Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of October 8 – 12, 2018:

October 8, 2018: IRS issued a special update in Questions and Answers about Reporting Related to Section 965 on 2017 Tax Returns, providing that transfer agreements under Prop. Reg. § 1.965-7 filed in accordance with the future guidance after the deadline, October 9, 2018, will nevertheless be considered timely filed.

October 9, 2018: IRS advised small business owners and self-employed individuals to use the resources it has provided, including a fact sheet highlighting the changes by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affecting them, to understand their tax responsibilities.

October 12, 2018: IRS released proposed regulations scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on October 17, 2018, which clarify how taxpayers may waive penalties for low-dollar mistakes as a result of incorrect information returns or inaccurate payee statements.

October 12, 2018: IRS filed proposed regulations removing Treas. Reg. § 1.451-5, which currently allow taxpayers to defer the inclusion of income from advance payments for goods and long-term contracts. Comments and public hearing requests are due by January 14, 2019.

October 12, 2018: The IRS released its weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memorandum and Chief Counsel Advice).

Special thanks to Alex Cheng-Yi Lee in our DC office for this week’s roundup.

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of September 10 – 14, 2018:

September 10, 2018: The IRS announced the following five new Large Business & International compliance campaigns: (1) Internal Revenue Code (Code) Section 199 Claims Risk Review; (2) Syndicated Conservation Easement Transactions; (3) Foreign Base Company Sales Income: Manufacturing Branch Rules; (4) Form 1120F Interest Expense/Home Office Expense; and (5) Individuals Employed by Foreign Governments and International Organizations. We discuss these new campaigns in more detail here and have reported about previous LB&I campaigns in the below blog posts.

September 13, 2018: Treasury and the IRS released proposed regulations under Code Section 951A, the new tax on global intangible low-taxed income earned by controlled foreign corporations. The proposed regulations include a number of anti-abuse provisions.

September 13, 2018: The IRS published Revenue Procedure 2018-48, which provides guidance regarding how certain amounts included in income under Code Sections 951(a)(1) and 986(c) are treated for purposes of determining whether a REIT satisfies the Code Section 856(c)(2) gross income test.

September 14, 2018: The IRS issued Notice 2018-73, which provides updated interests rates and guidance regarding the corporate bond monthly yield curve.

September 14, 2018: The IRS released its weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memorandum and Chief Counsel Advice).

Special thanks to Kevin Hall in our DC office for this week’s roundup.

Presented below is our summary of significant IRS guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of August 20 – 24, 2018:

August 21, 2018: The IRS and Treasury released Notice 2018-67, which provides guidance regarding separately calculating the unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) of each trade or business conducted by a tax-exempt entity. Section 512(a)(6), enacted as part of tax reform, requires this separate calculation by tax-exempt organizations with more than one unrelated trade or business.

August 21, 2018: The IRS and Treasury released Notice 2018-68, which provides guidance regarding new section 162(m). Section 162(m), enacted as part of tax reform, limits the deduction for compensation paid by a publicly traded corporation to a covered employee. The notice provides guidance regarding the “grandfather” exception for certain compensation arrangements in effect on November 2, 2017. See our commentary for more information.

August 22, 2018: The IRS released Revenue Procedure 2018-44, which provides guidance regarding accounting method changing resulting from the revocation or termination of an entity’s S corporation status. Revenue Procedure 2018-44 adds such accounting method changes to the list of “automatic changes” listed in Revenue Procedure 2018-31.

August 22, 2018: The IRS published a draft Form 8992 for computing global low-taxed intangible income and a draft Form 8993 for computing foreign derived intangible income.

August 23, 2018: The IRS published proposed regulations providing guidance regarding the availability of a charitable deduction when the taxpayer also receives (or expects to receive) a state or local tax credit for the contribution.

August 24, 2018: The IRS made it clear that US citizens and residents that are contractors or employees of contractors supporting US Armed Forces are eligible for the section 911 foreign earned income exclusion.

August 24, 2018: The IRS released its weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memorandum and Chief Counsel Advice).

Special thanks to Kevin Hall in our DC office for this week’s roundup.

Presented below is our summary of significant IRS guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of August 13 – 17, 2018:

August 13, 2018: The IRS and Treasury withdrew and re-proposed certain portions of proposed regulations regarding the new partnership audit regime. These proposed regulations make changes to four different regulation packages under the new rules.

August 15, 2018: Revenue Procedure 2018-42 extends the deadline for submitting on-cycle applications for opinion letters or pre-approved defined contribution plans.

August 17, 2018: The IRS published Revenue Ruling 2018-23, announcing the applicable federal rates for September 2018.

August 17, 2018: The IRS released their weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memorandum and Chief Counsel Advice).

Special thanks to Kevin Hall in our DC office for this week’s roundup.

It was a busy week for the IRS and presented below is our weekly roundup for July 16 – 20, 2018 on significant IRS guidance and tax matters.

