The Obama administration has classified the Ebola epidemic in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as a public health emergency.
As a result, through 2015, and retroactive to 2014, employers with leave-based donation programs may allow employees to donate their unused vacation days, sick days or personal days. In turn, you donate the cash value of that time to organizations that are providing medical services and supplies for the relief of Ebola victims. Your payment must be made before Jan. 1, 2016.
Employees can’t take charitable deductions for their donations on their tax returns. In addition, the IRS will not assert that you will only be permitted to deduct these cash payments under the rules of tax code Section 170 (charitable contributions), rather than the rules of Section 162 (deductions for salary). (Notice 2014-68, IRB 2014-47)
HEADS UP FOR 2014 W-2s: Leave-based donations made in 2014 need not be included on employees’ 2014 Forms W-2.