Donate to qualified charities providing earthquake relief in Haiti by text message, check, credit card or debit card, and you can claim the donations on your tax return for 2009, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
Taxpayers who itemize deductions on their 2009 return qualify for this special tax relief provision, enacted Jan. 22. Only cash contributions (not property) made to these charities after Jan. 11, 2010, and before March 1, 2010, are eligible, and they must be specifically for the relief of victims in areas affected by the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. You have the option of deducting these contributions on either your 2009 or 2010 returns, but not both.
Search for a qualified organization here. Note that some organizations, such as churches or governments, may be qualified even though they are not listed on IRS.gov. Contributions to foreign organizations generally are not deductible.
Be sure to keep a record of any deductible donations you make. For donations by text message, a telephone bill will meet the recordkeeping requirement if it shows the name of the donee organization, the date of the contribution and the amount of the contribution. For cash contributions made by other means, be sure to keep a bank record, such as a cancelled check, or a receipt from the charity showing the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution.