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Weekly IRS Roundup November 22 – November 26, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of November 22, 2021 – November 26, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

November 22, 2021: The IRS released a memorandum concerning a temporary deviation from the handwritten signature requirement for certain tax forms. To alleviate COVID-19 concerns while promoting timely filing, the IRS will allow taxpayers and representatives to use electronic or digital signatures when signing listed forms that currently require a handwritten signature. No specific technology is required to create the signature. The IRS has listed the eligible forms, which must be postmarked on August 28, 2020, or later.

November 22, 2021: The IRS released a memorandum extending through October 31, 2023, temporary deviations that allow IRS employees to: (1) accept images of signatures and digital signatures on documents related to the determination or collection of tax liability and (2) send or receive documents to or from taxpayers using emails with encrypted attachments when no other approved electronic alternative is available.

November 22, 2021: The IRS released a memorandum providing guidance concerning employee retention credits and the deferral of paying social security taxes in 2020.

November 23, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing the launch of a new Spanish-language version of the Child Tax Credit Update Portal (CTC-UP). Families who are already receiving monthly payments use the CTC-UP to update their accounts. Now, all the features that have only been available in English are also available in Spanish.

November 26, 2021: The IRS published a notice and request for comments on Form 944, Employer’s Annual Employment Tax Return, and Form 944-X, Adjusted Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund, which are used in part to ensure the smallest non-agricultural and non-household employers are paying the correct amount of social security tax, Medicare tax and withheld federal income tax. Comments are due on or before January 25, 2022.

November 26, 2021: The IRS published a notice and request for comments concerning TD 8857 (addressing the determination of underwriting income by non-life insurance companies), which allows a non-life insurance company to increase unpaid losses on a yearly basis by the amount of estimated salvage recoverable if the company discloses this to the state insurance regulatory authority. Comments are due on or before January 28, 2022.

November 26, 2021: The IRS released its weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memorandums and Chief Counsel Advice).

Special thanks to Robbie Alipour in our Chicago office for this week’s roundup.




Weekly IRS Roundup November 15 – November 19, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of November 15, 2021 – November 19, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

November 15, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing the launch of a new online tool designed to help US withholding agents comply with their reporting and withholding responsibilities with respect to IRS Form 1042-S, Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding. The tool performs a quality review of data before submitting to the IRS. Use of the tool does not change a withholding agent’s obligations to file Form 1042-S with the IRS and furnish a copy to the payee.

November 15, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing that victims of wildfires that began July 14, 2021, now have until January 3, 2022, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

November 16, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing that, effective November 15, 2021, tax professionals are able to order up to 30 Transcript Delivery System transcripts per client through the Practitioner Priority Service line. This is an increase from the previous 10 transcripts per client limit.

November 16, 2021: The IRS published a news release regarding Notice 2021-63, which details how the temporary 100% business deduction for food or beverages from restaurants applies to taxpayers properly applying the rules of Revenue Procedure 2019-48 when using per diem rates.

November 17, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing that victims of Hurricane Ida throughout Mississippi now have additional time—until January 3, 2022—to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

November 17, 2021: The Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC) published a news release announcing its annual report for 2021, which includes recommendations to the IRS regarding new and continuing issues in tax administration. The 2021 report includes recommendations on 24 issues, covering a broad range of topics. The IRSAC is a federal advisory committee that provides an organized public forum for the discussion of relevant tax administration issues between IRS officials and representatives of the public. IRSAC members offer constructive observations regarding current or proposed IRS policies, programs and procedures.

November 17, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing it unveiled a new how-to video series enabling taxpayers to avoid potential scams by considering and applying for an Offer in Compromise themselves and to avoid paying excessive fees to companies advertising outlandish claims.

November 17, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing the launch of an improved identity verification and sign-in process that enables more people to securely access IRS online tools and applications.

November 17, 2021: The IRS’s National Taxpayer Advocate published a blog post indicating that US Congress [...]

