Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of October 29 – November 2, 2018:

October 30, 2018: The IRS issued a notice of public hearing on November 28, 2018, regarding the proposed regulations the first-year additional depreciation deductions under section 168(k).

October 30, 2018: The IRS Large Business and International Division in an announcement identified five compliance campaigns it approved, which are Individual Foreign Tax Credit Phase II, Offshore Service Providers, FATCA Filing Accuracy, 1120-F Delinquent Returns Campaign and Work Opportunity Tax Credit. We recently blogged about this here.

October 31, 2018: The IRS and the Treasury submitted proposed regulations that would reduce the amount determined under Internal Revenue Code Section 956 with respect to certain domestic corporations.

November 2, 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 October 22 – 26, 2018:

October 23, 2018: The IRS released an updated Form 1040 Schedule B for reporting interest and ordinary dividends and draft Form 1120 Schedule D instructions for reporting capital gains and losses. Both documents include changes made to reflect the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

October 25, 2018: The IRS released IRS Tax Reform Tax Tip 2018-166, which advises business owners of the basics regarding potential deductions under Internal Revenue Code Section 199A for domestic businesses operated as sole proprietorships or through partnerships, S corporations, trusts and estates.

October 25, 2018: The IRS released Internal Revenue Bulletin 2018-44, dated October 29, 2018, which includes REG-104872-18, Notice 2018-82 and Revenue Procedure 2018-51.

October 26, 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 October 15 – 19, 2018:

October 16, 2018: The IRS issued Rev. Proc. 2018-54, which sets forth procedural rules for certain taxpayers that hold investments in one or more segregated asset accounts to elect to treat certain mortgage-backed securities as having deemed issuers for purposes of the diversification requirements of Internal Revenue Code (Code) Section 817(h).

October 17, 2018: The IRS, in Qualified Intermediaries News, reminded entities seeking Qualified Intermediary, Withholding Partnership or Withholding Foreign Trust status with a withholding agreement effective in 2018 that the deadline for submitting the applications is November 16, 2018.

October 18, 2018: The IRS issued Notice 2018-81, which describes the manner in which taxpayers should notify the IRS of revocation of an election to aggregate or disaggregate certain church-related organizations from treatment as a single employer under Code Section 414(c)(2)(C) and (D).

October 18, 2018: The IRS issued Notice 2018-84, which clarifies the suspension of the personal exemption deduction in the newly-added section 151(d)(5) under certain rules in section 36B and section 6011.

October 19, 2018: The IRS issued proposed regulations for investment in opportunity zones, providing guidance on under new Code Section 1400Z-2 relating to gains that may be deferred as a result of a taxpayer’s investment in a qualified opportunity fund.

October 19, 2018: The IRS issued Rev. Rul. 2018-19, which provides guidance on the requirement of original use with respect to land purchased after 2017 in qualified opportunity zones.

October 19, 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 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 October 1 – 5, 2018:

October 1, 2018: The IRS announced in Notice 2018-78 that the deadline for the basis election under Treas. Reg. § 1.965-2 was extended from prior to the publication of final Internal Revenue Code (Code) Section 965 regulations to 90 days after the issuance of the final Code Section 965 regulations.

October 3, 2018: The IRS issued Rev. Proc. 2018-53, which sets out the procedure for taxpayers requesting private letter rulings with respect to divisive reorganizations under Code Sections 355 and 368(a)(1)(D).

October 3, 2018: The IRS issued Notice 2018-76 providing transitional guidance on the deductibility of expenses for certain business meals under Code Section 274 in an entertainment context and stated that it intended to publish proposed regulations on the matter. For more information, see our post here.

October 4, 2018: The IRS released a reminder that calendar-year taxpayers who placed qualifying property in service during 2017 but intend to elect not to claim the new 100 percent depreciation deduction under Code Section 168(k) must file the election before October 15, 2018.

October 5, 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 Lee in our DC office for this week’s roundup.

