The East Coast and parts of the Midwest have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The storm system was nearly 1,000 miles wide at times and in addition to the flood damage on the East Coast, it brought blizzard conditions to West Virginia and 20 foot waves to Lake Michigan. Sandy has claimed more than 100 lives and is predicted to have caused about $30 billion in damages in the United States.
What can you do to help?
The American Red Cross has set up a fund raising drive specifically related to Hurricane Sandy. One way to contribute is through text message. It’s an innovative way to contribute to the American Red Cross with a designated dollar amount. For IRS purposes, the contribution to the American Red Cross can be deducted on your tax return.
The IRS recently came out with guidance on how to claim text message donations. If your telephone bill shows the name of the receiving organization, the date of the contribution and the amount given, it will meet the record-keeping requirement. It’s an easy way to give money to help others, and receive a tax benefit.
It’s important to note that, in addition to the American Red Cross, there are many other local and national organizations committed to providing important services to their communities. Many of these organizations may also offer the option to donate by text. If you would like to contribute to another relief organization, you can see if the organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions by going to the Internal Revenue Service’s website. For more information, please contact your tax professional at Schneider Downs.
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