January 04,2005

Grassley Co-sponsors Proposal to Encourage Tsunami Donations, Urges Consumer Research


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Extended tax deduction proposal for tsunami donations
Da: Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2005

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, today joined Sen. Max Baucus, ranking member, in announcing a plan to extend the period of time in which Americans can claim tax deductions for charitable donations to assist victims of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Southeast Asia on December 26. The tax proposal comes a day after the announcement of the President’s naming of former Presidents Clinton and Bush to lead a massive fund-raising drive forthe disaster. Under this proposal, taxpayers would be permitted to claim a tax deduction in tax year 2004 for donations made for tsunami disaster relief until Jan. 31, 2005. Under current law, taxpayers would have to wait until next year’s filing season to claim a tax deduction for tsunami-related giftsmade after Dec. 31, 2004. The proposal would be limited to cash gifts made specifically for disasterrelief. Sen. Grassley made the following comment on the new tax proposal.

“Americans are giving generously to tsunami relief, as they did after Sept. 11. I hope thisextension will encourage them to give even more. As they do, I hope they’ll make sure the charitiesthey choose match their good intentions. Inevitably some con artists will try to turn this tragedy intoa profit-making venture. Instead of falling victim to opportunists, Americans should consider themany good sources of information about legitimate charities. For example, the Better BusinessBureau Wise Giving Alliance and GuideStar both have resources online to guide donors. A littleresearch can go a long way toward stopping crooks in their tracks.”