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June 2020

IRS Releases Guidance Related to Loans Received from Paycheck Protection Program

The IRS has provided guidance regarding whether taxpayers receiving loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) may deduct otherwise deductible expenses. Act Sec. 1106(i) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act ( P.L. 116-136) did not address whether generally allowable deductions such as those under Code Secs. 162 and 163 would still be permitted if the loan was later forgiven pursuant to […]

Treasury, SBA Release PPP Loan Forgiveness Application

Treasury and the Small Business Administration (SBA) have worked together to release the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application. According to Treasury’s May 15 press release, the application and correlating instructions inform borrowers how to apply for forgiveness of PPP loans under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act ( P.L. 116-136). The PPP was enacted under […]

Simplified Procedures for Nonfilers to Receive Economic Impact Payments

Eligible individuals who are not otherwise required to file federal income tax returns for 2019 may use a new simplified return filing procedure to make sure they receive the Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act ( P.L. 116-136).

Alternatively, these eligible individuals may use the “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” tool, available at www.irs.gov/coronavirus to submit the […]

Employee Retention Credit Helps Keep Employees on Payroll

To encourage businesses that have experienced an economic hardship due to COVID-19 to keep employees on their payroll, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act ( P.L. 116-136) has provided several new credits for employers, including a new employee retention credit. The IRS has issued a fact sheet summarizing a few key points about the new credit.

Certain employers can […]

Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefit Plans, Participants, and Beneficiaries Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak

The IRS and the Employee Benefits Security Administration are extending certain timeframes during the Outbreak Period for group health plans, disability and other welfare plans, pension plans, and participants and beneficiaries of these plans during the COVID-19 National Emergency. The beginning of the Outbreak Period is March 1, 2020. The end date is yet to be determined.

Outbreak Period
Under the relief, […]

Tax Guidance for COVID-19 Travel Disruptions

The Treasury Department and the IRS have provided tax relief to certain individuals and businesses affected by travel disruptions arising from the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. Under the guidance:

up to 60 consecutive calendar days of U.S. presence that are presumed to arise from COVID-19 travel disruptions will not be counted for determining U.S. tax residency under Code Sec. 7701(b), or determining […]

New Guidance on Cafeteria Plans

Due to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), the IRS has provided increased flexibility with respect to:

2020 mid-year elections under a Code Sec. 125 cafeteria plan related to employer-sponsored health coverage, health Flexible Spending Arrangements (health FSAs), and dependent care assistance programs; and
grace periods to apply unused amounts in health FSAs to medical care expenses incurred through December 31, 2020, […]

Proposed Regulations Address Deductibility of Fines and Penalties

The IRS has released proposed regulations that address changes made to Code Sec. 162(f) by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) ( P.L. 115-97). The proposed regulations provide operational and definitional guidance on the deductibility of fines and penalties paid to governmental entities.

TCJA Changes
Under amended Code Sec. 162(f), businesses may not deduct fines and penalties that are paid or incurred after December 21, […]

Charitable Deduction Denied for Conservation Easement; Validity of Regulation Upheld

A partnership was denied a charitable contribution deduction because it had entered in an conservation easement that violated the perpetuity requirement of Code Sec. 170(h)(5) and its regulations. The Tax Court held that if there is a judicial extinguishment of an easement the donee receives a proportionate value of any proceeds.

Easement Deed
The taxpayer had donated a conservation easement to a land trust […]

Proposed Regs to Clarify Miscellaneous Deductions of Estate, Non-Grantor Trust

The IRS has released proposed regulations clarifying that the following deductions allowed to an estate or non-grantor trust are not miscellaneous itemized deductions:

costs paid or incurred in connection with the administration of an estate or non-grantor trust that would not have been incurred if the property were not held in the estate or trust;
the personal exemption of an […]

May 2020

Trump Signs $2 Trillion Bipartisan CARES Act

President Trump on March 27 signed the $2 trillion bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act ( P.L. 116-136). The House approved the historically large emergency relief measure by voice vote just hours before Trump’s signature. The CARES Act cleared the Senate unanimously on March 25, by a 96-to-0 vote.

Generally, the following individual and business tax-related provisions are included […]

Lawmakers Continue Phase Four Economic Relief Talks; “CARES 2” in the Works

Lawmakers are continuing talks on a “phase four” economic relief package in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. To that end, the House’s “CARES 2” package is currently in the works and could see a floor vote as early as this month.

