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Special Rules: Charitable Donations for Haitian Relief

On January 22, 2010, the President signed into law HR 4462 (Public Law No: 111-126), establishing special rules that apply to charitable donations made for Haitian relief efforts.

 An individual who makes a qualified charitable contribution after January 11, 2010, and before March 1, 2010 for relief efforts associated with the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti can treat the deduction as if it were made on December 31, 2009. As a result, individuals who itemize their deductions on Form 1040, Schedule A, can elect to claim the deduction for their Haitian relief contribution on their 2009 federal income tax return. To qualify, the contribution must be made in cash.

 Except for the ability to treat the contribution as if it were made in 2009, normal rules and limitations associated with charitable deductions apply. It’s important to note that, to qualify for a deduction, donations must be made to a domestic charitable organization.

 The legislation also specifies that a telephone bill showing the name of the charitable organization, and the date and amount of the contribution, will satisfy the charitable deduction recordkeeping requirements. This provision was added to facilitate charitable donations made via text messages.

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