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Final word on Haiti donation deductions

Obama Haiti bill signing_Pete Souza (2) Just to close the loop here on the ol' blog, the ability to time shift your donation to Haiti earthquake relief is official. Obama signed the bill into law on Friday.

The new law also clarifies record keeping rules for those of you who donated via text message.

Your telephone bill will be sufficient if it shows the name of the organization to which you donated, the contribution date and its amount.

In addition, the IRS has designated the Haiti situation a qualified disaster for federal tax purposes.

As I noted in my first post on donations to the devastated island nation, this designation was sought by the Council on Foundations.

With the IRS making it official, employer-sponsored private foundations can assist victims in Haiti without it causing the foundation any tax problems. More importantly, recipients of qualified disaster relief payments don't have to count that money as taxable income.

Private foundation payments generally include money to employees in the disaster area to help them pay necessary personal, family, living or funeral expenses that were not covered by insurance. The money also is often used to pay for repair of homes and belongings, again where such items are not covered by insurance.

Now those folks in Haiti who are U.S. taxpayers won't have to worry about taxes on such desperately needed financial help.

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