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Disaster Relief: Employer Considerations for the Workforce


With three devastating hurricanes impacting the U.S this year, many employers offered their employees a range of benefits including cash and paid time off to name a few. Special tax provisions apply whenever the President makes an emergency declaration and for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, Congress extended a special business tax credit for wages paid to employees displaced by these storms.

In this webcast we will review the special tax relief that employers can take advantage of whenever there is a nationally declared disaster, how these provisions relate to the 2017 hurricanes and how employers can be best equipped for future emergencies.

In this webinar the speaker will cover:

  • How FEMA declarations affect the tax treatment of disaster benefits
  • Special tax relief available for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria
  • The Hurricane Disaster Zone (HDZ) employee retention tax credit for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria
  • Wage advances and loans
  • Disaster benefits provided directly by employers to employees
  • Leave sharing and leave cash out donations
  • Hardship distributions and loans from qualified retirement plans
  • Employer foundations and other charities
  • Considerations for human resources

Educational Objectives:

  • Understand what special tax relief is automatically triggered when FEMA makes an emergency major disaster declaration
  • Learn how the special tax relief for disasters applies to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria
  • Review the various benefits offered to employees impacted by disasters and their federal employment tax reporting requirements
  • Identify the essential elements of a disaster relief benefit policy for the workforce

Who would benefit most from attending this program?
Payroll specialists, payroll managers and payroll consultants.


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Debera “Debby” Salam
  • Director of Payroll Information Management
  • Ernst & Young LLP

Debera “Debby” Salam is Director of Payroll Information Management for Ernst & Young LLP’s Employment Tax Services. Her experience in payroll research, process and audit, publishing, and advocacy is applied both internally and externally through publications, webcasts, training and project management with a federal, state and local employment tax compliance focus. Debby also functions as a subject matter leader on those projects involving payroll and employment tax requirements, including systems implementations, process improvement and due diligence.

Continuing Education

COA, 1.0 RCH
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