August 2020

IRS Amends 199A Regs on Suspended Losses and RICs

The IRS amended final regulations with guidance on the Code Sec. 199A deduction for suspended losses and shareholders of regulated investment companies (RICs). The amendments address the treatment of suspended losses included in qualified business income (QBI), the deduction allowed to a shareholder in a regulated investment company (RIC), and additional rules related to trusts and estates. The IRS had previously issued […]

Draft 2021 Partnership Forms Clarify International Reporting by Partners

The Treasury Department and the IRS have released drafts of proposed partnership forms for tax year 2021 (the 2022 filing season). The proposed forms are intended to provide greater clarity for partners on how to compute their U.S. income tax liability for relevant international tax items, including claiming deductions and credits. The redesigned forms and instructions will also give useful […]

Final Regulations Issued on FDII and GILTI Deduction

The Treasury and IRS have issued final regulations covering the Code Sec. 250 deduction for foreign-derived intangible income (FDII) and global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI). Proposed regulations were issued on March 6, 2019 (NPRM REG-104464-18). The final regulations maintain the basic approach and structure of the proposed regulations and provide guidance on computation of the deduction and the determination of FDII, including […]

IRS Encourages Abusive Conservation Easement Taxpayers to Settle

Settlement Offers
Time-limited settlement offers, which the IRS announced on June 25 ( IR-2020-130), are only being made to certain taxpayers with pending docketed Tax Court cases involving this type of abusive transaction. The IRS declared that these and other recent Tax Court decisions support the abusive nature of the underlying syndicated conservation easement deduction.

The four recent Tax Court decisions in question […]

July 2020

Trump Signs Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act Into Law

President Donald Trump signed into law the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (P.L. 116-142) on June 5. The legislation aims to expand usability of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act’s ( P.L. 116-136) headliner small business loan program.

PPP in the House
The bipartisan, bicameral-crafted P.L. 116-142 makes several changes to the rapidly implemented Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) administered […]

Treasury, SBA Issue Updated PPP Guidance, Revised Application and Forgiveness Forms, New EZ Forgiveness Form

In consultation with Treasury Department, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued:

new and revised guidance for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP);
revised PPP application forms;
a revised PPP loan forgiveness application; and
a new “EZ” PPP loan forgiveness application.

New, Revised PPP Guidance
The guidance implements the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA) ( P.L. 116-142), which President Trump signed on June 5, 2020. […]

IRS Postpones More Deadlines Due to COVID-19 Emergency

The IRS is postponing deadlines for certain time-sensitive actions due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency. This relief affects employment taxes, employee benefit plans, exempt organizations, individual retirement arrangements (IRAs), Coverdell education savings accounts, health savings accounts (HSAs), and Archer and Medicare Advantage medical saving accounts (MSAs).

With certain exceptions, the relief postpones deadlines for certain actions due to be […]

Coronavirus-Related Distributions and Plan Loan Guidance

The IRS has issued guidance on coronavirus-related distributions and plan loans. The guidance

presents the rules set out in Act Sec. 2202 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act ( P.L. 116-136);
adds three new categories to the list of individuals who qualify due to adverse financial consequences;
provides analysis and examples of repayments reporting; and
includes safe […]

IRS Temporarily Allows Certain Retirement Plan Participants to Sign Elections Remotely

The IRS has released guidance that provides temporary administrative relief to help certain retirement plan participants or beneficiaries who need to make participant elections by allowing flexibility for remote signatures. Specifically, the guidance provides participants, beneficiaries, and administrators of qualified retirement plans and other tax-favored retirement arrangements with temporary relief from the physical presence requirement for any participant election (1) […]

IRS Provides COVID-19 Related Safe Harbors for Determining Tax Status of Arrangements that Hold Real Property as Trusts

The IRS has released a revenue procedure that describes temporary safe harbors for the purpose of determining the federal tax status of certain arrangements that hold real property as trusts in response to the COVID-19 emergency. Specifically, the Service has provided temporary relief to arrangements that are treated as trusts under Reg. §301.7701-4(c) which are, or have tenants who are, experiencing financial […]

Deadlines Extended for Qualified Opportunity Funds and Investors

The IRS has announced various extensions of deadlines for qualified opportunity funds and their investors due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

180-Day Investment Period
Generally taxpayers must reinvestment capital gain in a qualified opportunity fund (QOF) within 180 days after the gain is realized from a sale or exchange. Under the guidance, if the last day of the 180-day investment period falls on […]

Proposed Regulations Issued Updating Definition of Qualifying Relative for Child-Related Tax Benefits

The IRS has issued proposed regulations clarifying the definition of a qualifying relative for various tax benefits for tax years 2018 through 2025 in which the dependent exemption amount is zero. During these years, the exemption amount will be inflation adjusted as provided in annual IRS guidance in determining whether an individual is a qualifying relative such as for head […]

Proposed Regs Address Eliminated Qualified Transportation Fringe Deduction

Proposed regulations provide guidance regarding the elimination of the deduction for expenses related to qualified transportation fringe benefits (QTFs) provided to an employee. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97) eliminated the deduction, effective for amounts paid or incurred after December 31, 2017.

In general, the proposed regulations refine guidance previously provided in Notice 2018-99, 2018-52 I.R.B. 1067. They provide a […]

IRS Proposes Treating Payments for Direct Primary Care Arrangements and Health Care Sharing Ministry Memberships as Medical Care Payments

Proposed regulations would define expenditures for direct primary care arrangements and health care sharing ministry memberships as amounts paid for medical care. Thus, amounts paid for those arrangements may be deductible medical expenses. The proposed regulations also clarify that amounts paid for certain arrangements and programs, such as health maintenance organizations (HMO) and certain government-sponsored health care programs, are amounts […]

Proposed Reliance Regs Define “Real Property” for Like-Kind Exchanges

Proposed reliance regulations clarify the definitions 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. Comments are requested.

Real Property Defined for Like-Kind Exchanges
Under the proposed regulations, real property includes:


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 […]

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