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You can deduct Haiti donations this year

Congress gives taxpayers a choice of taking deduction in 2009 or 2010 but you have to itemize.

By Jeff Schnepper Jan 29, 2010 12:19PM

No good deed ever goes unpunished -- but sometimes you can get a big tax deduction out of it.


Our U.S Congress actually did the right thing, even if they still can’t play well with others.


You’ve got to itemize to get this one. But if you do, your charitable contributions are deductible.


 New Rule: Any contributions to earthquake relief in Haiti made between Jan. 11, 2010, and March 1, 2010, will be allowable against your 2009 tax return.


So get out your checkbooks and debit cards. If you don’t have any money, get out your bank credit cards and charge the donation. If you don’t have any credit, empty out your closets of stuff you didn’t even remember you had and have a yard sale.

Sorry, you can’t donate the closet contents directly and get a deduction for 2009. But, if you do, get a receipt and deduct it for 2010.


You have the option to deduct your Haiti earthquake relief contributions for either 2009 or 2010.

Normally, you’d want to accelerate the deduction into the earliest year to get the tax reduction or cash back now. Alternatively, you might want to wait till 2010 if you expect to be in a higher tax bracket or if your 2009 standard deduction is higher then your 2009 itemized deductions.


In any case, make sure your donations goes to a legitimate charitable organization. Most organizations eligible are listed on the IRS website,  Look under “Search for Charities.”


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