DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (Sept. 16, 2005) — The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has alerted its members that a new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) program makes it possible for employees to donate their vacation, sick or personal leave to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina.
In exchange for employees' donated time, employers then make cash payments to qualified charitable organizations that are assisting in the Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts. SEMA said the program not only aids charities, but workers would reduce their taxable income by the number of days donated.
For workers to take advantage of the IRS program, their employers must set up a leave-based donation program under guidelines published by the agency. Companies can claim deductions on their tax returns for the amount of money contributed on behalf of employees who give up leave time, the IRS said.
SEMA noted that employers interested in establishing such a program can access a “Sample Charitable Leave Program” document provided by the law firm McDermott Will & Emery L.L.P. on its Web site at www.mwe.com/info/news/ots0905c.pdf.