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December 21, 2005
Recent natural disasters—Hurricanes Katrina and Rita—have dramatically affected not only our sisters living in the Gulf Coast, but Girl Scouts across the country. Girl Scouts of the USA, like many other nonprofits, has witnessed a drastic reduction in unrestricted charitable giving as contributions have been diverted to disaster recovery.
Tax Relief for 2005 Contributions
Recognizing the deleterious effect disaster relief efforts have had on charitable giving nationwide, Congress has recently made temporary tax law changes to encourage more charitable giving. The Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005 (KETRA), signed into law September 23, 2005, includes a number of important provisions pertaining to charitable giving. Among these provisions is a suspension of the income limits on new individual cash charitable donations in 2005. This incentive is for taxpayers who give gifts of cash between August 28 and December 31, 2005, and applies to donations to all charities. All year-end cash gifts to Girl Scouts of the USA and Girl Scout councils are eligible.
This information should not be considered tax, financial, or other professional advice. Please consult your tax and/or financial advisor prior to giving or visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website for additional information.
Girl Scout Councils Take Action
Girl Scouts also continues to support additional changes to U.S. tax code to provide incentives for charitable giving. Since September, nearly half of all Girl Scout councils have joined GSUSA in calling for legislation to reinstate the charitable deduction for non-itemizing taxpayers. The Tax Relief Act of 2005 is currently pending before the U.S. Congress.