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Habitat lauds quick passage of tax deduction legislation

AMERICUS, Ga. (Jan. 7, 2005) – Habitat for Humanity International joins other nonprofits in praising Congress for quickly passing a provision to allow extra time for Americans to make cash donations to charities supporting relief operations in the Indian Ocean basin.

Under the new law, taxpayers will be allowed to claim a tax deduction in tax year 2004 for cash donations made before Jan. 31, for tsunami disaster relief. Previously, taxpayers would have to wait until 2006 to claim a tax deduction for tsunami-related gifts made after Dec. 31, 2004. The law, passed by unanimous consent in both the Senate and House, is awaiting President Bush’s signature.

“We congratulate Congress for taking such swift and decisive action in the face of such need,” said Paul Leonard, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International. It’s critical to build as much support and momentum for the relief as possible very early on so that all needs, short term and long term, can be met.

“This measure will allow people, who are already being very generous, to continue that giving pattern, and to receive the tax benefit of making those important gifts in the same tax cycle. It will also allow Habitat, as well as others who are working in Asia, to provide immediate help and to have the resources on hand to help see us through the years of recovery that will be needed.”