Japan disaster provides proving ground for IRS tax scams

By Martin DiGiovine, tax attorney, Schneider Downs
In the aftermath of the recent catastrophes in Japan, the tremendous generosity of average Americans will once again be in full swing, providing food, medicine and other aid to the disaster affected area.

However, at times like these, unscrupulous solicitors have been known to emerge, ready to divert funds away from their intended purpose and into their own pockets.

In order to minimize the impact of possible scams, the IRS has provided some information to individuals, businesses and charitable organizations that wish to provide assistance to the victims in Japan.

The IRS suggests that donors check their website to confirm that a charitable organization providing relief to Japan is a qualified charity.

The IRS also suggests consulting Disaster Relief Resources for Charities and Donors to get information about how to provide assistance to victims through a charitable organization.

Contributions to domestic tax-exempt, charitable organizations that provide assistance to individuals in foreign lands qualify as tax-deductible contributions for federal income tax purposes, provided that the U.S. organization has control and discretion over the use of funds. Certain organizations, such as churches or governmental organizations, may be qualified to accept charitable contributions, even though they are not listed.
To ensure the deductibility of donations, be sure to confirm that the charity you contribute to is a U.S. based charity.
For further information, please contact Marty DiGiovine, Schneider Downs Tax Advisory Services.


You may like these other stories...

Legislation coming out of Washington just might reduce homeowners' burden for disaster insurance. It's a topic very much on everyone's minds since the mudslide in Oso, Washington. The loss of human life was...
Divorce is hard, and the IRS isn't going to make it any easier. The IRS generally says "no" to tax deductions that might ease the pain of divorce. In certain circumstances, however, you might be able to salvage...
IRS chief: New rule on the way for tax-exempt groupsIRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the USA Today on Monday that the agency will likely rewrite a proposed rule regulating the political activities of nonprofit groups to...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Apr 22
Is everyone at your organization meeting your client service expectations? Let client service expert, Kristen Rampe, CPA help you establish a reputation of top-tier service in every facet of your firm during this one hour webinar.
Apr 24
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel.
Apr 25
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.
Apr 30
During the second session of a four-part series on Individual Leadership, the focus will be on time management- a critical success factor for effective leadership. Each person has 24 hours of time to spend each day; the key is making wise investments and knowing what investments yield the greatest return.