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April 2021

2020 Filing Deadline for Individuals Extended to May 17

The IRS and the Treasury Department have automatically extended the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year, from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021. Individual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of […]

Biden Signs COVID-19 Relief Package

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Some of the tax-related provisions include the following:

2021 Recovery Rebate Credits of $1,400 for eligible individuals ($2,800 for joint filers) plus $1,400 for each eligible dependent. Credit begins to phase out at adjusted gross income of $150,000 for joint filers, $112,500 for a head of […]

Experts: IRS Guidance Needed on American Rescue Plan

The IRS needs to issue new rules and guidance to implement the American Rescue Plan, experts said on March 11 as President Joe Biden signed his COVID-19 relief measure.

“I hope Treasury will say something very soon: FAQs, press release, something. IRS undoubtedly will have to write new regs,” commented Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center Senior Fellow Howard Gleckman. He stressed IRS […]

Strengthening Tax Breaks to Promote Manufacturing Gets Bipartisan Support

Strengthening tax breaks to promote manufacturing received strong bipartisan support at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on March 16.

Creating new incentives and making temporary ones permanent are particularly critical for helping American competitiveness in semiconductors, batteries and other high-tech products, Senate Banking Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore) and Ranking Minority Party Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) stressed at the session.

Wyden said it […]

IRS Unopened Mail Backlog is Gone, Says Rettig

IRS Commissioner Charles “Chuck” Rettig told Congress on February 23 that the backlog of 20 million unopened pieces of mail is gone.

“There were trailers in June filled (with unopened paper returns). There are none today,” Rettig said in an appearance before the House Appropriations Committee Financial Services Subcommittee.

When there was a delay in getting to a return, Rettig said that […]

Cash Rewards for Money Order, Debit Card Purchases Included in Income

The Tax Court ruled that rewards dollars that a married couple acquired for using their American Express credit cards to purchase debit cards and money orders—but not to purchase gift cards—were included in the taxpayers’ income. The court stated that its holdings were based on the unique circumstances of the case.

Background

During the tax years at issue, each taxpayer had an […]

National Virtual Settlement Days Announced

The IRS Office of Chief Counsel has embarked on its most far-reaching Settlement Days program by declaring the month of March 2021 as National Settlement Month. This program builds upon the success achieved from last year’s many settlement day events while being shifted to virtual format due to the pandemic. Virtual Settlement Day (VSD) events will be conducted across the […]

Individual Not Entitled to Innocent Spouse Relief

An individual who owned a limited liability company (LLC) with her former spouse was not entitled to relief from joint and several liability under Code Sec. 6015(b). The taxpayer argued that she did not know or have reason to know of the understated tax when she signed and filed the joint return for the tax year at issue. Further, she […]

Penalty Not Timely Approved by Revenue Agent’s Supervisor

A married couple’s civil fraud penalty was not timely approved by the supervisor of an IRS Revenue Agent (RA) as required under Code Sec. 6751(b)(1). The taxpayers’ joint return was examined by the IRS, after which the RA had sent them a summons requiring their attendance at an in-person closing conference. The RA provided the taxpayers with a completed, signed […]

March 2021

Six-Time Rochester Top Workplaces Recipient Provides Straight Answers, Trusted Solutions

ROCHESTER, NY (MARCH 29, 2021) – Ask any CPA what they’ve been up to lately, and the unanimous answer is, “work, eat, sleep.” Even though the April 15 tax deadline has been extended to May 15, the team at Flaherty Salmin CPAs is still busily taking care of their corporate, affordable housing and personal clients’ needs, while also helping those […]

New Form for Self-Employed COVID-19 Leave Credits

The IRS has released new Form 7202, Credits for Sick Leave and Family Leave for Certain Self-Employed Individuals. The form allows eligible self-employed individuals to calculate the amount to claim for qualified sick and family leave tax credits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) ( P.L. 116-127). They can claim the credits on their 2020 Form 1040 for […]

IRS Urges Employers to Claim Employee Retention Credit

The IRS is urging employers to take advantage of the newly-extended employee retention credit (ERC), which makes it easier for businesses that have chosen to keep their employees on the payroll despite challenges posed by COVID-19. The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 (Division EE of P.L. 116-260), which was enacted December 27, 2020, made a number […]

Lenders Notified to File Corrected Forms 1099-MISC to Exclude Subsidized Loan Payments

The IRS has announced that lenders who had filed or furnished Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Information, to a borrower, reporting certain payments on loans subsidized by the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (Administrator) as income of the borrower, must file and furnish corrected Forms 1099-MISC that exclude these subsidized loan payments.

