Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of January 27 – 31, 2020.

January 27, 2020: The Joint Committee on Taxation released a report regarding an overview of selected provisions and options relating to funding and financing infrastructure investments. The report addresses the use of private activity bonds, new markets tax credits, and the opportunity zones incentive to fund infrastructure projects. The House Ways and Means Committee has scheduled a hearing entitled “Paving the Way for Funding and Financing Infrastructure Investments” on January 29, 2020.

January 29, 2020: The IRS issued a notice stating that the health coverage tax credit (HCTC) has been extended for all coverage months beginning in 2020. The IRS explained that eligible individuals can receive a tax credit to offset the cost of their monthly health insurance premiums so long as they have qualified health coverage. This notice supersedes the October 2019 letter from the IRS advising participants in the HCTC program to seek alternative insurance options due to the expiration of the HCTC law in December 2019.

January 30, 2020: The IRS issued final regulations that update the due dates and available extensions of time to file certain tax returns and information returns. The dates are updated to reflect the statutory requirements set by section 2006 of the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 and section 201 of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015. The regulations also remove a provision for electing large partnerships that was obsoleted by section 1101(b)(1) of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

January 31, 2020: The IRS issued a news release announcing that nearly 80% of the taxpayers that received a settlement offer letter while under audit for their participation in abusive micro-captive insurance transactions have elected to accept the IRS’ settlement terms. The IRS also announced that it is establishing 12 new examination teams that are expected to open thousands of audits in the coming months. Abusive micro-captives have been a recurring feature on the IRS “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams since 2014.

January 31, 2020: The IRS issued a revenue procedure detailing its revision of Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption under Section 501(c)(3), announcing that the Form must be filed electronically beginning January 31, 2020, subject to a 90-day grace period during which the IRS will continue to receive paper forms. The IRS also revised the Instructions to Form 1023.

January 31, 2020: The IRS revised Form 8996, Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF), to reflect final regulations on the subject. Form 8996 allows corporations and partnerships to certify that they are organized to invest in qualified opportunity zone (QOZ) property and to report that the QOF meets the 90% investment standard that section 1400Z-2 imposes. The IRS also revised the Instructions to Form 8966.

January 31, 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.