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Haiti donations qualify for tax relief

People who give to charities providing earthquake relief to victims in Haiti can claim these donations on their 2009 tax return, according to a recent news release from the IRS,

Taxpayers who itemize deductions in their 2009 return qualify for this special tax relief provision, enacted Jan. 22.

“This means you can receive an immediate tax benefit, rather than having to wait until you file next year’s return,” said IRS Spokesman Mark Green.

Taxpayers can benefit from their donations, almost immediately, by filing their 2009 returns early, filing electronically and choosing direct deposit.

The new law applies only to cash contributions. The contributions must be made specifically for the relief of victims in areas affected by the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti.

The IRS reminds donors that contributions to foreign organizations generally are not deductible.

Federal law requires that taxpayers keep a record of any deductible donations they make.