On January 19, 2021, the Department of the Treasury […]

Teachers Receive Safe Harbor for Certain COVID-related Expenses

The IRS is providing a safe harbor for eligible educators to deduct certain unreimbursed COVID-19-related expenses. The safe harbor applies to expenses for personal protective equipment, disinfectant, and other supplies used for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 in the classroom, paid or incurred after March 12, 2020. All amounts remain subject to the $250 educator expense deduction limitation.

Deduction […]

IRS Urges E-Filing, Direct Deposit

The IRS has urged taxpayers to e-file their returns and use direct deposit to ensure filing accurate tax returns and expedite their tax refunds to avoid a variety of pandemic-related issues. The filing season opened on February 12, 2021, and taxpayers have until April 15 to file their 2020 tax return and pay any tax owed.

“The pandemic has created a […]

February 2021

Employee Retention Credit Expanded & Extended

The recently enacted stimulus law extends a number of provisions for businesses struggling to cope with the pandemic. For instance, the law greatly expanded the effectiveness of the Employee Retention Credit (ERC). Originally, businesses had to choose between taking the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the ERC. For most employers, the PPP provided more benefit and more businesses qualified […]

Guidance on Business Deductions of PPP Loan Recipients

The IRS has issued guidance clarifying that taxpayers receiving loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) may deduct their business expenses, even if their PPP loans are forgiven. The IRS previously issued Notice 2020-32 and Rev. Rul. 2020-27, which stated that taxpayers who received PPP loans and had those loans forgiven would not be able to claim business deductions for […]

Information Reporting Waived for Nontaxable COVID Assistance

The IRS has waived the requirement to file Form 1099 series information returns or furnish payee statements for certain COVID-related relief that is excluded from gross income.

Reporting Affected

The IRS waives the requirement to file Form 1099 series information returns, or furnish payee statements, for the following:

forgiveness of covered loans under the original Paycheck Protection Program (PPP);
forgiveness of covered […]

Period for Paying Deferred Employee Payroll Tax Extended

The IRS has extended the time period during which employers must withhold and pay the employee portion of Social Security tax that employers elected to defer on wages paid from September 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020. Specifically:

the end date of the period for withholding and paying the deferred tax is postponed from April 30, 2021, to December 31, […]

Reporting Penalty Relief for Partnerships

The IRS has issued guidance that provides partnerships with relief from certain penalties for the inclusion of incorrect information in reporting their partners’ beginning capital account balances on the 2020 Schedules K-1 (Forms 1065 and 8865). The IRS has also provided relief from accuracy-related penalties for any tax year for the portion of an imputed underpayment attributable to the inclusion […]

Additional Final Regulations on Section 163(j) Issued

The IRS has issued final regulations providing additional guidance on the limitation on the deduction for business interest under Code Sec. 163(j). The regulations finalize various portions of the proposed regulations issued in 2020 with few modifications. They address the application of the limit in the context of calculating adjusted taxable income (ATI) with respect to depreciation, amortization, and depletion. […]

Safe Harbor for Electing Real Property Trade or Business

The IRS has provided a safe harbor allowing a trade or business that manages or operates a qualified residential living facility to be treated as a “real property trade or business” solely for purposes of qualifying to make the Code Sec. 163(j)(7)(B) election. This guidance formalizes the proposed safe harbor issued in Notice 2020-59, I.R.B. 2020-34, 782. Taxpayers may apply […]

Final Regulations Released on Small Business Simplified Accounting Rules

The IRS has released final regulations addressing the post-2017 simplified accounting rules for small businesses. The final regulations adopt and modify proposed regulations released in August 2020.

Implementation of the Rules

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ( P.L. 115-97) put in place a single $25 million gross receipts test for determining whether certain taxpayers qualify as small taxpayers that can use […]

January 2021

Final Regs Define “Real Property” for Like-Kind Exchanges

Final regulations clarify the definition of “real property” that qualifies for a like-kind exchange, including incidental personal property. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA, P.L. 115-97), like-kind exchanges occurring after 2017 are limited to real property used in a trade or business or for investment.

The final regulations largely adopt regulations that were proposed in June ( NPRM REG-117589-18). However, they also:

add […]

PPP Deduction Safe Harbor if Loan Not Forgiven

The IRS has released rulings concerning deductions for eligible Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan expenses. The rulings:

deny a deduction if the taxpayer has not yet applied for PPP loan forgiveness, but expects the loan to be forgiven; and
provide a safe harbor for deducting expenses if PPP loan forgiveness is denied or the taxpayer does not apply for forgiveness.

Background
In […]

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