Donations to the Haiti Relief Effort Could be Tax Deductible

Deductions and Credits

Today, Congress is expected to start discussing a new bill intended to assist those of us who have contributed to organizations bringing relief to Haiti this year. Both political parties and the President will support a new law which considers cash charitable contributions made this year through February 28 tax deductible for both 2009 or 2010 tax returns. Rather than waiting until next tax-filing season to deduct charity provided following the devastating earthquake in Port-au-Prince, taxpayers would be able to claim the deduction now or wait until next year.

Normally, December 31 is the deadline for charitable contributions.

This tax incentive might also encourage more people to support disaster relief efforts through immediate donations to domestic non-profit organizations.  Here are some of the best choices for safe, tax-deductible contributions to organizations providing relief right now in Haiti.

A similar measure was passed in 2005 to provide a benefit for those who provided funds in the aftermath of the December 26, 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean. Like then, all charitable contributions would be considered tax-deductible for taxpayers who itemize their income on their income tax returns. If a combination of charitable contributions and other deductions exceed the standard deduction ($5,700 for single taxpayers or married filing jointly, $8,350 for head of household, $11,400 for married filing jointly), your final tax bill would be reduced or your refund will increase.

TurboTax will issue a software update once the new law is put into effect so taxpayers will be able to claim the additional benefit, if they qualify, as soon as possible.

Here is new information from the IRS on deduction tips for contributors to Haiti relief effort.