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IRS Announces Nonacquiescence in Mayo Tax Regulation Invalidity Holding

We previously wrote here and here about decisions made by the District Court of Minnesota and the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in Mayo Clinic v. United States regarding challenges to the validity of certain Treasury Regulations promulgated under Internal Revenue Code (Code) Section 170. In that case, the Eighth Circuit held for the taxpayer in part and the government in part and remanded to the district court to further develop the record and address certain issues.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced in an Action on Decision (AOD) that it will not acquiesce in the Eighth Circuit’s holding, which invalidated Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-9(c)(1)’s requirement that the primary function of an education organization described in Code Section 170(b)(1)(A)(ii) must be the presentation of formal instruction. This means that in all cases not appealable to the Eighth Circuit, the IRS will not follow this holding and will continue to litigate the issue.

The IRS’s policy is to announce at an early date whether it will follow the holdings in certain cases, and it does so by making an announcement in an AOD. A nonacquiescence is not binding on courts or the taxpayers but merely signals the IRS’s position that it disagrees with a court decision. (Sometimes the IRS will acquiesce in a decision.) Given that an AOD is published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, it could be argued that the IRS’s action constitutes published guidance taxpayers can rely on. The IRS’s list of AODs, with links to each action, can be found here.




IRS Provides Guidance to LB&I Examiners on Requesting Participation in Appeals Conferences

We recently covered the Appeals Team Case Leader Conferencing Initiative: Summary of Findings and Next Steps (Appeals Summary) in relation to the participation of Large Business & International (LB&I) exam teams and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Chief Counsel attorneys in conferences before the IRS Independent Office of Appeals (IRS Appeals). As discussed, the Appeals Summary concluded that IRS Appeals would be given discretion to invite exam teams and Chief Counsel attorneys to attend IRS Appeals conferences in the future. In determining whether such discretion should be exercised in a case, the Appeals Summary states that both the taxpayers’ and the exam teams’s views should be solicited and considered.

In a November 8, 2021, memorandum (LB&I Memorandum), the Acting Assistance Deputy Compliance Integration for the LB&I Division Theodore D. Setzer provided guidance to LB&I employees on requesting participation. The LB&I Memorandum reflects the LB&I Divisons’s view that participation in certain IRS Appeals conferences is important for fostering effective tax administration and assisting IRS Appeals in resolving tax controversy on a basis which is fair and impartial to taxpayers and the government. Thus, LB&I employees “should continue to request to be invited where LB&I participation would help improve understanding of factual and legal differences in a case.” The LB&I Memorandum directs LB&I employees to consider the following nonexclusive list of factors before making a request to attend an IRS Appeals conference:

  • The case is factually complex;
  • History has shown lack of meeting of the minds regarding the underlying facts or legal positions;
  • The taxpayer’s characterization of LB&I’s position in the formal written protest is not accurately stated and participation by both the taxpayer and LB&I at the Appeals conference will assist Appeals in both bridging the lack of understanding and better understanding the case;
  • The taxpayer has presented multiple legal arguments or authorities that it relies on to support its position;
  • The case involves outside experts or expert opinions;
  • The case involves an issue of importance to tax administration, such as a case of first impression; one involving the interpretation of a new statute or regulation when there are no reported opinions or when published guidance is pending or where precedent is otherwise absent or conflicting; one affecting large numbers of taxpayers or an industry; or one falling within an operating division’s major strategic goal;
  • The case involves an issue in which the Government seeks to distinguish a position set forth in published guidance;
  • The case involves an issue coordinated under strategic compliance/coordination initiative such as LB&I campaigns or
  • A tax shelter case involving a “Listed Transaction” or substantially similar transaction within the meaning of Treas. Reg. 1.6001-4(b)(2), or a “Transaction of Interest” under Treas. Reg. 1.6011-4(b)(6).

