Daily Tax Update - October 29, 2014: Fifty-One Jurisdictions Sign Agreement for Automatic Exchange of Information

Fifty-One Jurisdictions Sign Agreement for Automatic Exchange of Information:  Today at the annual meeting of the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes in Berlin, 51 jurisdictions signed a multilateral competent authority agreement to implement the OECD’s standard for global automatic exchange of information.  In a statement, the OECD announced that the adopters of the agreement have pledged to work toward launching their first information exchanges by September 2017.  The signatories include the EU member states and Mexico.  However, the United States is not a signatory.

IRS Issues Guidance Related to Charitable Contributions to Aid Ebola Outbreak Victims:  Notice 2014-65 designates the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone as a qualified disaster for purposes of Section 139.  As a result, payments of qualified disaster relief to assist victims affected by the outbreak are excludable from the recipients’ gross income.  Notice 2014-68 provides that cash payments an employer makes to Section 170(c) organizations in exchange for vacation, sick, or personal leave that its employees elect to forgo will not constitute gross income if the payments are: (1) made to the Section 170(c) organizations for the relief of victims of the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone; and (2) paid to the Section 170(c) organizations before January 1, 2016.