July 16, 2018: Last week the IRS issued Notice 2018-60 providing guidance on the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates used under § 417(e)(3), and the 24-month average rates under § 430(h)(2).

July 16, 2018: The IRS has released Notice 2018-61 clarifying the effect of § 67(g) on trusts and estates with the intent on publishing regulations in the near future.

July 16, 2018: The IRS released Internal Revenue Bulletin No. 2018-29 which includes Rev. Proc. 2018-37 providing specifications for the private printing of red-ink substitutes for the 2018 Forms W-2 and W-3. This procedure will be produced as the next revision of Publication 1141. Rev. Proc. 2017-42 is superseded.

July 17, 2018: Under Rev. Proc. 2018-38, the IRS instructed that organizations exempt from tax under § 501(a), other than those described in § 501(c)(3), are no longer required to report the names and addresses of their contributors on the Schedule B of their Forms 990 or 990-EZ.

July 17, 2018: In Rev. Rul. 2018-21 the IRS announced the Applicable Federal Rates for August 2018.

July 18, 2018: The IRS has released LB&I Process Unit Knowledge Base – Corporate/Business Issues & Credits regarding the rules for capitalizing transaction costs (legal fees, accounting fees, consulting fees, investment advisory service fees and other transaction costs) under Treas. Reg. 1.263(a)-5(a).

July 20, 2018: The IRS published T.D. 9835 amending the definition of qualified matching contributions (QMACs) and qualified nonelective contributions (QNECs) under regulations regarding certain qualified retirement plans.

July 20, 2018: The IRS released it weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memorandum, and Chief Counsel Advice).

Special thanks to Christy Vouri-Misso and Greg Berson in our DC office for this week’s roundup.

On May 3 and 4, 2018, the 3rd International Conference on Taxpayer Rights was held in The Netherlands. Participants from every continent (except Antarctica) attended the conference, which focused on good governance and legal remedies. From a US perspective, there were significant discussions on the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (which we have previously written about here. Overall, the conference was tremendously insightful and helpful in understanding tax issues throughout the world and we are very appreciative for being allowed to participate in the panel discussion on Preventing Disputes 2: Taxpayer Rights in the Administrative Phase.

Videos of each panel discussion are now available on YouTube:

Day One:

Day Two:

 

The 4th International Conference on Taxpayer Rights will be held May 23-24, 2019, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The focus will be on administrative positions and transparency, with issues such as how governments issue guidance, how taxpayers learn about guidance and how much weight is afforded to guidance. More information can be found here.

Presented below is our weekly roundup for June 18-22, 2018 on significant IRS guidance and relevant tax matters.

June 18, 2018: The IRS issued Internal Revenue Bulletin No. 2018-25 including: Rev. Rul. 2018-17 (withholding and reporting payments from IRAs to state unclaimed property funds under Internal Revenue Code (Code) Section 3405); and REG-102951-16 (proposing amendments to rules for determining whether information returns must be filed electronically).

June 18, 2018: In IR-2018-139 the IRS stated that people with disabilities can now put more money into their tax-favored ABLE accounts and may, for the first time, qualify for the Saver’s Credit for low- and moderate-income workers.

June 19, 2018: The IRS published Rev. Rul. 2018-19 listing the applicable federal interest rates for July 2018.

June 19, 2018: The IRS proposed regulation REG-131186-17 to reinstate T.D. 9787, including allocations of excess nonrecourse liabilities of a partnership among other changes and removing T.D. 9788.

June 19, 2018: The IRS released a Practice Unit on “Interest Capitalization for Self-Constructed Assets,” which identifies taxpayers subject to Code Section 263A(f) and covers the steps involved in determining how much interest must be capitalized to the basis of designated property.

June 20, 2018: IRS published Rev. Proc. 2018-35 modifying Rev. Proc. 2018-31, to not apply Section 263A to replanting costs for lost or damaged citrus plants pursuant to Code Section 263A(d)(2)(C).

June 21, 2018: The IRS published Notice 2018-48 listing the population census tracts designations by the Treasury for qualified opportunity zones relevant to new Code Section 1400Z-2.

June 22, 2018: The IRS released its weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memorandum and Chief Counsel Advice).

Special thanks to Christy Vouri-Misso and Greg Berson in our DC office for this week’s round-up.

The second meeting of McDermott’s Tax in the City® initiative in Seattle was held on May 22, 2018 at the Amazon headquarters. McDermott established Tax in the City® in 2014 as a discussion and networking group for women in tax aimed to foster collaboration and mentorship, and to facilitate in-person connections and roundtable events around the country. With the highest attendance rate of any Tax in the City® event to date, the May meeting featured a CLE/CPE presentation about Ethical Considerations around Tax Reform by Elizabeth Chao, Kirsten Hazel, Jane May and Erin Turley, followed by a roundtable discussion about recent tax reform insights led by Britt HaxtonSandra McGill and Diann Smith.

