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Sunday is Haiti donation deadline for 2009 taxes

You can give anytime if you want to deduct it from your 2010 taxes, but special provision for 2009 deduction ends Feb. 28.

By Teresa Mears Feb 26, 2010 2:00PM

This post comes from Jim Robinson at MoneyTalks News:

 

People living in Haiti have it tough. Haiti is one the poorest countries in the world, politically unstable and in the path of numerous hurricanes each year.

 

On Jan. 12, the latest disaster hit: a massive earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands and left more than a million people homeless. You’d have to have a heart of stone to ignore the need.

 

In addition to good karma, those answering the call maybe also get a good tax benefit. Monetary contributions are deductible on either 2009 or 2010 income taxes.

Normally, donations made after Dec. 31, 2009, wouldn’t be deductible on a 2009 tax return. But a special provision enacted Jan. 22 allows you to do pick which year in which to take the deduction. In addition, donations to foreign organizations normally aren’t tax-deductible. But an exception to this rule has also been granted for Haiti relief.

 

But time is running out.

 

According to the IRS, “Individuals and corporations have until midnight on Sunday, Feb. 28, to make cash contributions to charities providing earthquake relief in Haiti. Contributions made after that date but before the end of the year can only be claimed on a 2010 return.”

While there are dozens of qualified charities helping Haiti, here are a few of the most popular:

If you’ve made a donation or you’re planning to by the Feb. 28 deadline, you qualify to pick the year your deduction will do you the most good. However, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Donations to individuals are never deductible.
  • Charitable donations must be itemized.
  • Money must go to a qualified charity.
  • You’ll need a receipt.
  • Donations made via text message need to appear on your phone bill.
  • Donations via text message of $250 or more need written acknowledgment from the charity.

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