President Obama recently signed into law a bill that allows you to claim any donations you may have made to the Haiti relief effort on your tax return for last year (2009) or the current year (2010). If you donated any money between January 11th – March 1st, 2010, you can claim it on your return for either 2009 or 2010, whichever you want. Personally, I won’t be taking the deduction at all because I don’t feel it is right to give money to those less needy – and then take a write-off for it. I have the money to give, so I should give it without strings. I have always felt this way and have always donated money with the same intentions. My donations of “goods” to the Salvation Army or Goodwill are claimed, but any cash money donated is never claimed. Am I being foolish? Maybe. But it feels better to me to give the money without wanting any of it back, so I don’t ever claim it. I gave an entire day’s earnings from my sites to the relief effort and I don’t want any of it back from my own government; those people have nothing and I have a lot, in the grand scheme.
Do you claim your donations on your tax return? Like I said, I claim “goods” but I don’t claim cash money. I don’t give a lot of cash money to charities throughout the year, so when I do I don’t feel comfortable asking for some of it back when I have so much and they have so little. But most people do claim the donations, including most of my good friends. So maybe I am the weird one out!