Weekly IRS Roundup December 30, 2019 – January 3, 2020

By on January 6, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of December 30, 2019 – January 3, 2020.

December 30, 2019:  The IRS issued a news release announcing an agreement with Free File, Inc. that is designed to bring more clarity for taxpayers choosing to use free online software during the 2020 filing season. The IRS hopes for the agreement to make the Free File program more taxpayer-friendly while strengthening consumer protections in several key areas.

December 31, 2019:  The IRS issued a news release regarding a notice that provides the optional 2020 standard mileage rates for taxpayers to use in computing the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving expense purposes. The notice also provides the amount that taxpayers must use in calculating reductions to basis for depreciation taken under the business standard mileage rate, as well as the maximum standard automobile cost that may be used in computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate (FAVR) plan. The guidance is generally effective for deductible transportation expenses paid or incurred on or after January 1, 2020.

January 2, 2020:  The IRS officially set January 13, 2020, as the publication date in the Federal Register for final regulations on investments in qualified opportunity zones.

January 2, 2020:  The IRS issued its annual revenue procedures listing no-rule areas under the jurisdiction of the Associate Chief Counsels (Corporate, Financial Institutions and Products, Income Tax and Accounting, Passthroughs and Special Industries, Procedure and Administration, and Tax Exempt and Government Entities). The revenue procedures provide a detailed list of areas in which letter rulings and determination letters will not be issued, under any circumstances. The revenue procedures also provide a detailed list of areas in which letter rulings and determination letters will not ordinarily be issued, but may be issued under unique and compelling circumstances. 

January 2, 2020:  The IRS issued a revenue procedure that provides determination letter procedures for applications, including applicable user fees for requesting determination letters. It provides specific procedures for determination letter requests for recognition of exempt status under section 501 and section 521, as well as for determination letter requests on Form 8940. It provides additional guidance on the exhaustion of administrative remedies for purposes of declaratory judgment under section 7428. The IRS provided a list of significant changes from the prior year’s guidance.

January 2, 2020:  The IRS issued a revenue procedure that provides determination letter procedures on matters under the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division’s Employee Plans Rulings and Agreements Office. Again, the IRS provided a list of significant changes from the prior year’s guidance.

January 2, 2020:  The IRS issued a revenue procedure detailing procedures regarding when and how an Associate office provides technical advice through a technical advice memorandum (TAM). The revenue procedure also provides guidance regarding taxpayers’ rights when a field office requests a TAM regarding a tax matter.

January 3, 2020: The IRS released its weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memorandums and Chief Counsel Advice). 

Special thanks to Jenni Saperstein in our Chicago office for this week’s roundup.

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