Lawmakers want faster tax breaks for Haiti gifts

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan group of House leaders is trying to encourage charitable donations for Haitian earthquake victims by allowing donors to write off contributions on their 2009 taxes.

The lawmakers said Friday they will introduce a bill allowing 2009 tax deductions for donations made by the end of February. Under current law, donors would have to wait until they file their 2010 returns next spring to take the deductions.

A similar law was enacted in 2005 for donations to victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami that happened in December 2004.

The bill is sponsored by Democrats Charles Rangel of New York and James Clyburn of South Carolina and Republicans Dave Camp of Michigan and Eric Cantor of Virginia. Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek of Florida announced similar legislation.