*Taxpayers wishing to lend their support to relief efforts in Haiti now have an additional incentive to do so, thanks to new legislation signed into law by President Obama.  

Through the new bill, H.R. 4462, taxpayers have two options regarding monetary contributions for Haitian Earthquake Relief.  They can either deduct contributions made after January 11, 2010 and before March 1, 2010 on their 2009 return or can wait and claim the deduction on their 2010 return.

In addition to allowing the contributions to be deducted on a 2009 tax return, the bill also includes a provision that recognizes donations made to a charitable organization via text message, provided that a copy of the phone bill showing the date, time, organization name, and donation amount is available.

“The nation of Haiti is suffering a devastating humanitarian crisis, and millions of Americans have already been moved to donate money to charities that are taking part in relief efforts,” said Mark Steber, Chief Tax Officer, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. “Having the President specifically designate that Haiti-related monetary contributions may be acknowledged on a 2009 tax return, even though the calendar year has passed, is a powerful way to encourage this kind of giving – while also reminding taxpayers of the financial benefits of charitable contributions.”

Janine Fondon