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Donate your vacation time, earn a tax break

Associated Press
Published September 9, 2005

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service on Thursday announced a program that encourages workers to give up unused vacation time and sick days and turn them into charitable contributions to aid Hurricane Katrina victims.

Employers would convert the donated time into cash contributions to charities while workers would reduce their taxable income by the number of days donated.

A similar program was put into effect after the 9/11 attacks, but it received only a limited response. Treasury Secretary John Snow and IRS commissioner Mark Everson said the government plans a greater effort to publicize the new program and expects a better response.

Officials wouldn't provide estimates of lost revenue to the government from the program.

For workers to take advantage, their employers must set up a leave-based donation program under guidelines the IRS will publish. The program will cover unused vacation, sick leave and personal leave.

Companies can claim deductions on their tax returns for the amount of money they contribute on behalf of employees who give up leave time, the IRS said.

[Last modified September 9, 2005, 01:18:20]

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