The LB&I Memorandum states that a participation request must be made in one of two ways. The first is by indicating the request on Form 4665, Report Transmittal. According to Internal Revenue Manual Section 4.10.8.12.6 (03-25-2021), Form 4665 is used to [...]

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Weekly IRS Roundup November 1 – November 5, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of November 1, 2021 – November 5, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

November 1, 2021: The IRS released a memorandum, providing guidance on the refund recoupment process for employees of Specialty Collection Offer in Compromise. Beginning with offers accepted on or after November 1, 2021, the offer in the compromise refund recoupment process will no longer be applicable for offsetting tax periods included on Form 656.

November 1, 2021: The IRS released a memorandum, extending certain temporary guidance related to taxpayer contact, initial contact and asset evaluations with respect to Internal Revenue Manual SBSE-05-0321-0019, Extension of Temporary Guidance for Field Collection and Specialty Collection Offers in Compromise Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Resumption of NFTL Procedures. The memorandum also extends the waiver that requires a field call prior to acceptance of certain Offers in Compromise in accordance with IRM 5.8.4.8(10) until January 31, 2022. The temporary guidance regarding Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) determinations and filings was not extended.

November 2, 2021: The IRS released the IRS Chief Counsel code and subject matter directory for November 2021.

November 3, 2021: The IRS published a news release, reminding taxpayers that a special tax provision will allow more Americans to easily deduct up to $600 in donations to qualifying charities on their 2021 federal income tax return. A temporary law change now permits them to claim a limited deduction on their 2021 federal income tax returns for cash contributions made to qualifying charitable organizations.

November 3, 2021: The IRS published FAQs concerning carried interest reporting details for partnerships. The purpose of the FAQs is to provide guidance relating to both pass-through entity filing and reporting requirements and owner taxpayer filing requirements in accordance with US Department of the Treasury (Treasury) regulations revised in T.D. 9945 (concerning guidance under Section 1061, which recharacterizes certain net long-term capital gains of a partner that holds one or more applicable partnership interests as short-term capital gains).

November 3, 2021: The IRS published a news release, announcing that victims of Hurricane Ida in parts of Connecticut now have until January 3, 2022, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

November 3, 2021: The IRS and Treasury published a notice and request for comments concerning third-party disclosure requirements in IRS regulations. Written comments are due on or before January 3, 2022.

November 5, 2021: The IRS published a practice unit concerning expense allocation and apportionment when calculating a foreign tax credit under Section 904. The practice unit was revised to correct an error and supersedes the August 29, 2016, practice unit with the same title.

November 5, 2021: The IRS and Treasury
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Weekly IRS Roundup October 25 – October 29, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of October 25, 2021 – October 29, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

October 25, 2021: The IRS released a memorandum implementing the Large Partnership Compliance (LPC) Pilot Program, including the identification, selection and delivery of large partnership tax returns, exam procedures and feedback.

October 25, 2021: The IRS released a memorandum providing emergency guidance on emails with personal accounts in exigent circumstances to IRS employees responsible for protecting sensitive but unclassified data, including tax information and personally identifiable information.

October 26, 2021: The IRS and US Department of the Treasury (Treasury) published a notice and request for comments concerning the foreign tax credit used by individuals, estates or trusts. Comments are requested on Form 1116, Foreign Tax Credit (Individual, Estate or Trust), and Schedules B and C, which are used by individuals (including nonresident aliens), estates or trusts who paid foreign income taxes on US taxable income to compute the foreign tax credit. Written comments are due on or before December 27, 2021.

October 26, 2021: The IRS published a practice unit examining education expenses claimed by Nonresident Alien Individual (NRA) employees. The unit focuses on examining the education expenses claimed by NRAs engaged in a US trade or business as employees and discusses the issues and audit steps that examiners will need to consider for these taxpayers.

