Congress approves tsunami donations tax break Bernard Hibbitts at 8:34 AM ET
[JURIST] The US Senate and House of Representatives Thursday rapidly approved a bill that would give a tax break to donors to tsunami relief efforts by allowing them to claim deductions in the 2004 tax year for donations made prior to January 31, 2005. The measure is designed to encourage fund-raising to help victims of the December 26 disaster in South Asia estimated to have killed over 150,000 people; without it, donations made in January could not have been claimed until tax filings in 2006. The operative text of HR 241 follows:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. ACCELERATION OF INCOME TAX BENEFITS FOR CHARITABLE CASH CONTRIBUTIONS FOR RELIEF OF INDIAN OCEAN TSUNAMI VICTIMS.
(a) IN GENERAL- For purposes of section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, a taxpayer may treat any contribution described in subsection (b) made in January 2005 as if such contribution was made on December 31, 2004, and not in January 2005.
(b) CONTRIBUTION DESCRIBED- A contribution is described in this subsection if such contribution is a cash contribution made for the relief of victims in areas affected by the December 26, 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami for which a charitable contribution deduction is allowable under section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
The legislation now goes to the President for signature. Reuters has more.
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