Tax Tip Tuesday: Haiti relief donations - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Tax Tip Tuesday: Haiti relief donations

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The aftermath of the Haiti earthquake has left thousands dead an injured. Relief efforts have been underway since the earthquake struck in January as millions of Americans join the world in sending aid.

Those who made monetary donations can deduct their donations this year thanks to a special tax provision recently passed.

"That means you're going to be having to making a cash donation, check or credit card," said Dee Stepter, with the IRS. "It can even be the donations that you are making by text messages," she added.

To get this benefit, taxpayers must itemize their deductions on a schedule a form. Those who claim the standard deduction are not eligible. Taxpayers should make sure their donations have gone to qualified charities that are able to receive tax deductible donations.

"We're hoping that people will be able to take advantage of this opportunity to deduct it on their return," said Stepter.

A lot of people used text messages to donate money to charities. The donation should show up on your monthly bill.

"They need to hang on to their cell phone bill to show the charge and hopefully the bill is going to reflect donations for Haiti relief," Stepter said. "They need to keep the documentation."

January 12 through February 28 is the time period to make a donation in order to file this deduction on your 2009 return. If you don't deduct for this filing season, you can deduct next year.

"You do have the option of waiting to claim it on 2010 that could possibly be someone who did not itemize or is not going to itemize for 2009," said Stepter.

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