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Assisting Employees Impacted by Natural Disasters

Tax-Exempt Organizations Alert Janice E. Rodgers, Patricia Spiccia

In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, many employers and employees have expressed interest in exploring the ways in which they can provide assistance to employees who have been adversely affected by these and other disasters. Employers and employees may provide disaster relief to affected employees through a variety of tax-effective means, including (a) leave-based donation programs; (b) independent or employer-sponsored charitable organizations that provide disaster relief assistance to affected employees (which may be public charities, including their donor advised funds, or private foundations; existing or newly created); and (c) qualified disaster relief payments from any source, including directly from employers. These are described in greater detail in Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) Publication 3833, I.R.S. Notice 2017-48, 2017-39 I.R.B. 254 (Sept. 25, 2017), and I.R.S. Notice 2017-52, 2017-40 I.R.B. 262 (Oct. 2, 2017). Each of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria has been declared a qualified disaster for purposes of the tax laws concerning disaster relief, and the IRS has announced a variety of other forms of relief that it is providing specifically in connection with those disasters. Additional guidance regarding relief specific to victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria can be found on the following webpages: Hurricane Harvey and Hurricanes Irma and Maria.


This update is intended as a general summary of legal matters and not as specific advice to any particular client. If you have any questions concerning the subject matter of this update, please contact Janice E. Rodgers at (312) 715-5034 / [email protected], Patricia M. Spiccia at (312) 715-5284 / [email protected], or your Quarles & Brady attorney.

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