Disaster Relief Resources for Charities and Contributors


In the aftermath of a disaster or in other emergency hardship situations, individuals, employers and corporations often are interested in providing assistance to victims through a charitable organization. The IRS provides a number of resources to help those involved in providing disaster relief through charities.

Publication 3833, Disaster Relief, Providing Assistance Through Charitable Organizations PDF, describes how members of the public can use charitable organizations to provide assistance to victims of disasters or other emergency hardship situations.

View these on-line training courses at stayexempt.irs.gov:

  • Disaster Relief - Part I, explains how charitable organizations may provide relief in disaster situations and the special tax rules that apply to such organizations
  • Disaster Relief - Part II, explains the special rules that apply to employer-sponsored disaster relief organizations, the deductibility of contributions to disaster relief organizations and the tax treatment of distributions to disaster relief victims

The following materials were prepared as part of the Exempt Organizations Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Technical Instruction Program for Fiscal Year 2003. (These materials were designed specifically for training purposes only and should not be used or cited as authority for setting or sustaining a technical position.)

These frequently asked questions address the following areas:

  1. Providing relief through an existing charitable organization
  2. Creating a charitable organization to provide disaster relief
  3. Providing relief to employees of particular employers
  4. Charitable contributions for disaster relief

Additional Resources:

Tax Relief in Disaster Situations: Special tax law provisions may apply when an affected area has been declared a federally or Presidentially declared disaster area. Such provisions provide relief from certain time-sensitive requirements, including certain notice, filing, and election requirements that apply to exempt organizations.

In addition, certain types of charitable organizations, including employer-sponsored private foundations and donor advised funds, may only provide assistance in a "qualified disaster," such as a Presidentially declared disaster or an event the Secretary of the Treasury determines is catastrophic. Find the most recent disaster declarations that trigger these special provisions.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) publishes disaster declarations and provides resources for disaster victims.

Publication 526, Charitable Donations PDF explains how donors may claim a deduction for charitable contributions.