Tax Tips – Haiti Relief Donations Qualify for Immediate Tax Relief

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– On January 22, the IRS enacted a special tax relief provision that allows some taxpayers who give to charities providing earthquake relief in Haiti, to claim the donations on their 2009 tax returns.

To qualify for this tax relief, taxpayers must itemize their deductions on their 2009 return, and make cash contributions to qualified charities after Jan. 11, 2010 and before March 1, 2010. This includes contributions made by text message, check, credit card or debit card. Donated property does not qualify for the for the special tax relief.

"Americans have opened their hearts to help those affected by the Haiti earthquake," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman." This new law provides an immediate tax benefit for the many taxpayers who have made generous donations."

Qualified contributions must be made specifically for the relief of victims in areas affected by the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Taxpayers have the option of deducting these contributions on either their 2009 or 2010 returns, but not both. Contributions to foreign organizations generally are not deductible.

A list of organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible donations may be available in a searchable online database available on IRS.gov under Search for Charities. However, some organizations, such as churches or governments, may be qualified even though they are not listed on IRS.gov. Donors can also find out about organizations helping Haitian earthquake victims from agencies such as USAID.

Taxpayers are required to keep a record of any deductible donations they make. For donations by text message, a telephone bill will meet the recordkeeping requirement if it shows the name of the organization that received the donation, 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.

Source: www.irs.gov