IRS Sets Katrina Relief Guidelines for 2005 Tax Season

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With more than $2.7 Billion donated the past year specifically for hurricane relief, more Americans are making donations. Newly available online resoruces help tax payers understand how to donate most efficiently. Victims of hurricanes should also be aware of new tax relief measures.

With more than $2.7 Billion donated the past year specifically for hurricane relief, more and more people all over the US are reaching deep down to assist the thousands of victims of Hurricane Katrina, Wilma, and Rita in what was a difficult 2005. With the near-ubiquity of the Internet, giving aid to those in need has become easier than ever. However, with tax season rapidly approaching, tax payers, both those directly affected by disaster and those new to charitable giving, should be aware of certain guidelines. Victims of disaster should be aware of specific tax relief and tax extensions available to them. Donors should be aware of Internal Revenue Service charitable giving guidelines to ensure that their donations are used effectively and to understand what may or may not be a tax deduction on this year’s return. A number of new resources are available online to guide taxpayers through the 2005 tax season.

The Internal Revenue Service has set up a special section of their official website (http://www.irs.gov) to announce specific guidelines by disaster. Also, Congress has recently passed the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005 outlining specific tax relief for victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma. The relief act contains specific provisions for easing the tax burden on victims as well as temporarily suspending specific restrictions on charitable donations.

For donors, the easiest way to ensure that your money goes to those who need it the most is to donate to qualified, domestic, charitable organizations. IRS.com (http://www.irs.com), an independent Internet tax information site, has set up new resources to guide tax payers in charitable giving. From Internal Revenue Service guidelines, to both self-directed and professional tax filing services, IRS.com offers numerous resources for the taxpayer. “With all of the recent disasters and the mounting relief needs of victims, it is imperative that all taxpayers feel comfortable about donating. The only way to boost confidence in charitable donations is to make everyone aware of the most effective methods of donation and how those donations affect tax returns” said IRS.com representative Robert Hoult.

For further information, IRS.com maintains numerous resources for the taxpayer both in understanding disaster relief for victims, and to assist in sorting out their charitable giving and how that affects their tax liabilities and returns. From the numerous resources available on the Internet to tax professionals, IRS.com can direct you to the appropriate tax resource.

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