The American Institute of CPAs is asking CPAs and others to donate money to help the victims of last week’s devastating earthquake in Haiti.

“This earthquake struck the poorest nation in our hemisphere with devastating ferocity,” said AICPA president and CEO Barry Melancon in a statement. “The scope of this tragedy is unimaginable and heartbreaking, and the AICPA and the accounting profession will be part of the relief effort.”

The AICPA is accepting donations from member CPAs to its disaster relief fund, CPAs in Support of America Fund Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization that was formed in the wake of 9/11 and was later used to collect contributions for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. All of the contributions will be used to help victims of the Haitian earthquake on behalf of the U.S. accounting profession.

The AICPA also advised that donors wishing to participate in the Haitian relief effort in other ways should give to reputable organizations and research their options. Charitable gifts are tax-deductible and CPAs are able to advise taxpayers about what the requirements are for claiming a deduction on their taxes. Information about charities recognized by the IRS may be researched online at Guidestar.org. Information about groups working in Haiti is available through the U.S. State Department and the United Nations.

The AICPA has also published a “Disaster Recovery Guide” aimed at helping Americans who lose their homes or are displaced by storms, floods and earthquakes. While the guide is focused on Americans, many of the same basic principles apply to Haitians as they recover from this earthquake.

The AICPA’s Web site www.360financialliteracy.org provides free tools, articles, resources and a list of where donations can be made. 

AICPA members interested in contributing to the Haitian relief efforts can call (877) CPA-4ALL.

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