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Japan Relief

On March 11, 2011, an earthquake and tsunami caused damage in Japan. Many people gave to relief funds for the victims of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami. The IRS designated Japan’s March 2011 earthquake and tsunami as a qualified disaster. You might have received disaster-relief payments from an employer-sponsored private foundation. If so, you can exclude them from your gross income.

For 2011 only, you could claim a charitable deduction for what you gave to Japan’s relief effort. However, you must itemize your deductions to claim it.

The donation must be all of these:

  • Made in cash
  • Made for the relief of victims in areas affected by the earthquake in Japan on March 11, 2011
  • Made to a U.S. charitable organization -- One that's able to receive deductible donations

If you made the donation through a text message, use your phone bill to verify the donation. The bill must show all of these:

  • Name of the organization you donated to
  • Date of donation
  • Donation amount

You usually can’t deduct contributions to foreign organizations.

To learn more, see the Charitable Donations tax tip.

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