If you blinked, you might have missed it, so we’re going to recap it here.

In quick succession, the IRS released a series of Hurricane Sandy-related announcements this week that impact taxpayers and tax pros throughout the storm-ravaged area … and well beyond.

Among the most interesting (to me, anyway) is guidance for employers that adopt “leave-donation programs” in which workers give up vacation, sick and personal time in exchange for employer donations to charity. It’s not a new idea; the IRS backed similar programs after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005.

Here’s what the Journal of Accountancy says:

“Under Notice 2012-69, the IRS will not treat as gross income or wages of the employees any cash charitable donations made by their employer to a Sec. 170(c) organization in exchange for vacation, sick, or personal leave that the employees elect to forgo. The payments must be made to a Sec. 170(c) organization for the relief of victims of Hurricane Sandy and be paid before Jan. 1, 2014.

“However, employees who forgo leave under such a program will not be allowed to take a charitable deduction for the value of the forgone leave excluded from their compensation.”

Here are the other most recent Sandy-related announcements:

And while we’re talking about disaster relief …
The IRS also has announced relief for farmers and ranchers in the 43 states impacted by the historic drought of 2012.

“Farmers and ranchers who previously were forced to sell livestock due to drought … have an extended period of time in which to replace the livestock and defer tax on any gains from the forced sales,” the IRS announced.

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