Senate extends tax deduction for donations to Philippines

The Senate passed a bill Thursday that would allow some donations made in 2014 to victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines deductable on 2013 taxes.

By unanimous consent, the Senate passed S. 1821 and agreed that, if the House passes an identical measure, the bill would head to President Obama’s desk for his signature.

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Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) introduced the Philippines Charitable Giving Assistance Act, which would allow cash contributions made between Jan. 1, 2014, and April 15, 2014 to be deducted from 2013 taxes.

Hirono said the bill was necessary to incentivize people to keep giving to the Philippines, which is far from recovery after a typhoon hit and killed nearly 6,000 people.

“Because of the magnitude of the devastation, the Philippines has not yet recovered,” Hirono said on the Senate floor. “It will take them a long time. … It has been four months since Typhoon Haiyan but help is still desperately needed.”

There is a bipartisan companion measure in the House, H.R. 3771.