In a display of bipartisan cooperation, the Senate and the House on Thursday unanimously approved legislation allowing extra time for 2004 deductions for tsunami relief donations, just two days after it was proposed by Senate Finance Committee chair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and ranking member Max Baucus, D-Mont.

Under the new law, taxpayers will be permitted to claim a deduction in tax year 2004 for cash donations made before Jan. 31, 2005, for tsunami disaster relief. Under current law, taxpayers would have to wait until 2006 to claim a tax deduction for tsunami-related gifts made after Dec. 31, 2004.

"The passage of this legislation will be a great benefit to those in need," Baucus said. "The American people are some of the most generous in the world, and this proposal will give them an extra incentive to support this great cause."

"Americans continue to give generously to tsunami relief, and I hope this extension will encourage them to give even more," added Grassley. "I also hope Americans will make sure the charities they choose are above board. A little research can go a long way toward stopping crooks in their tracks. Give your money to the needy, not the greedy."

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