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Haiti earthquake disaster relief: IRS makes donations tax deductible for 2009

Money given for Haiti earthquake disaster relief through March 1 can be written off on taxes for 2009, the IRS says.

Frances M. Roberts/Newscom
Stan's Place restaurant in Brooklyn offered to donate 100 percent of any order of beignets to Doctors Without Borders for Haitian earthquake relief. The IRS announced cash donations to the Haitian relief effort would be tax deductible for 2009.

If you've made a donation to Haiti relief, the IRS will let you claim a deduction on your 2009 tax bill.

"Americans have opened their hearts to help those affected by the Haiti earthquake," says IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman in a news release." This new law provides an immediate tax benefit for the many taxpayers who have made generous donations."

Only cash contributions made between Jan. 12, 2010, and March 1, 2010, to organizations involved in earthquake relief in Haiti are eligible. Taxpayers can see whether an organization qualifies to receive charitable donations through this IRS site, although not all groups are listed on the site, according to the release.

Text-messaging donations can be validated by providing a telephone bill that shows the name of the organization and the date of the donation. The IRS has taken similar action during at least one other natural disaster, allowing those who donated to help victims of the 2005 Indian Ocean tsunami to count their contributions against their 2004 taxes.

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