Last-minute tax breaks for donations to Chile and Haiti

A lone restaurant stands in the rubble of the February quake in Port au Prince (photo:

A House bill was introduced yesterday which, if signed into law, will allow taxpayers to deduct last-minute, charitable donations for disaster relief in Chile from their 2009 tax returns rather than waiting to claim the deductions on their 2010 returns. In order to qualify as deductions for the 2009 tax year under the proposed bill, donations must be made to qualified, tax-exempt charities before the April 15, 2010, filing deadline.

In January, Congress passed a law making charitable donations to Haiti between January 11 and March 1 tax-deductible on 2009 tax returns. The new bill would also extend the time for making donations to Haiti until the April 15 filing deadline.

Worthy causes for cash advances

Taxpayers who have already filed returns and wish to make additional or last-minute donations may amend their 2009 returns or wait until next year to claim the deductions. The causes are so worthy and the tax-incentives so appealing that cash-strapped taxpayers may want to consider cash advance loans or even cash advances on credit cards as ways to get funds for donation.

Hoping to encourage further donations

According to, it is hoped that the bill, introduced by Sander Levin, the Democratic chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, and Dave Camp, a Republican on the committee, will encourage further charitable donations to these two countries, both of which are in dire need of aid.

Millions homeless and in need of essentials

It is estimated that 2 million people in Chile have been affected by the February earthquake and 708 have been reported dead. The January earthquake in Haiti left more than a million people homeless and an estimated 212,000 dead. The Haiti situation is now complicated by an outbreak of typhoid fever and officials fear that a cholera outbreak may ensue.

Generosity demonstrated even in tough economic times

Despite uncertain economic times, millions of individuals have given selflessly to these two countries recently struck by natural disasters unfathomable proportions. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, which tracks corporate donations for disaster relief have also been impressive. More than 350 corporate donors have provided a combined total approaching $150 million of disaster relief for Haiti.

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