October 27, 2021: The IRS published a new release announcing that victims of Hurricane Ida in parts of Mississippi now have additional time—until January 3, 2022—to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. The deadline remains November 1, 2021, for affected taxpayers in other parts of Mississippi.

October 28, 2021: The IRS and Treasury published a notice and request for comments concerning Form 3468 (Investment Credit). The form is used to compute taxpayers’ credit against their income tax for certain expenses incurred for their trades or businesses. Written comments are due on or before December 27, 2021.

October 29, 2021: The IRS and Treasury published a notice and request for comments concerning Form SS-4 (Application for Employer Identification Number). The form is used by taxpayers who are required to have an identification number for use on any return, statement or other document to obtain such number. Written comments are due on or before December 28, 2021.

October 29, 2021: The IRS and Treasury published a notice and request for comments concerning rules relating to the manner and method of reporting and paying the nondeductible 50% excise tax imposed by Section 5881 with respect to the receipt of greenmail. Written comments are due on or before December 28, 2021.

October 29, 2021: The IRS released a memorandum [...]

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Weekly IRS Roundup October 18 – October 22, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of October 18, 2021 – October 22, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

October 18, 2021: The IRS announced that beginning October 18, its Large Business and International (LB&I) Division will accept all taxpayer requests to meet with IRS employees using secure video conferencing.

October 20, 2021: The IRS published an announcement, reminding employers that the next quarterly payroll tax return is due November 1, 2021. The IRS urged employers to use the speed and convenience of filing the returns electronically.

October 21, 2021: The IRS and US Department of the Treasury (Treasury) published a notice and request for comments concerning Form 4810 (Request for Prompt Assessment Under Internal Revenue Code Section 6501(d)). The form is used to help locate a return and expedite the processing of a taxpayer’s request. Written comments are due on or before December 20, 2021.

October 21, 2021: The IRS published an announcement, reminding the more than 759,000 federal tax return preparers that they must renew their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) now for 2022. All current PTINs will expire December 31, 2021.

October 21, 2021: The IRS published a notice, setting forth current standards that a limited liability company (LLC) must satisfy in order to receive a determination letter recognizing it as tax exempt under Section 501(a) and described in Section 501(c)(3). The notice also requests comments on these standards, as well as specific issues relating to tax exempt status for LLCs, to assist the Treasury and the IRS in determining whether additional guidance is needed concerning the standards that an LLC must satisfy in order to be exempt from taxation by reason of being described in Section 501(c). Written comments should be submitted by February 6, 2022.

October 22, 2021: The IRS published an announcement, reminding employers that they generally will not jeopardize the tax status of their pension plans if they rehire retirees or permit distributions of retirement benefits to current employees who have reached age 59 and a half or the plan’s normal retirement age. The IRS posted FAQs to help employers impacted by COVID-19, which resulted in labor shortages.

October 22, 2021: The IRS published Revenue Procedure 2021-42, providing guidelines and general requirements for the development, printing and approval of the 2021 substitute tax forms. The IRS accepts quality substitute tax forms that are consistent with the official forms and have no adverse impact on processing.

October 22, 2021: The IRS released its weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memorandums and Chief Counsel Advice).

Special thanks to Robbie Alipour in our Chicago office for this week’s roundup.




Does Latest IRS Guidance Signal New Firm Stance on Research Credit Refund Claims?

On October 15, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a press release related to required information for valid research credit refund claims. The press release contains a link to a memorandum by two IRS employees, which will be used to evaluate such claims, and states that there will be a grace period (until January 10, 2022) before such information will be required to be included with timely filed research credit refund claims.

The guidance referred to in the press release is from the IRS’s Office of the Chief Counsel, Memorandum 20214101F (the IRS Research Memo) dated September 17, 2021, which focuses on administrative claims for refunds respect to the Internal Revenue Code (IRS) section 41 research credit.

