Leave-Donation Program to Benefit Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Looking for ways to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy? The IRS announced special relief intended to support leave-based donation programs to aid victims who have suffered from extraordinary destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. Under these programs, employees may donate their vacation, sick or personal leave in exchange for employer cash payments made to qualified tax-exempt organizations providing relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Employees can forgo leave in exchange for employer cash payments made before January 1, 2014. Under this special relief, the donated leave will not be included in the income or wages of the employees. Employers will be permitted to deduct the amount of the cash payment. Details on this relief program are in IRS Notice 2012-69.

Employees donating their vacation, sick or personal leave would not be eligible to take a charitable contribution tax deduction since this amount is not taxable to them. This does provide an opportunity for those who want to help but have limited cash resources.

Charity Navigator, the nonprofit watchdog for charity organizations, issued a list of 10 highly rated charitable organizations that have rushed in to help the storm’s victims both in the United States and abroad. It includes:

• American Red Cross

• AmeriCares

• World Vision

Best Friends Animal Society

Save the Children

• Feeding America

• Operation USA (helping people impacted in Haiti, Cuba and the U.S.)

Direct Relief International

• International Medical Corps (helping people in Haiti)

Convoy of Hope

Our thoughts and prayers are with the many people facing the devastation from the hurricane.

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