Haiti Relief –

Use CDM+ to help donors comply with IRS guidelines

We have all been touched by the impact of the January 12th earthquake in Haiti. The devastation is horrific and, even in the current economic climate, people across all walks of life have opened their pocketbooks to help however they can.

The IRS recently enacted a law that allows taxpayers to claim monetary gifts specifically given for Haiti earthquake relief Jan. 12 through Feb. 28, 2010 as a charitable donation on either 2009 or 2010 tax returns. Click this link to the IRS website for more information: http://www.irs.gov/. Click here to view a brief video from the IRS about the new law.

So, if you are collecting gifts to a qualifying charity, how do you track them using CDM+ to enable people to choose when to claim the deduction?

First, it is important to be able to distinguish the Haiti earthquake relief donations received January 12 through February 28 from those received March 1 and after. To keep them separate, create two giving funds in CDM+ named accordingly. For example, you could identify one giving fund as ‘Haiti Earthquake 1/12–2/28’ and another named ‘Haiti Earthquake 3/1 & after’. The new law gives the donor the option to report Haiti earthquake relief monetary gifts given 1/12/10 through 2/28/10 on either the 2009 tax return or 2010 return. It is the donor’s responsibility to determine which year he or she will claim the deduction. It is the receiving institution’s responsibility to provide the gift information to the donor. Creating two separate giving funds in CDM+ easily accomplishes this.

Secondly, after March 1 prepare a special giving statement for all giving units who contributed to the ‘Haiti Earthquake 1/12–2/28’ fund. When creating this giving statement simply enter the date range of Jan. 12, 2010 to Feb. 28 2010 and select only this fund.

Finally, next year include both funds when preparing your giving statements. Since you created separate giving funds, CDM+ will give separate totals for each period on the statement and the donor will have the information to properly complete their tax returns.

As a final note, remember you can change the name of a giving fund at any time and all of the contributions to that fund will then reflect the new name. If you have any questions or concerns about this special law, please visit the IRS website links above, or click here to view the official IRS publication or consult your tax advisor. If you have questions as to how CDM+ can help you provide the information to donors to comply, please do not hesitate to contact our support team at 800-633-9581 or email us at support@cdmplus.com.