“CARES 2”
President Trump signed into law the $2 trillion bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act ( P.L. 116-127) on March 27. […]

IRS Addresses Queries on COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments; No Return Required for Certain Social Security Recipients

The IRS announced on March 30 that distribution of economic impact payments in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic would begin in the next three weeks. On April 1, the Treasury Department clarified that Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefit recipients who are not required to file a federal tax return will not have to file a return in order […]

Due Dates Extended for Additional Filings and Payment Obligations

The Treasury Department and IRS have provided a notice with additional relief for taxpayers, postponing until July 15, 2020, a variety of tax form filings and payment obligations that are due between April 1, 2020 and July 15, 2020. Associated interest, additions to tax, and penalties for late filing or late payment will be suspended until July 15, 2020. Additional […]

“Get My Payment” Tool Available for Economic Impact Payments

The Treasury Department and the IRS have released the “Get My Payment” tool to assist Americans in receiving their “economic impact payments” issued under the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act ( P.L. 116-136). The free tool went live on April 15, and is located at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment.

Get My Payment
The “Get My Payment” tool generally allows consumers to check the status of their payments, […]

IRS Addresses Bonus Depreciation, Related Issues for Post-2017 Qualified Improvement Property

As a result of the retroactive assignment of a 15-year recovery period to qualified improvement property (QIP) placed in service after 2017, QIP generally qualifies for bonus depreciation, and typically at a 100 percent rate. IRS guidance requires taxpayers who previously filed two or more returns using what is now an “incorrect” depreciation period (usually 39 years) to file an accounting method […]

Guidance on NOL Carryback Under CARES Act

The IRS has issued guidance providing administrative relief under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act ( P.L. 116-136) for taxpayers with net operating losses (NOLs).

The CARES Act provides a five-year carryback for NOLs arising in tax years beginning in 2018, 2019, and 2020. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ( P.L. 115-97) had eliminated carryback periods effective for tax […]

IRS Allows Temporary Filing by Fax for Forms 1139 and 1045

The IRS is allowing taxpayers to file by fax Form 1139, Corporation Application for Tentative Refund, and Form 1045, Application for Tentative Refund, for certain coronavirus relief, a senior IRS official said on April 13. On the same day, the IRS unveiled related procedures for claiming quick refunds of the credit for prior year minimum tax liability of corporations and net operating […]

Guidance on 163(j) Elections for Legislation, Farming, Real Property

The IRS has released guidance on making the following elections for the business interest deduction limitation:

the election out of the 50 percent adjusted taxable income (ATI) limitation for tax years beginning in 2019 and 2020 under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act ( P.L. 116-136);
the election to use the taxpayer’s ATI for the last tax year […]

BBA Partnerships Can Amend Returns for CARES Benefits

The IRS has set forth rules for BBA partnerships to file amended returns to immediately get benefits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act ( P.L. 116-136). “BBA partnerships” are those subject to the centralized partnership audit regime established by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA) ( P.L. 114-74). The procedure allows BBA partnerships the option to file an amended […]

IRS Sets Start Date for Tax Credits Under Family First Coronavirus Response Act

The IRS has announced that the employment tax credits for paid qualified sick leave and family leave wages required by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ( P.L. 116-127) will apply to wages and compensation paid for periods beginning on April 1, 2020, and ending on December 31, 2020. Additionally, days beginning on April 1, 2020, and ending on December 31, […]

IRS Provides Deposit Penalty Relief for New Refundable COVID-19 Employer Credits

The IRS has provided penalty relief for failure to deposit employment taxes under Code Sec. 6656 to employers entitled to the new refundable tax credits provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Families First Act) ( P.L. 116-127), and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act ( P.L. 116-136). The relief is provided the extent that the amounts not deposited are […]

April 2020

Trump Signs First Two Phases of Coronavirus Economic Response Package; Phase Three Underway

President Trump signed into law the first two phases of the House’s coronavirus economic response package. Meanwhile, the Senate has been developing and negotiating “much bolder” phase three legislation.

Families First Coronavirus Response ActThe House had sent its Families First Coronavirus Response bill (HR 6201) and accompanying technical corrections resolution to the Senate on the evening of March 16. “I have decided we are […]

Trump Administration Extends 2020 Tax Filing Season Through July 15

“At President Trump’s direction, we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a March 20 tweet. “All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”

The Treasury and IRS officially announced the extension on March 21 (IR-2020-58; more details can be found in Notice 2020-18).

The move […]

Due Date for Federal Income Tax Payments Extended to July 15

The Treasury Department and IRS have extended the due date for the payment of federal income taxes otherwise due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, as a result of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. The extension is available to all taxpayers, and is automatic. Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or contact the IRS to […]

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