You know the country has suffered a devastating natural disaster when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) starts putting out batches of guidance about the crisis that let grief slip between the regulatory language.
The IRS has shown its human side in Notice 2012-69, which talks about how the IRS will treat employers that let employees donate the cash value of forgone vacation, sick or personal leave time to help people affected by Hurricane Sandy.
IRS officials recalled in the notice that they issued similar notices after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and after Hurricane Katrina.
“This guidance is provided in view of the extraordinary damage and destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy,” officials said in the notice.
The IRS said it will not try to treat the Sandy relief leave donation payments as being part of the employees’ taxable income.
Employees who make the donations cannot claim charitable contribution deductions for the donations, but employers need not include the payments on employees’ W-2 forms.