Friday, January 22, 2010
U.S. House of Representatives Unanimously Approves Bill Allowing Taxpayers to Claim 2009 Charitable Deduction for Haiti Relief
Awaiting Action by U.S. Senate to Encourage Support for Humanitarian Relief Groups
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 21, 2010) — The House of Representatives has unanimouly passed H.R. 4462 on January 20— legislation that allows individuals who make charitable contributions to victims of last week's earthquake in Haiti to claim an itemized deduction on their 2009 tax return instead of waiting until 2010.
The bipartisan bill, introduced by the House Ways and Means Committee, also includes a provision permitting those who text messaged a donation to use their cellular phone bill as a proof of donation.
"We all witnessed the horrendous event that took place in our hemisphere last week and have united in a bipartisan way to do what we can to ease the pain of those who are suffering in Haiti," said Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), the chairman of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, in a statement. "We developed this legislation to make it easier, and encourage people, to donate to the relief efforts in Haiti."
Congress enacted this type of relief in January 2005 for individuals that made charitable contributions to victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami that occurred in late December of 2004. That bill (H.R. 241 in the 109th Congress) passed the House of Representatives without objection and subsequently passed the Senate by unanimous consent.
Save the Children urges all organizations working to provide relief in Haiti to pass this news on to their donors.