First, we recommend reviewing the IRS Research Memo because it does a good job explaining the necessary elements to claim the credit. Second, the IRS Research Memo is a good reminder that the first requirement is to file a refund claim that is sufficiently detailed in order to give the IRS notice on both the technical and factual basis of the refund claim. In the context of the IRC Section 41 credit, the IRS Research Memo provides the following as minimum requirements for a refund claim:

  • Identify all the business components to which the IRC Section 41 research credit claim relates for the year for which a refund is sought.
  • For each business component:
    • Identify all research activities performed
    • Identify all individuals who performed each research activity
    • Identify all the information each individual sought to discover
  • Provide the total qualified employee wage expenses, total qualified supply expenses and total qualified contract research expenses for the claim year (this may be done using Form 6765, Credit for Increasing Research Activities).
  • The refund claim must be signed under penalties of perjury attesting to the veracity of the facts and information stated therein.
  • Supporting facts should be in the form of a written statement and merely incorporated by reference to documents attached to the claim.
  • The refund claim must be filed within the period of limitations stated in IRC Section 6511. Typically, taxpayers must file a valid claim within three years of the date Form 1040 or Form 1120 was filed or two years from the time the tax was paid—whichever period expires later.

Importantly, the IRS Research Memo does not advise taxpayers on how much information the IRS believes is sufficient to make a valid claim for refund. The IRS Research Memo does, however, highlight some recent court decisions where taxpayers were denied a refund because they did not include sufficient facts in their IRC Section 41 refund claim. In those cases, the courts ruled that the refund claims were defective and untimely.

Practice Point: The IRS Research Memo is a good reminder that when it comes to refund claims, generally, more description and detail is better. Interestingly, if the taxpayer had claimed a research credit on the original return, there would be [...]

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Weekly IRS Roundup October 11 – October 15, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of October 11, 2021 – October 15, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

October 12, 2021: The IRS released a notice, announcing that the US Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the IRS intend to amend the regulations under Section 987 to defer the applicability date of certain final regulations by one additional year. The deferred regulations will apply to tax years beginning after December 7, 2022. For calendar year taxpayers, the 2016 final regulations and the related 2019 final regulations will apply to the tax year beginning on January 1, 2023. The IRS and Treasury do not intend to amend the applicability date of Treasury Regulation § 1.987-12.

October 13, 2021: The IRS published an updated Form W-8BEN-E (Certificate of Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Entities)) and related instructions.

October 14, 2021: The IRS and Treasury published a notice and request for comments concerning assumption of partner liabilities. The rules relate to a partnership’s assumption of certain fixed and contingent obligations in connection with the issuance of a partnership interest, as well as to Section 358(h) for assumptions of liabilities by corporations from partners and partnerships and temporary regulations concerning the assumption of certain liabilities under Section 358(h). Written comments are due on or before December 13, 2021.

October 14, 2021: The IRS and Treasury published a notice and request for comments concerning Form 1127 (Application for Extension of Time for Payment of Tax Due to Undue Hardship). Written comments are due on or before December 13, 2021.

October 14, 2021: The IRS and Treasury published a notice and request for comments concerning Revenue Procedure 99-50, which permits combined information reporting by a successor business entity (i.e., a corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship) in certain situations following a merger or an acquisition. Written comments are due on or before December 13, 2021.

October 15, 2021: The IRS published draft instructions for Form 8949 (Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets). The updated form reflects reporting for Section 1061, which concerns recharacterizing certain long-term capital gains of a partner who holds one or more applicable partnership interests as short-term capital gains.

October 15, 2021: The IRS published a news release, updating its process for certain frequently asked questions (FAQs) on newly-enacted tax legislation. The IRS is updating this process to address concerns regarding transparency and the potential impact on taxpayers when the FAQs are updated or revised. The IRS is also addressing concerns regarding the potential application of penalties to taxpayers who rely on FAQs by providing clarity as to their ability to rely on FAQs for penalty protection. The IRS stated that significant FAQs on newly-enacted [...]

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