Donations to Haiti and their Tax Deductions
The IRS has new rules designed to assist those making donations to Haiti in a relief effort after their recent earth quake. Your 2010 donations can be deductible in 2009 if you follow the guidelines provided. First, your donations must be going directly to aid the Haitian people affected by the natural disaster.
There is a specific window of time that your donations must be made in to be eligible. The start date is the day we first heard about the earthquake, January 11th, and the final date is March 1, 2010. Additionally, the donations must be made to qualified chartable organizations and not to families directly.
Cash contributions made by a number of different formats are only allowed. These formats include texting, check, credit card or debit card. Finally, the one provision that might be difficult for some is the need to itemize your deductions. Therefore, if you normally file a 1040EZ tax return, you will need to complete the long form 1040 with a Schedule A attached. Use a program like TurboTax or TaxAct to make completing the extra forms easy. If you do not claim the donations for 2009, you can still claim them for 2010.
See IRS Publication 526 and Publication 3833 for addition details.