Here’s what we covered at last week’s Tax in the City® Seattle:

  • Tax Reform: Ethical Considerations – Because of tax reform, taxpayers face increased uncertainty and will likely face increased IRS/state scrutiny for their 2017 & 2018 returns. Therefore, it’s crucial for taxpayers to be intentional about post-reform planning and compliance, including by coordinating among various departments (federal tax, state and local tax, employee benefits, treasury, operations, etc.). Taxpayers should understand the weight of various IRS/state revenue authority guidance, the IRS’s authority to issue retroactive regulations within 18 months of passing legislation, and how to take reasonable positions in the absence of guidance. They should also understand when the IRS has longer than three years to assess tax, including when there is an omission of global intangible low taxed income (GILTI) or when the tax relates to the section 965 transition tax.
  • Tax Reform Changes to Employee Compensation and Benefit Deductions – Post-tax reform, all employees of US public companies, private companies with US publicly traded debt, and foreign issuers with ADRs traded on the US market are covered employees subject to the $1 million limit for deductible compensation. Though a grandfather rule applies if existing contracts are not materially modified, key questions about how to apply this rule remain. Tax reform eliminated the employer deduction for transportation subsidies (other than bicycle subsidies). It also reduced employers’ ability to deduct meal and entertainment expenses, and removed employers’ and employees’ ability to deduct moving expenses.
  • Supreme Court Update: Wayfair – Jurisdiction to Tax – Following the Wayfair oral arguments, it is difficult to predict whether the Supreme Court will uphold as constitutional South Dakota’s tax on online retailers. Wayfair raises the fundamental question of when the courts should settle tax issues, and when they should wait for Congress to act.
  • Interaction of Cross-Border Tax Reform Provisions – Income of a US multinational is subject to varying rates of US tax depending on where it is earned. The US parent’s income from selling to US customers will be subject to the full rate of 21 percent and its income from selling to foreign customers will generally be subject to the foreign derived intangible income (FDII) rate of 13.125 percent. If the income is earned by a controlled foreign corporation (CFC), then amounts above a deemed tangible asset return generally will be subject to 10.5 percent US tax as GILTI. Taxpayers cannot analyze these provisions in isolation. Because the new provisions sometimes interact in unintuitive ways, it is crucial to do models to determine the impact of various transactions. For instance, if the US parent must pay a royalty to a CFC, then that payment may cause the base erosion and anti-abuse tax (BEAT) to apply, which could eliminate any tax benefit from having an intangible return earned by the CFC.
  • Tax Reform: Spotlight on Partnerships – Several tax reform provisions do not clearly indicate how they apply to partnerships. One key question is whether the 50 percent GILTI deduction should be applied at the partner or partnership level.
  • EU Proposal to Tax Income from Digital Commerce – On March 21, the European Commission made two proposals regarding the taxation of digital activities in the EU. First, it proposed expanding the definition of permanent establishment (PE) to include companies that have no physical presence in a country but meet a minimum threshold of annual revenues or users there (a digital PE).  Second, it proposed a 3 percent tax on gross revenues from the sale of data generated from user-provided information, digital activities which allow users to interact with one another, and online advertising.

We invite all tax professionals who identify as female to continue the conversation and share tax developments with the official LinkedIn group for Tax in the City®! Click here to join.

The next Tax in the City® meeting will take place in New York on June 21. Please contact Mia Dubinets if you’d like to be added to the New York Tax in the City® mailing list, and register for the June event. Additionally, stay tuned for information regarding an inaugural Dallas Tax in the City® meeting in fall 2018!

Wrapping Up January – and Looking Forward to February

We invite you to view all of the topics we discussed over the last month and take a look at the upcoming tax controversy events where our lawyers will be speaking in February.

Upcoming Tax Controversy Activities in February:

February 15, 2018: David Noren will be presenting “Tax disruption: Adjusting to the shifting transfer pricing landscape” at the 2018 Tax Council Policy Institute Symposium in Washington, DC.

Wrapping Up December – and Looking Forward to January

You can view all of the topics we discussed over the last month, and take a look at the upcoming tax controversy events where our lawyers will be speaking in January.

Upcoming Tax Controversy Activities in January:

January 23, 2018: Diann Smith will be presenting “State Transfer Pricing Audits: Effective Strategies to Minimize Your Risk” at the 27th Annual Ohio Tax Conference in Columbus, Ohio.

January 24, 2018:  Stephen Kranz is presenting “Handling State Tax Controversies to Win!!” at the 27th Annual Ohio Tax Conference in Columbus, Ohio, solving tax problems holistically to achieve success, understanding the offensive and defensive tools available and the avenues for relief when interacting with the government, planning and building the team to effectively work all avenues the government offers, tools available including FOIA, policy solutions, and litigation, with Jeff McGhehey, Senior Manager, Indirect Tax, The Home Depot.