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

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Weekly IRS Roundup December 16 – 20, 2019

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of December 16 – 20, 2019. December 16, 2019: The IRS released a notice extending the phase-in period for the enforcement and administration of section 871(m) of the IRC. The notice extends the transition relief provided in Notice 2018-72, 2019-40 I.R.B. 522, for two years. As a result, the regulations under section 871(m) will not apply to any payment made with respect to a non-delta-one transaction issued before January 1, 2023. The IRS noted that the anti-abuse rule provided in §1.871-15(o) will continue to apply during the phase-in years. December 16, 2019: The IRS issued final regulations providing guidance regarding a corporation’s distribution of stock or securities of a controlled corporation without the recognition of income, gain or loss. More specifically, the regulations address how to determine whether a corporation is a...

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Weekly IRS Roundup December 9 – 13, 2019

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of December 9 – 13, 2019. December 10, 2019: The IRS issued a notice providing that the requirement to report partners’ shares of partnership capital on the tax basis method will not be effective for 2019 for partnership taxable years beginning in calendar 2019. Instead, the requirements will be effective beginning in 2020 (for partnership taxable years that begin on or after January 1, 2020). The notice also defines a partner’s share of “net unrecognized Section 704(c) gain or loss” for purposes of partnership reporting. December 10, 2019: The Joint Committee on Taxation released a report detailing proposed provisions of the “Restoring Tax Fairness for States and Localities Act.” The bill would increase the maximum state and local tax deduction that married couples can claim in 2019 and would eliminate the limitations on the maximum...

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Weekly IRS Roundup December 2 – 6, 2019

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of December 2 – 6, 2019. December 2, 2019: The IRS issued final regulations providing guidance relating to the determination of the foreign tax credit as well as guidance relating to changes made by the 2017 US tax law. The regulations finalize the proposed regulations that were published on December 7, 2018. The regulations also finalize proposed regulations on overall foreign losses that were published on June 25, 2012, as well as certain portions of proposed regulations published on November 7, 2007, relating to a US taxpayer’s obligation to notify the IRS of a foreign tax redetermination. The final regulations will be effective upon their date of publication in the federal register. December 2, 2019: The IRS issued proposed regulations that also provide guidance relating to the determination of the foreign tax credit. The proposed...

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Weekly IRS Roundup November 25 – 29, 2019

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of November 25 – 29, 2019. November 26, 2019: The IRS issued a News Release regarding a Revenue Procedure that updates the rules for using per diem rates to substantiate, under section 274 and Treas. Reg. § 1.274-5,  the amount of ordinary and necessary business expenses paid or incurred while traveling away from home, including employees’ lodging, meals, and incidental expenses. The IRS noted that taxpayers are not required to use a method described in the Revenue Procedure and may instead substantiate actual allowable expenses provided they maintain adequate records. November 26, 2019: The IRS released the Fall 2019 Statistics of Income Bulletin, which is issued quarterly by the Statistics of Income Division of the IRS and provides the most recent statistics available from tax and information returns filed by US taxpayers. The bulletin...

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Weekly IRS Roundup November 4 – 8, 2019

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of November 4–8, 2019. November 4, 2019: The IRS posted a new Large Business and International active compliance campaign on Section 965 transition tax as enacted under the 2017 TCJA. The IRS stated that the goal of the campaign is to promote compliance with Section 965. The treatment stream will include conducting examinations as well as providing technical assistance to teams on Section 965, with a focus on identifying and addressing taxpayer populations with potential material compliance risk. The IRS anticipates that returns selected as part of the Section 965 campaign will also be risked and, if appropriate, examined for other material issues, especially issues related to TCJA planning.  For our coverage of this campaign, see here. November 6, 2019: The IRS issued a Revenue Procedure and a News Release announcing the tax year 2020...

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IRS Issues Transition Tax Compliance Campaign

On November 4, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced a new Large Business and International (LB&I) compliance campaign regarding Section’s 965 transition tax under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). This is one of several dozen compliance campaigns that LB&I has announced since the initial 13 campaigns were identified in 2017, and is part of LB&I’s larger goals of improving return selection, identifying issues representing a risk of noncompliance and making the greatest use of limited resources. We have written at length regarding the IRS’s campaigns. Click here for prior coverage of the IRS’s campaigns. This announcement comes just over a month after the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued a report questioning the effectiveness and efficiency of campaign issue selection. We wrote about the TIGTA report here. The IRS is presumably heeding TIGTA’s recommendation and is focused on Section 965 because of the...

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Government Questions the Benefits of IRS Audit Campaigns

On September 28, 2019, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued a report titled Initial Compliance Results Warrant a More Data-Driven Approach to Campaign Issue Selection. As the name of the report describes, the TIGTA analyzed whether the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit campaigns were effective and efficiently administered. We have written at length regarding the IRS’s “campaign” methodology: More IRS “Campaigns?! IRS Announces Six More Examination Campaigns IRS Announces More LB&I Campaigns! The LB&I Campaigns Keep Coming! LB&I Announces Five New Campaigns LB&I Announces Six New Campaigns Are LB&I’s Campaigns Stuck in the Trenches? IRS Continues to Barrage Taxpayers with New Campaigns LB&I’s Final Campaigns Webinar: Section 48C Energy Credits and Completed Contract Method for Land Developers The View from Here: LB&I’s Cross-Border Activities Campaigns Webinar Understanding LB&I “Campaigns” Run...

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Finally the IRS Clarifies Its Position on Cryptocurrency

It took five years, but the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has finally released some guidance on the taxation of cryptocurrencies! On October 9, 2019, the IRS released Revenue Ruling 2019-24 and several “frequently asked questions” (and answers) which deal with some (but not all) of the federal income tax issues involved with cryptocurrencies. Over the years, we have reported on the issues involved with cryptocurrencies, including the potential controversies that have ensued because of a lack of guidance. Call for Compliance: Cryptocurrency May Be Subject to US Tax Cryptocurrencies & State Tax: Transactions with Virtual Currency Digital Token Offerings and Sales under Regulation S Watch Your Mailbox: IRS Letters Warning of Cryptocurrency Non-Compliance on Their Way Governments Are Pulling Back the Crypto-Currency Curtain The IRS May Be Coming for Your Bitcoins IRS Criminal Investigation Division Expects Official “Stand up” of National Coordinated...

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