U.S./world – Time off – Boost for charity

In a move hailed by charities and employers, the U.S. Treasury Department has issued an “interim guidance” clearing the way for “leave-based donation programs,” The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 31.

Such programs let employees give up vacations, sick days or personal leave if the employer donates the value of the time to charity.

The Treasury says the Internal Revenue Service won’t claim such “forgone” income is taxable to the employee who would have received the pay, the Journal says.

And businesses can deduct the donations as ordinary business expenses and not worry about limits on charitable gifts.

The Treasury’s guidance applies to payments made by businesses to charities by the end of 2002.

“This is a terrific example of how government can use creativity to help people give more in tough times,” Pat Read of Independent Sector, a nonprofit trade group, told the Journal.

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