House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander Levin, D-Mich., and ranking member Dave Camp, R-Mich., have introduced legislation to allow taxpayers to claim charitable deductions in 2009 for Chilean earthquake relief.

The legislation is modeled after similar legislation that allowed taxpayers to deduct their contributions for Haiti earthquake relief this tax season, and in 2005 for the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004 (see President Signs Haiti Tax Deduction into Law). It would allow individuals who make charitable contributions to victims of the earthquake in Chile prior to April 15, 2010, to claim an itemized charitable deduction on their 2009 tax return instead of having to wait until next year to claim it on their 2010 return.

The bill also includes a provision that would extend the ability to claim the charitable deduction for contributions made to assist victims of the earthquake in Haiti to the same date on their 2009 tax returns. The deadline was originally the end of February to claim the deduction this year.

“Americans are deeply committed to helping those in need, and this is on full display with respect to the assistance they have provided our neighbors in Chile and Haiti,” said Levin in a statement.

“This bill will extend needed help to the people of Chile and enhance the assistance already being provided to the Haiti earthquake victims,” said Camp.

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