The IRS today released an advance version of Notice 2017-70 as guidance on the treatment of leave-based donation programs to aid victims of the California wildfires that began October 8, 2017.
Notice 2017-70 explains that in response to the extreme need for charitable relief for victims of the 2017 California wildfires, employers may have adopted (or may be considering adopting) leave-based donation programs. Under these programs, employees can elect to forgo vacation, sick, or personal leave in exchange for cash payments that the employer then makes to charitable organizations (section 170(c) organizations).
Today’s notice provides guidance for income and employment tax purposes on the tax treatment of cash payments made by employers under leave-based donation programs for the relief of victims of the 2017 California wildfires. The notice states that:
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