Nonprofit Newswire | Accelerated Deductions for Haiti Giving

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January 22, 2010; Minneapolis Star Tribune | President Obama signed a bill late last month in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti to encourage giving to the relief effort there. The legislation would allow taxpayers to write off charitable donations to Haiti earthquake relief efforts when they file their 2009 taxes this spring. Previously they would have had to wait until filing their 2010 taxes to use the deduction. Similar legislation was passed in 2005 to aid the relief effort after the tsunami in the Indian Ocean. Any efforts to speed aid and recovery efforts in Haiti should be applauded. But as a matter of public policy is H.R. 4462 (the Haiti Assistance Income Tax Incentive Act) effective in achieving its goals? And what of the unintended consequences? Our national correspondent took a closer look at these questions and the policy for the NPQ Web site. You might want to read what he found. And you might want to weigh in.—Aaron Lester