If you’re at all familiar with the rules of how to get tax deductions for charitable donations, you know that in general, you must make your donation before December 31st in order for it to apply to the taxes that you file by the following April. But, at times, this regulation can be changed in order to encourage additional charitable donations. Taxes being filed now for the 2009 fiscal year can include donations made to help Haiti until the end of February 2010, thanks to an emergency bill passed by Congress. Those who have already filed their 2009 taxes either online or in person can apply for this charitable tax donation credit on the 2010 return. However, those who prefer to get the credit towards their 2009 taxes cannot resubmit this donation on their 2010 tax return.
As with all charitable tax donations, there are several guidelines which must be followed in order to receive the deduction. Firstly, the donation must be made to an American organization such as the Red Cross. Charitable donations to Hatian or other foreign organizations are commendable, but ineligible for tax deductions. Additionally, it is important to make sure that you save the receipt of your charitable tax donation and submit it with your tax filing. If you make the donation via cell phone text message, make sure to keep your phone records as proof of the donation. And, of course, if you receive a receipt for your donation, file it away safely until the time comes to file your taxes.
You may never have thought about Haiti before the horrific earthquake of January 12, 2010. But now that you’re aware of the devastation, there’s never been a better time to help Haiti rebuild and to take part in this movement towards global altruism. Perhaps receiving a tax deduction in exchange for your contribution shouldn’t be the only reason that you donate, but it can be an added benefit for your kindness and generosity.