March 16, 2020
Authored by: Keith Kehrer and Erika Labelle
Employers are looking for ways to assist employees and their dependents experiencing financial hardship due to the Coronavirus. One potential tax-advantaged method is the use of an existing or newly formed employer-sponsored foundation which qualifies for exemption under Section 501(c)(3).
Under established IRS guidance set forth in Publication 3833, an employer-sponsored foundation may operate a fund which provides financial assistance to employees who experience financial hardship due to a qualifying event, including certain federally declared disasters or emergencies which now include circumstances resulting from the Coronavirus. If the conditions below are satisfied, persons (including the employer and other employees) making donations to the foundation are entitled to a charitable deduction under Section 170 of the Code and financial relief payments made to employees are not included in taxable compensation: