A provision was signed into law in January that would allow donations made between January 11 and March 1 of this year to be itemized on your 2009 tax form. You also have the option of deducting these contributions from your 2010 tax return, but you may not apply the deduction on both returns.
Of course, in order to take advantage of this deduction, your donation must meet the following criteria:
- Have been made between January 11, 2010, and March 1, 2010.
- Must be a cash donation. (Credit card, debit card, check or text message donations are also acceptable).
- Must be made for the purpose of providing aid to those affected by the January 12 earthquake in Haiti.
- Must be made to a "qualifying charity." (To find out if the organization you donated to is eligible, refer to the Internal Revenue Service's Charity Search or USAID's Guide to Providing Disaster Assistance.)
Whether you intend to make--or have already made--a contribution to the relief efforts in Haiti, make sure you have (and keep) proof of your gift on file. This means you need a written receipt from the organization or, in the case of text message contributions, a copy of your cell phone bill listing the organization name, date and amount.
For more information about taking advantage of this new tax deduction, visit the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=218678,00.html?portlet=7, or consult your tax preparer.