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Obama signs PH Charitable Giving Assistance Act

U.S. President Barack Obama has signed into law a legislative measure that would allow American taxpayers to claim deductions for donations they made to support relief and rehabilitation efforts in the Philippines in the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda.

The new law, called the Charitable Giving Assistance Act, would allow taxpayers who donate to the relief efforts in the Philippines after the President’s signature on March 25 and before April 15 to take the charitable deduction when they file their 2013 tax returns.

Taxpayers who donate in this time frame but have already filed their taxes can amend their tax returns to receive these benefits this year.

Without this law, taxpayers can claim a tax deduction for contributions they make to charities, but they receive the tax incentive many months later after they file their tax returns the following year. The law eliminates this delay.

Philippine officials welcomed the enactment of the law.

“The immediate signing by President Obama of the Philippine Charitable Giving Assistance Act underscores the importance the U.S. government places on the immediate recovery of typhoon-devastated areas in the Philippines,” Ambassador Jose Cuisia, Jr. said in a statement from Washington.

Cuisia thanked Obama for his prompt action on the measure and lawmakers led by Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono and California Rep. Eric Swalwell and their cosponsors for introducing the bill and ensuring its passage in Congress.

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