ever wonder how many cars are recycled every year, what materials are recycled, and what can be made out of those materials? This handy Infographic is all you need to learn everything you ever wanted to know about car recycling. Check it out and then grab the easy embed code.