Taxpayers Have Until Feb. 28 to Make Haiti Donations and Deduct Them on 2009 Returns


Taxpayers have until midnight on Sunday, Feb. 28, to make cash contributions to charities providing earthquake relief in Haiti and deduct them on their 2009 tax returns, under the provision of the Haiti Assistance Income Tax Incentive Act, PL 111-126. Contributions made after that date and before the end of 2010 can be deducted on 2010 returns.

 

The act, which was signed into law on Jan. 22, allows taxpayers to deduct contributions made for the relief of victims in areas affected by the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti on their 2009 tax returns instead of on their 2010 returns. To be eligible for an accelerated deduction, the contributions must be made after Jan. 11, 2010, and before March 1, 2010, and meet the requirements of IRC § 170.

 

According to the IRS, donations charged to a credit card before the end of February count for 2009, even if the taxpayer does not pay the credit card bill until after Feb. 28. Checks count for 2009 as long as they are mailed by the end of February and clear the financial institution shortly thereafter.

 

The special provision for deductibility of Haiti donations applies only to cash donations and not to contributions of property. To be eligible, contributions must be made specifically for the relief of victims in areas affected by the Jan. 12 Haiti earthquake. Gifts made directly to individual victims are not deductible. To get a tax benefit, taxpayers must itemize their deductions on Schedule A.

 

SPONSORED REPORT

Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.

QUIZ

News quiz: IRS warning on cyberattacks and a change in pension rules

Once again, the IRS sounds the alarm about a threat from cyberthieves. See how much you know about this and other recent news with this short quiz.

CHECKLIST

Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.