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March 2020

Fleet-Average and Vehicle Cents-Per-Mile Base Valuation Amounts Updated

Final regulations increase a vehicle’s maximum value for eligibility to use the fleet-average valuation rule or the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule. The regulations provide transition rules for certain employers. The final regulations are effective on February 5, 2020, the date of publication in the Federal Register.

TCJA Increased Maximum Vehicle ValuesBefore the Tax Cuts and Job Act (TCJA) ( P.L. 115-97), the […]

Guidance Provided on Qualifying for EITC

The IRS has provided guidance on qualifying for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is a refundable tax credit that is intended to be a financial boost for families with low to moderate incomes.

Due to changes in marital, parental or financial status, millions of workers may qualify for EITC for the first time this year. The IRS urges […]

Proposed Regulations Reflect Changes to Wage Withholding, Redesigned W-4

The IRS has proposed regulations with guidance for employers on withholding federal income tax from employee’s wages. The proposed regulations:

implement recent changes made to Code Secs. 3401 and 3402 by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) ( P.L. 115-97); andreflect the redesigned 2020 Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate, and the related wage withholding tables and computational procedures published in IRS Pub. 15-T, Federal Income Tax Withholding […]

February 2020

Trump Signs Bipartisan Year-End Government Spending, Tax Package

On December 20, President Donald Trump signed the bipartisan, year-end government spending and tax package, just hours before federal funding was set to expire. Trump’s signature on the over 2,000-page spending package avoided a government shutdown.

Year-End Tax PackageThe Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, (HR 1865), logs just over 700 pages and serves as only half of the government spending package […]

Individual Mandate Ruled Unconstitutional

The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) ( P.L. 111-148) individual mandate is unconstitutional because it can no longer be read as a tax, and there is no other constitutional provision that justifies this exercise of congressional power. However, the central question of whether the rest of the ACA remains valid […]

Qualified Opportunity Zone Investment Regulations Finalized

Proposed qualified opportunity zone regulations issued on October 29, 2018 ( REG-115420-18) and May 1, 2019 ( REG-120186-18) under Code Sec. 1400Z-2 have been finalized with modifications. The regulations. which were issued in a 550 page document, are comprehensive.

The regulations address issued related to all aspects of the gain deferral rules and also various requirements that must be met for an entity to qualify […]

Final Regulations on Property Transfers by U.S. Persons to Partnerships with Related Foreign Partners

The IRS has issued final regulations that provide guidance on transfers of appreciated property by U.S. persons to partnerships with foreign partners related to the transferor. Specifically, the regulations override the general nonrecognition rule under Code Sec. 721(a) unless the partnership adopts the remedial allocation method and certain other requirements are satisfied. The regulations affect U.S. partners in domestic or foreign partnerships.

BackgroundCode […]

New IRS Annual Report Highlights Accomplishments

The IRS has released Publication 5382, “Internal Revenue Service Progress Update / Fiscal Year 2019—Putting Taxpayers First.” This new annual report describes accomplishments across the agency, and highlights the work of IRS employees during the past year. It covers a variety of taxpayer service efforts, including development of the new Taxpayer Withholding Estimator, as well as operations support efforts on areas involving information technology […]

National Taxpayer Advocate Releases Annual Report to Congress

Bridget Roberts, the Acting National Taxpayer Advocate, released her 2019 Annual Report to Congress. The report discusses the key challenges facing the IRS regarding the implementation of the Taxpayer First Act, inadequate taxpayer service and limited funding of the agency. Further, Roberts released the third edition of the National Taxpayer Advocate’s “Purple Book,” which presents 58 legislative recommendations designed to strengthen taxpayer […]

Applicability Dates Revised for Proposed Section 382(h) Built-in Gain and Loss Regulations

The IRS has modified the applicability dates for proposed regulations under Code Sec. 382 that were issued with NPRM REG-125710-18, September 10, 2019 (2019 proposed regulations). The IRS is withdrawing the text of the proposed applicability dates, and proposing revised applicability dates. The newly issued proposed rules would also provide transition relief.

Proposed Regulations and Notice 2003-65The 2019 proposed regulations would provide guidance on […]

Final Regulations Address Withholding on U.S. Source Income

The Treasury and IRS have issued final regulations on the due diligence and reporting rules for persons making certain U.S. source payments to foreign persons. Guidance is also provided on reporting by foreign financial institutions on U.S. accounts. The regulations are effective on the date the regulations are published in the Federal Register.

Obtaining a Foreign TIN and Date of BirthTemporary […]

Phase-In Period for Dividend Equivalent Payment Regulations Extended Further

Taxpayers have been provided with additional guidance for complying with the Code Sec. 871(m) regulations on dividend equivalent payments for 2021, 2022, and 2023. The Treasury Department and the IRS intend to amend the regulations to delay the effective/applicability date of certain rules. Further, the phase-in period provided in Notice 2018-762, I.R.B. 2018-40, 522, has been extended.

