In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, millions of people are in need of assistance and charitable organizations are a major source of aid during this time. The Internal Revenue Service has announced two policies that will both facilitate and promote organizations and individuals to provide relief to the affected people in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern region of the country.
The IRS has announced an expedited review and approval process for organizations seeking tax exemption in order to provide relief to the victims of the hurricane. To apply under this program, the organization must useForm 1023 and write “Disaster Relief, Hurricane Sandy” at the top of the first page of the application. If an organization has already mailed their Form 1023 and would like to be considered until the expedited process, a request may be faxed to the IRS labeled “Disaster Relief, Hurricane Sandy” and must include the organization’s name, EIN, contact name and phone number. The fax should be sent to the IRS at (513) 263-4554.
Although the IRS is offering this expedited process, it is still encouraging people to send relief donations to existing charitable organizations, such as theAmerican Red Cross, since it may provide aid to victims faster and more efficiently than newly formed organizations. Interested donors can visit FEMA’s websiteto find lists of organizations that are providing assistance to those affected by the hurricane.
The IRS has also addressed the issue of employer leave-based donation programs. Some employers have adopted programs whereby its employees elect to forgo vacation, sick, or personal time, and in exchange, the employer pays the cash value of this relinquished time to charitable organizations to provide relief for Hurricane Sandy victims before January 1, 2014. Read more about these programs on our previous blog post here.
If your organization would like more information on applying for tax exemption under the expedited program or employer leave-based donation programs, please contact us or click on “Ask A Tax Warrior” below.