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Begich Co-Sponsors Measure to Help Haiti Relief Efforts

Legislation would allow 2009 tax deduction for cash donations

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today announced he has joined a bi-partisan effort to spur Americans to support earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. Begich is a co-sponsor of legislation, supported in the House and Senate, to allow U.S. taxpayers who make charitable cash contributions to Haiti relief programs before March 1, 2010, to claim those contributions on their 2009 income tax return.

Under current law, a Haiti-related donation would have to wait to be claimed on next year's tax forms. Only cash contributions made specifically for Haiti disaster relief would count toward the effort to allow deductions on the 2009 forms.

"For most of us the devastation, death and injuries we see in the news reports daily from Haiti is beyond comprehension," Begich said. "But what we can do, and what Congress can support with this legislation, is give Americans an added incentive to make a cash donation to help the victims and support the relief efforts by allowing a tax deduction this year."

Lawmakers are looking for the opportunity to move and vote on the legislation as quickly as possible.

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