CMS Contributions - Contributions to Haiti Earthquake Relief

A new tax relief law allows people who contributed in 2010 to charities providing earthquake relief in Haiti to take a tax deduction for the contribution on their 2009 tax return instead of their 2010 return. This means you can receive an immediate tax benefit, rather than having to wait until you file next year’s return. Certain requirements apply:

  • Only cash contributions made to these charities after Jan. 11, 2010, and before March 1, 2010, are eligible. This includes contributions made by text message, check, credit card or debit card.
  • The contributions must be made specifically for the relief of victims in areas affected by the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti.
  • You may deduct these contributions on either your 2009 or 2010 returns, but not both.

In addition, the general rules about tax deductions for charitable donations apply:

  • You must itemize your deductions on Schedule A; those claiming the standard deduction, including all short-form filers, are not eligible.
  • You must keep a record of any deductible donations you make.
    • For donations by text message, a telephone bill will meet the requirement if it shows the name of the donee organization and the date and 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.
  • Contributions to foreign organizations generally are not deductible.

Make sure your contribution goes to a qualified charity. Most organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible donations are listed in a searchable, online database available under Search for Charities. Some organizations, such as churches or governments, may be qualified even though they’re not listed on IRS.gov.

Related Item: Publication 526, Charitable Contributions

Follow these steps to record these donations in your CMS Contribution System.

 

  1. From CMS Contribution, click Options | Fund Setup.  Scroll down and find the next available fund number and click the Add button on the right.  Create a new Haiti 1/11/2010 - 3/1/2010 and click OK.  



    If you receive a message asking if you would like to include this new fund in a Statement that does not include ALL funds, answer "No".



    Add an Account Link (Income shortcut number) if you plan to transfer these contributions to the Ledger & Payables system.  Click Close.

  2. Enter cash donations only to the Haiti fund given between January 11, 2010 and March 1, 2010 in the CMS Contribution System as normal.

    NOTE:  If you receive contributions for Haiti March 2, 2010 and later, create a new fund i.e. Haiti 3/2/2010 - 12/31/2010 and enter contributions given after March 1st to that fund.

  3. After posting all contributions received through March 1, 2010, you can create a Contributor Statement for only the Haiti fund.  Click Reports | Statements | click the New Report button on the right and give this statement a new name, such as Haiti Donations 1/11/2010 - 3/1/2010 and click OK.



  4. Under Selections on the left, click the Funds button.



    Click the Remove All button in the middle and add back over the Haiti 1/11/2010-3/1/2010 fund.  Click OK.



  5. Click the Print Funds button on the right side of the Statement Selection display.



    Click the Remove All button in the middle and add back over the Haiti 1/11/2010-3/1/2010 fund.  Click OK.



  6. Click the Statement Message button in the upper right corner of the Statement Selection display.



    Enter a message to your contributors letting them know this will be the only record of their contributions to the Haiti fund this year, and they may use these contributions on their 2009 tax forms.  Click OK.



  7. Click Print and print and mail these Contributor Statements.
 
When printing your End of the Contribution/Calendar Year Statements (December 31, 2010), you'll need to EXCLUDE the Haiti 1/11/2010-3/1/2010 fund.  

Click the Print Funds button and remove the Haiti 1/11/2010-3/1/2010 Fund from printing on the End of Year Statements.

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