If George Clooney and Bono didn't woo you into donating money to the Haiti relief effort on Friday night, Uncle Sam might. The Internal Revenue Service is offering immediate tax relief for any cash donation made to the Haiti relief effort.
This year, the federal government is offering the Haiti relief provision to taxpayers as a way to entice people to donate money to the earthquake-ravaged nation.
Who knows? If the IRS is ponyin' up some cash, Pat Robertson might even throw down a few bucks to help a nation that, ahem, "swore a pact with the devil."
"Americans have opened their hearts to help those affected by the Haiti earthquake," IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman says in a statement. "This new law provides an immediate tax benefit for the many taxpayers who have made generous donations."
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The tax incentive makes donors eligible to receive tax breaks this year rather than having to wait until filing their 2010 taxes.
Any cash donations made between January 11, and March 1 are eligible for returns this year, but donations must have been given to reputable, IRS-approved agencies. In other words, a donation to George Costanza's "Human Fund" isn't gonna cut it.
You'll have to prove that you actually donated money, and the IRS is encouraging taxpayers to keep records and get receipts if they plan on cashing in on donations. For donations in the form of text-messages, phone records will work as receipts.
For more information on the program click here.