Haiti Relief Donations Qualify for Immediate Tax Relief
People who make charitable contributions providing for earthquake relief in Haiti can take a tax deduction for the contribution on their 2009 tax return instead of their 2010 return. This means you can receive an immediate tax benefit, rather than having to wait until you file next year’s return.
To obtain a deduction, the following specific requirements apply:
- Only cash contributions made to these charities after January 11, 2010, and before March 1, 2010, are eligible. This includes contributions made by text message, check, credit card or debit card.
- The contributions must be made specifically for the relief of victims in areas affected by the January 12th earthquake in Haiti.
- You may deduct these contributions on either your 2009 or 2010 returns, but not both.
- You must itemize your deductions on Schedule A, those claiming the standard deduction are not eligible.
You must keep a record of any deductible donations you make.
- For donations by text message, a telephone bill will meet the requirement if it shows the name of the donee organization and the date and amount of the contribution.
- For cash contributions made by other means, be sure to keep a bank record, such as a cancelled check, or a receipt from the charity showing the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution.
- Contributions to foreign organizations generally are not deductible.
Make sure your contribution goes to a qualified charity. Most (but not all) organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible donations are listed in a searchable, online database available under “Search for Charities” on the IRS’ website.
Under U.S. Treasury Department guidelines, we hereby inform you that any tax advice contained in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used by you for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on you by the Internal Revenue Service, or for the purpose of promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed within this tax advice. Further, RubinBrown LLP imposes no limitation on any recipient of this tax advice on the disclosure of the tax treatment or tax strategies or tax structuring described herein.
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