As an organ donor living in Pennsylvania, am I entitled to paid leave for the procedure?

by Christopher C. Humes, CPA | Jun 21, 2018
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I was officially approved to donate a kidney, which will be done at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. I understand that employees of a private business who are Pennsylvania residents are entitled to five days of paid leave for organ donation. When I presented the info and required Pennsylvania tax credit form (REV-984), my employer said he was going to forward it to his accountant and ask about it since it was a new situation for him. That was last month. A couple weeks later, I asked if he heard from the accountant. He said, “I haven’t, but I’m 99 percent sure I know the answer. The state will give you a tax break for compensated time off, but the feds won’t. It’s important to remember that this is only a tax break, not compensation. If you’re asking about me being willing to give you compensated time off for the procedure, then the answer is unfortunately no. You’re going to have to use PTO for it.” What, if anything, am I'm entitled to as a donor, and what would I need to give or say to my employer to make it clear? 

There are currently no allowable federal credits for organ donations. At this time, there is also no tax credit for individuals donating an organ in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania does allow a credit for businesses to pay employee compensation during an absence to donate an organ or bone marrow. The business is allowed a credit for the amount paid to an employee for a leave period not exceeding five working days per employee, and allows a credit for the cost of temporary replacement help for the employee, again limited to five working days. The business can use this credit to offset the amount of Pennsylvania tax paid by the business (or the business owner if it is a sole-proprietorship or a “pass-through” entity such as a partnership, limited liability company, or S corporation).

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Answered by: Christopher C. Humes, CPA, is with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP in Wormleysburg, Pa.

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