WASHINGTON — US taxpayers will be able to claim any charitable donations to relief efforts for quake-hit Haiti under their 2009 tax filings under a bill President Barack Obama signed into law Friday.
The measure, which aims to encourage more donations after a January 12 killer earthquake devastated the poorest nation in the Americas, raced through Congress. Lawmakers sent it to Obama on Thursday.
Modeled after a similar bill that bolstered giving after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, it allows cash contributions made through March 1, 2010 to count against 2009 taxes.
The measure also allows those who answered a Red Cross appeal for donations via text message to use their telephone bill as proof of donation.
Donors would usually have to wait until they file their 2010 tax returns next year to write off their gifts.
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