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Disaster Relief: Public Support Test Calculation for Employer Leave Donation Program

With an employer leave donation program, how is financial support contributed to a qualified tax-exempt organization treated for purposes of computing the organization's public support under section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) of the Internal Revenue Code?

In determining if an organization qualifies as publicly supported under section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) of the Code, support from an individual or corporation is included as support from the general public only to the extent that total contributions from such individual or corporation for a computation period do not exceed two percent of the organization’s total support. Because employees in a leave donation program authorize the use of their leave to provide financial support to a qualified tax-exempt organization, amounts received by an organization from such a program are treated as numerous grants from employees (rather than one large grant from the employer) for purposes of computing public support under section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi).  

For more information about the public support computation, see Publication 557, Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization.  For more information about the tax rules that apply to leave donation programs, see Notice 2005-68.  Note in particular that certain conclusions reached with respect to leave donation programs apply only to relief provided for relief of victims of Hurricane Katrina, paid to qualified organizations before January 1, 2007.

Caution:  An organization reviewing contributions for public support purposes would need to know the cash value of leave donations from each employee to determine which contributions fall below two percent of the organization's total support.  This type of information could be obtained from employers participating in a leave donation program. 

Amounts paid by employers that match the value of the amounts attributable to employees' donations of leave are not treated as numerous grants from employees for purposes of computing public support under section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi).