Hurricane Sandy: How Your Business Can Help

Photo courtesy of espensorvik

If you, like many other Americans, have been wondering what you or your business can do to help those who were devastated by Hurricane Sandy, rest assured that there is plenty to do, even from afar. Today, our office is taking a break from our usual law blog format to give you some information on what you can do.

Many large businesses have made monetary contributions because they can afford it without blinking an eye, and in fact many corporation giants actually do want to make a difference. Individuals who live close by have been lending a hand any way they can, by preparing meals for those who have been knocked out of their homes, offering a warm bed when possible, watching pets, rebuilding, and cleaning up the disaster areas.

If you are a small business owner and you would really love to help those who suffered a loss due to Hurricane Sandy, but you’re located too far away to lend a physical hand, consider contacting the American Red Cross. Always a group who helps those in need after a natural disaster, they’ve created a fund drive specifically for Sandy survivors that you can learn about by visiting their website.

What’s really cool is that they’ve even made it possible to donate via texting, which is how millions of Americans (and millions of people around the world) primarily communicate these days.  And, small business owners like you will probably wonder if donating in this manner will be deductible on your 2012 tax return.  The answer is unequivocally: yes.

To make donating to disaster survivors much easier and desirable to business owners everywhere, the IRS has made claiming text message donations on your taxes quite simple and clear. All you have to do is ensure that your cell phone bill clearly states the name of the organization that you donated money to, along with the date you made the donation and how much money you gave. If you’re not sure, contact your cell phone provider before your next bill is due.  If you pay your bill by automatic withdrawals, ask to have a one-time printing of your monthly statement.

This manner of donation seems to be very popular among many tech-savvy entrepreneurs, small business start-ups, and some individuals who are really pressed for time or for some other reason cannot feasibly donate their time or physical efforts.  Not only does donating monetarily help the clean-up teams and the hurricane survivors, but you’ll get a tax break out of it, which is good for you and/or your business as well. No one is trying to be selfish here, but we’ve all got to be practical.

And it’s not just the Red Cross who allows you to donate by texting these days.  Tons of local and nationwide groups offer the donate-by-text option in order to make it easier than ever to help out. If you’re interested in donating to one of your local relief centers or organizations in this manner, check out the IRS website.  There, you’ll find a search tool that allows you to search for tax deductible organizations.

For more information about what you can do to help Hurricane Sandy victims, call our office or check out the New Jersey Kiwanis Club of Young Professionals on Facebook.

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