Slain Officer Family Support Act of 2015

Donate by April 15th to Retroactively Increase Charitable Deductions for 2014

Individuals who donate cash by April 15, 2015, to certain charities providing relief to families of slain New York City police officers can deduct those donate on their 2014 tax return.

Normally, charitable donations are deducted in the year the person actually made a donation. In other words, we deduct donations made in 2014 on a year 2014 tax return, and we deduct donations made in 2015 on a year 2015 tax return.

A new law, however, provides an exception.

The Slain Officer Family Support Act of 2015 (HR 1527) provides that taxpayers can take a deduction on their 2014 tax returns for cash contributions made by midnight of April 15, 2015, if the cash is donated to charities providing relief to the families of Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. Liu and Ramos were officers in the New York Police Department. They were killed while on duty on December 20, 2014.

Charities raising funds for the families of Liu and Ramos include:

The Slain Officer Family Support Act is not limited to these specific charities. Donations made to any charity providing assistance to the Ramos and Liu families would qualify for this retroactive tax treatment. But do your due diligence before you give.

Find out if a particular charity is legitimate, and avoid scammers pretending to collect for charity.

As with all charitable donations, you'll need a receipt to substantiate your deduction. This typically means a canceled check or credit card statement. "For donations by text message," the IRS says, "a telephone bill will meet the recordkeeping requirement if it shows the name of the charity, the date of the contribution and the amount of the contribution." Persons donating $250 also need an acknowledgement letter from the charity to support their deduction.

Hakeem Jeffries, representative for the Eighth Congressional District of New York, introduced the Slain Officer Family Support Act on January 27, 2015 as HR 544. It was re-introduced as HR 1527 on March 23, 2015. After passing both the House and the Senate, President Obama signed the bill into law on April 1, 2015.

For more information about deducting gifts, see Charity Donations are Tax-Deductible.