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Thune Supports Tax Incentive for Donations to Haiti Relief Efforts

Individuals Could Claim Donations on 2009 Federal Tax Return

January 21, 2010

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune became a cosponsor of the Haiti Assistance Income Tax Incentive (HAITI) Act (S.2936) today, which would allow financial contributions made by U.S. taxpayers to qualifying organizations for Haiti relief efforts through March 1, 2010 to be claimed on their 2009 income tax returns. The effort is similar to legislation passed in 2005 following the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster.

“The generosity of Americans toward the relief efforts in Haiti has been overwhelming,” said Thune. “The needs of the people in Haiti will continue long after the attention fades and this measure will hopefully encourage those who can give to give generously.”

Senator Thune has defended the full preservation of the federal income tax deduction for charitable giving from attempts to eliminate it over the last year. President Obama’s budget framework last year proposed reducing the deduction.

In addition to seeking to increase charitable donations to the relief efforts in Haiti, last Friday, Senator Thune sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano encouraging their support for uniting children in Haiti who have been approved by the Haitian court system with their adoptive families in the United States. Thune also joined with colleagues from the Congressional Coalition for Adoption on Tuesday in sending a letter to Secretary Clinton asking that as plans are made for U.S. and international response to this crisis that the needs of orphan children be considered. Senator Thune and his staff have assisted South Dakotans who have adopted children from Haiti and he is an original co-sponsor of a bill that would make the tax credit of up to $12,150 for adoptions permanent.