Good Morning Gentle Readers:
If you contribute to the Haitian relief effort between January 11, 2010 and March 1, 2010 you can deduct this on your 2009 tax return (if you itemize deductions). Or, you can wait until 2010.
This option only applies to cash donations. Cash donations are the ones you made by texting, writing a check, or handing twenty dollar bills to a bona fide relief organization and getting a bona fide receipt. If you sent a case of canned peaches or a case of Bud Lite, you have to wait until 2010 to deduct it.
Am I the only one who thinks this is really a dumb ass, overly complicated piece of legislation? Why not apply the KISS rule and leave it as it was. You give the money in 2010 and you deduct it on your 2010 tax return. We recommend doing just that. Keeping it simple.
As the man said, you may not be able to imagine how your life could possibly be more complicated, but CONgress can.