Kansans: e-file or wait 16 weeks
for your tax refunds
Are you ready to file your taxes?

Congress OKs accelerated tax deductions for donations to Haiti

It's a done deal. The Senate today followed House action and unanimously approved legislation that will let taxpayers claim donations to Haiti on their 2009 tax returns.

The bill now goes to the prez, who's expected to sign it shortly.

Without the bill, donors would have to wait until next year to claim the charitable gifts on their 2010 taxes. But now, donations made between Jan. 12, the day the earthquake devastated Haiti, and Feb. 28 can count on this year's filings.

Of course, make sure you choose the tax year that gives you the biggest benefit. If it works better for you to claim your donation on your 2010 Schedule A, then by all means wait to do so.

Text substantiation: The bill also acknowledges the new and popular text giving option. The American Red Cross as well as other nonprofits have been accepting donations via text messages.

Although the methodology is new, the same tax rules apply. The charity must be IRS approved. You must itemize to claim the gift. And you need a receipt in case the tax collector later has questions.

Through mGive, a text donor could print out a receipt for gifts to the Red Cross, the United Nations Foundation, the United Way and select other charities. However, the new Haiti donation deduction bill specifically says that you don't have to do that.

Donors can use their phone bills to document their gifts, as long as the bills list the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution.

Related posts:

Want to tell your friends about this blog post? Click the Tweet This or Digg This buttons below or use the Share This icon to spread the word via e-mail, Facebook and other popular applications. Thanks!


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Shane Eloe

Also don't forget that if you're a homeowner that does not have enough deductions to itemize, your standard deduction may be even higher with the additional standard deduction for real estate taxes paid ($500 single and $1,000 MFJ).


You've got to itemize to deduct charitable gifts. That means you must have IRS-approved expenses that exceed the standard amount for your filing status. If you're a single filer, that $5,700; married couple's standard deduction is twice that.

Once you're over that threshold, then everything else is gravy. Unless, of course, you make so much that your itemized deductions are reduced somewhat.

More on deduction options/choices in this tax tip: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/standard-or-itemized-tax-deduction.aspx

Thanks for reading!

Wes Masters

Kay - how much do you have to give in order for it to be worthy of the deduction?

The comments to this entry are closed.