In Notice 2014-68, the IRS provided guidance on leave-based donation payments aiding victims of the Ebola outbreak. Employers may make cash payments before Jan. 1, 2016, to Sec. 170(c) organizations for relief of victims in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in exchange for employees’ election to forgo their vacation, sick, or personal leave. The forgone leave will not constitute gross income or wages of the employees (who may not claim a charitable contribution deduction for its value). The Service will not require employers to deduct such payments under Sec. 170 rather than Sec. 162.
In addition, Notice 2014-65 designates the Ebola outbreak in the three countries as a qualified disaster under Sec. 139, meaning that affected taxpayers receiving qualified disaster relief payments under Sec. 139(b) will not include them in gross income.