Slain Officer Family Support Act of 2015

If you plan to make a donation to help the families of
the two New York police officers who were slain in
December, a new law allows you to take an itemized
deduction on your 2014 federal income tax return.

The “Slain Officer Family Support Act of 2015” (signed
on April 1, 2015) provides a special tax option for cash
contributions you make to a qualified charity for
distribution to the families of the two officers.
For this specific purpose, the act waives the usual
prohibition of currently deducting donations made after
December 31. That means when you donate by April 15, 2015,
you can choose to claim your deduction on your 2014 return.

“Cash” contributions include donations you make by text
message, check, credit card, debit card, electronic funds
transfer, or an online payment system. The act specifically
allows charities to direct your contribution to the
families of the officers. That’s a departure from the
general tax rule governing charitable contributions.

Be aware that other rules remain unchanged. For example,
you’ll need to make your contribution to a qualified
charity, not directly to the families. In addition,
you’re required to keep records substantiating your
donation.

What if you already submitted your return? Depending on
your circumstances, you could choose to file an amended
return. Alternatively, you can claim the deduction on
your 2015 tax return.

Please contact our office to learn more about this new
law and how it affects your 2014 tax return.