January 28, 2005

Crapo: Tsunami Aid Donations To Be Tax Deductible

Legislation passed to allow donations to apply to 2004 taxable income

Washington, DC â?? Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, a newly selected member of the Senate Finance Committee, has joined in support of legislation aimed at encouraging private donations for tsunami disaster relief. H.R. 241, which has been spearheaded by leaders of the Finance Committee, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives this morning where all revenue bills must originate. The Senate took up the bill this afternoon. Both houses passed the measure by unanimous consent and it will now be sent to the President, who has indicated that he will sign it. The bill would allow taxpayers who make tsunami-aid contributions through January 31, 2005, to deduct those donations from their taxable income for 2004. It applies specifically to deductible cash contributions for tsunami relief to any tax-exempt charitable group that falls under Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. â??Under current law, taxpayers would have to wait until 2006 to claim a tax deduction,â?? Crapo said. â??The enormity of the disaster and the overwhelming need for assistance makes it clear that we need to do what we can to encourage people to donate now rather than later. This doesnâ??t permanently change any tax code, but provides a strong incentive for those who may be considering donating to a tax-exempt relief organization. We have already seen a tremendous outpouring of generosity from Americans and this added incentive will encourage even more to demonstrate their compassion. I am pleased that the Congress has acted so quickly on this measure and that the President intends to sign it.â??The most recent estimate has put the death toll from the tsunami that struck December 26, 2004 at more than 150,000 with some expecting the number to double in the coming weeks. The tsunami devastated numerous countries and islands throughout southeast Asia.# # #FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at http://src.senate.gov/radio/.