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Want to help West Africa? IRS will let you donate paid time off to fund the fight against Ebola

MONROVIA, LIBERIA October 14: The Saah H. Joseph ambulance team collects a body suspected of being infected with Ebola on October 14, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia. The Washington Post/The Washington Post/Getty Images

The IRS announced Wednesday that it will let people turn their their vacation, sick or personal leave at work into cash that they can donate to help victims of Ebola in West Africa.

Under the new IRS guidance, employees will have the option of giving up any of their paid days off, which will let their companies turn that into a cash equivalent. Those companies will then be able to donate that money to qualified tax-exempt organizations that are working to help people deal with Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The Saah H. Joseph ambulance team collects a body suspected of being infected with Ebola on October 14, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia. The Washington Post/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Any donated leave will not be counted as income for the employee, and companies will be able to deduct payments made to qualified relief organizations.

"Employees can forgo leave in exchange for employer cash payments made before Jan. 1, 2016," the IRS said.

The IRS also announced that it has designated the Ebola outbreak in West Africa as a qualified disaster area. That change will allow qualified relief payments related to the outbreak, such as payments to U.S. employees living in West Africa, will not be included as part of their income for the purposes of their U.S. tax return.

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