Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives today unanimously passed H.R. 4462, legislation that would allow individuals who make charitable contributions to victims of the earthquake in Haiti to claim an itemized charitable deduction on their 2009 tax return instead of having to wait until next year to claim these deductions on their 2010 tax return. The legislation also includes a provision allowing those who text messaged a donation the ability to use a phone bill as proof of donation. The bipartisan bill was introduced yesterday by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) and Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI) joined Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-SC), House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), and 152 additional original cosponsors. Please click here to view text of the legislation.
“We all witnessed the horrendous event that took place in our hemisphere last week and have united in a bipartisan way to do what we can to ease the pain of those who are suffering in Haiti,” said Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-NY). “Working together with Ranking Member Camp, and Whips Clyburn and Cantor, we developed this legislation to make it easier, and encourage people, to donate to the relief efforts in Haiti and I thank my colleagues for their strong support in the House today.”
“To the extent this legislation can encourage Americans to increase what has already been an outpouring of generous support for the people of Haiti, it deserves the support of every member of this House, the Senate and the President’s immediate signature ,” said Ways and Means Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI). “I thank the Chairman for his excellent and timely work to bring this bill before the House.”
In January of 2005, Congress enacted this type of relief for individuals that made charitable contributions to victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami that occurred in late December of 2004. That bill (H.R. 241 in the 109th Congress) passed the House of Representatives without objection and subsequently passed the Senate by unanimous consent.