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Final week for US tax-deductible donations to ‘Yolanda’ relief

/ 12:36 AM April 10, 2014

AP FILE PHOTO

HONOLULU, Hawaii –Thanks to the Philippines Charitable Giving Assistance Act, there is one more week to donate to Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts — until April 15, 2014 — and still receive a 2013 tax deduction.

Also, this Saturday, April 12 at 10:00 am, the Filipino Community Center (FilCom Center) is hosting a public presentation on the Consuelo Foundation’s Project H.O.P.E. to aid disaster victims.

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The bipartisan Philippines Charitable Giving Assistance Act was co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), unanimously passed by the U.S. Senate, and signed into law by President Barack Obama.

It provides expedited tax relief for Americans making charitable donations in support of Typhoon Haiyan recovery efforts in the Philippines.

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This new law allows taxpayers who donate to Philippine relief efforts before April 15, 2014 to take the charitable deduction when they file their 2013 tax returns.

The law also allows taxpayers who have already filed their 2013 returns to make a donation and then file an amended return to still take advantage of this benefit.

The FilCom Center has already collected nearly $700,000 for the relief effort. Hawaii residents have one more week to send a donation check to the FilCom Center (made payable to “FilCom Center – Aloha For Philippines”) or contribute online at www.FilCom.org/donate-2.

Donations will be contributed to the Consuelo Foundation, who has agreed to match all funds given by the FilCom Center.

Those interested in learning how funds are currently being used by the Consuelo Foundation can attend an informational session this coming Saturday, April 12 at the FilCom Center from 10:00 to 11:00 am. Dr. Jon Matsuoka, Consuelo President & CEO, will discuss Project H.O.P.E. (Haiyan Operations for Protection & Empowerment).

The Consuelo Foundation has committed more than $3.3 million to Project H.O.P.E. (www.projecthopeph.com) and Dr. Matsuoka will provide an update on how the project is helping disaster victims regain their livelihoods and rebuild their communities. Light refreshments will be served. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP at (808) 680-0451.

Donations will be accepted at the April 12 information briefing. Alternatively, volunteers from Congress of Visayan Organizations (COVO), United Filipino Council of Hawaii (UFCH), Oahu Filipino Community Council (OFCC) and Filipino Junior Chamber of Commerce (Filipino JCs) will accept donations in the Consuelo Courtyard of the FilCom Center from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.

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“It’s been five months since Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines. Help is still desperately needed following the worst typhoon in the world’s history.   I have seen the devastation first-hand and the need is almost overwhelming,” said Constance Lau, chair of the Consuelo Foundation board and president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries.

“Senator Hirono has provided us this very special one-time tax relief opportunity to donate by April 15 and receive a benefit on our 2013 taxes. Please take advantage of this and help us achieve a much-needed boost in ongoing efforts to raise critical funds for the victims of Haiyan,” Lau added.

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TAGS: Filipino Community Center Hawaii, Haiyan, philanthropy, Philippines Charitable Giving Assistance Act, tax deductible donations, typhoon relief, Yolanda
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