Help for Employers Addressing Disaster

Employer Assistance for Victims of 

Hurricane Harvey


By Frank Sommerville, John Reyna, and Mark Levine

Everyone in our community is reaching out to friends, neighbors, and even strangers, to assist in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.  There is something for employers to contribute as well.  Employers should consider Internal Revenue Code Section 139 for a tax-free means of providing reimbursement of reasonable and necessary personal, family, living, or funeral expenses incurred as a result of a qualified disaster.

The process is relatively easy.  The employer must secure an application from the employee. The only dollar limit is that the payment must be reasonable to cover the employee's uninsured losses.  The employee does not need to account to the employer for the use of the funds. Thus, the employer has no follow-up obligations.


Frank practices before the United States Tax Court.  John recently joined the firm after completing his LL.M in Tax.  Frank and John work in our Arlington, Texas office.  We thank them for preparing and publishing this application.  They are happy to answer questions of employers seeking to implemented disaster relief assistance.

We at WKPZ hope for a speedy recovery for our city and state.

To read this and other Employment Matters newsletters, please visit Mr. Levine's blog  or refer to our gallery of archived newsletters at WKPZ Newsletters.