Dividend Equivalent PaymentsA dividend equivalent amount […]

January 2020

New Rules Proposed on Charitable Contribution Related to SALT Benefits

The IRS has released new proposed rules related to charitable contributions made to get around the $10,000/$5,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions. The proposed regulations:

incorporate the safe harbor in Notice 2019-12 for individuals who have any portion of a charitable deduction disallowed to the receipt of SALT benefits;incorporate the safe harbor in Rev. Proc. 2019-12 for business […]

Final Regulations Issued on CFC Related Person Rules, Active Trade or Business Exception

Final regulations provide rules on the attribution of ownership of stock or other interests, for determining whether a person is a related person with respect to a controlled foreign corporation (CFC) under the foreign base company sales income rules. The regulations also provide rules to determine whether a CFC receives rents in the active conduct of a trade or business, […]

IRS Releases Final and Proposed BEAT Regulations

The IRS has issued final and proposed regulations implementing the base erosion and anti-abuse tax (BEAT) under Code Sec. 59A. The BEAT is a minimum tax that certain large corporations must pay on certain payments made to foreign related parties, and was added by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ( P.L. 115-97).

The final regulations adopt proposed rules ( REG-104259-18) […]

Final and Proposed Regulations Address Foreign Tax Credit

The IRS has issued highly anticipated final regulations on the significant changes made to the foreign tax credit rules by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) ( P.L. 115-97). The final regulations retain the basic approach and structure of the 2018 proposed regulations ( NPRM REG-105600-18). The final regulations also eliminate deadwood, reflect statutory amendments made prior to TCJA, […]

Partner Tax Basis Capital Reporting Not Required Until 2020 Partnership Tax Years

The IRS has released guidance that provides that the requirement to report partners’ shares of partnership capital on the tax basis method will not be effective for 2019 partnership tax years, but will first apply to 2020 partnership tax years.

2019 Reporting

For 2019, partnerships and other persons must report partner capital accounts consistent with the reporting requirements in the 2018 forms […]

Final Regulations on Calculation of UBTI Issued

The IRS has released final regulations that present guidance on how certain organizations that provide employee benefits must calculate unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) under Code Sec. 512(a).

Background

Organizations that are otherwise exempt from tax under Code Sec. 501(a) are subject to tax on their unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) under Code Sec. 511(a). Code Sec. 512(a) defines UBTI of exempt […]

Final Rules Adopted on Changes to Estate Tax Exclusion Amount

The IRS has issued Reg. §20.2010-1(c) to address the effect of the temporary increase in the basic exclusion amount (BEA) used in computing estate and gift taxes. In addition, Reg. §20.2010-1(e)(3) is amended to reflect the increased BEA for years 2018-2025 ($10 million, as adjusted for inflation). Further, the IRS has confirmed that taxpayers taking advantage of the increased BEA […]

TIGTA Recommends Improvements to Consistent Suitability Checks for Participation in IRS Programs

TIGTA Final Audit Report

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has released a report on suitability checks for participation in IRS programs. TIGTA initiated this audit to assess the effectiveness of IRS processes to ensure the suitability of applicants seeking to participate in IRS programs and to follow up on IRS planned corrective actions to address prior TIGTA recommendations.

Suitability […]

December 2019

Proposed Regs Address Terminated S Corporation Distributions

The IRS has proposed regulations that define an eligible terminated S corporation (ETSC), and provide rules relating to distributions of money by an ETSC after the post-termination transition period (PTTP). The proposed regulations also extend the treatment of distributions of money during the PTTP to all shareholders of the corporation, and update and clarify the allocation of current earnings and […]

Section 280E is Constitutional: Marijuana Dispensary’s Business Deductions Disallowed

A California-based medical marijuana dispensary corporation’s motion for summary judgment challenging the constitutionality of Code Sec. 280E was denied. The Tax Court also addressed whether Code Sec. 280E applies to marijuana businesses legally operating under state (California) law, and whether the prohibition on deductions is limited to ordinary and necessary business expenses.

Section 280E

Congress enacted Code Sec. 280E after the court […]

Treasury, IRS Release Draft Opportunity Zone Reporting Form

Treasury and the IRS on October 31 announced the release of a new, draft form implementing certain reporting requirements under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone program.

The proposed Form 8996 for Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOFs) comes after numerous calls on Capitol Hill for more transparency within the Opportunity Zone program. “The form is designed to collect information on […]

Senate Blocks Democrats’ Push to Overturn SALT Cap Workaround Rules; Vaping Tax Bill Clears Committee

The Senate blocked a Democratic resolution on October 23 to overturn Treasury rules preventing certain workarounds to the $10,000 state and local tax (SALT) federal deduction cap.

SALT Cap Workaround

Senate Democrats’ resolution, S.J. Res. 50, forced a vote on Wednesday to nullify Treasury regulations that block taxpayers from circumventing the SALT cap through certain states’ programs that convert state and local […]

Top Senate Tax Writers Call for Action on SECURE Act

Senate Finance Committee (SFC) Chair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and other top Senate tax writers are calling for Senate action on the bipartisan Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Secure bill (HR 1994) (SECURE Act). The House-approved, bipartisan retirement savings bill has remained stalled in the Senate since May.

SECURE Act’s Route to Senate Floor Remains Unclear

Grassley’s communications director Michael Zona […]

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