There is possible good news for foundations and businesses eagerly looking for ways to help individual people get by during these volatile and uncertain times. Normally there are significant restrictions on the ability of many foundations and absolutely on company foundations, to be able to provide grants directly to individuals in need, particularly if those individuals are employees of the company that created the foundation. But many of those restrictions can be suspended under certain circumstances, and by following rules in the regulations there may be an opportunity to grant monetary payments from company foundations to its employees, or from any foundation directly to individuals in need. Foundations that follow the various rules may be able to make these types of grants even if they have not historically had such a program and have not previously received IRS approval for an individual grant program.
Furthermore, there may now be an ability for businesses to provide payments to employees that have been impacted by the coronavirus which meet the requirements to be a “qualified disaster relief payment”. Those payments would not be taxable to the recipient while still being a business deduction for the business. Please take a look at this article created by Venable for a more in depth look at how company foundations can assist individuals at this time.
These rules are complex, and but we are in complex times, please reach out to your tax advisor with questions, and good health wishes to all.