Magazine article USA TODAY

Treating Deductions for Post-Attack Charities. (Taxation)

Magazine article USA TODAY

Treating Deductions for Post-Attack Charities. (Taxation)

Article excerpt

Americans are responding to the terrorism attacks in New York and Washington with an enormous outpouring of charitable giving. A large number of new charitable organizations have been formed to address the needs of the victims and their families.

The American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Taxation wants to make sure that the last thing those making charitable donations have to worry about is where their money is going and to help the donors obtain all of the tax benefits to which they are legally entitled. "Tragedy has brought out the best in most Americans, but it's also brought out the worst in a few," indicates Tax Section Chair Richard M. Lipton. "Unfortunately, Americans need to be on the lookout for sham charities trying to take advantage of their generosity."

To assist consumers in making donations, the Tax Section has launched an educational campaign on its website to help donors identify legitimate charities and get the proper tax benefits for their gifts. Visitors to www.abanet.org/tax will find a checklist of things to consider before making a contribution and, later, claiming a deduction, as well as useful links and information on many of the complex tax questions that have surfaced due to the attacks.

"Contributors have a right to know where their money is going, how much of it will benefit those who really need it, and whether an organization is tax-exempt," Lipton emphasizes. …

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