Tax reform made many structural changes to our tax system. Changes to Code Section 274, however, sent shudders through corporate America. As amended, Code Section 274 eliminated the 50 percent deduction for “entertainment” expenses that are related to business activities. Sadly, gone are the days of companies deducting the cost of box tickets to games for the local sport’s team. Gulp! But, in its haste, Congress left what constitutes entertainment expenses substantially undefined. Accordingly, a strict reading of the statute meant—along with the box seats—went the hot dogs and beer! Ugh! So, under this strict interpretation, taking your client to the fancy restaurant to encourage her to buy your product or services would no longer be deductible.

Thankfully, the IRS has recently clarified that meals are not entertainment under amended Code section 274. IRS Notice 2018-76 explains that business meals are still eligible for the 50 percent deduction if they are not lavish and extravagant. And an IRS press release, IR-2018-195, explains that the IRS will release proposed regulations explaining what “entertainment” means.

Practice Point: We can all sigh with relief that Uncle Sam will continue to underwrite the “wining and dining” of our clients. Although eating is officially not entertainment (at least for tax purposes), the recent IRS guidance acknowledges that America does a lot of its business while breaking bread.

We have previously discussed ongoing developments with the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Compliance Assurance Process (CAP) program. In brief summary, CAP is a real-time audit program that seeks to resolve the tax treatment of all or most return issues before the tax return is filed. The CAP program began in 2005 on an invitation-only basis with 17 taxpayers, and was subsequently expanded to include pre-CAP, CAP and CAP Maintenance components. Taxpayers and IRS leadership generally praised the CAP program as one of the most successful corporate tax enforcement programs, with surveys showing that more than 90 percent of CAP taxpayers reported overall satisfaction with the program.

The fate of CAP has been uncertain in recent years given the IRS’s shift in the examination process to identifying and focusing on specific areas of risk and the continued dwindling of IRS resources. In 2016, we discussed whether this change might result in the death of the CAP program and the IRS’s announcement that it was formally assessing the program. In August of this year, the IRS announced that the CAP program will continue, with some modifications.

At a September 26 conference, the IRS indicated that it wanted to expand the CAP program, but that changes were needed to keep the program sustainable over the long term given issues with increased examination times for CAP audits based primarily on issues involving transfer pricing, research credits under Internal Revenue Code (Code) Section 41, and former Code Section 199. The IRS indicated that it needed to resolve two issues for the CAP program: (1) eligibility and (2) suitability. Regarding eligibility, the IRS indicated that only public companies will likely be allowed into the program. Regarding suitability, factors include: (1) responses to IRS information requests; (2) good-faith efforts to resolve issues; (3) disclosure of tax shelters, material items, investigation or litigation; (4) frequency of claims; and (5) complying with the terms of the program’s memorandum of understanding.

The IRS has also released a Compliance Assurance Process (CAP) Recalibration discussion document, dated September 28, 2018. The discussion document provides more detail on the IRS’s current thinking regarding the CAP program and the two issues identified above. The document indicates that no new applications will be accepted for 2019 but that the IRS expects to accept new application for the 2020 tax year. In addition to general application information, taxpayers with international cross-border activity and research and experimentation activities will be required to submit additional information.

Practice Point: Taxpayers that are currently in the CAP program or that are considering applying to the program should review the IRS’s recent discussion document to identify potential changes to the program and whether the program would be a good fit. For many taxpayers, the CAP program has been—or could be­—a great program for resolving tax disputes in a timely fashion and gaining finality on tax position at an early date. The IRS may use their “suitability” criteria to weed out which taxpayers should be in the CAP program. Query whether a taxpayer will be suitable for CAP if they have identified an issue that is listed in one of the IRS’s “campaigns.” Only time will tell. We have heard that some CAP teams are overburdened and may have little training on new tax reform issues, requiring them to seek assistance from their CAP taxpayers. This might be a good opportunity to educate your CAP team on how your specific facts align with tax reform.

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of September 24 – 28, 2018:

September 25, 2018: The IRS announced a study regarding the active trade or business requirements under section 355(b) and stated that it is considering guidance on whether a business can qualify as an active trade or business if entrepreneurial activities, as opposed to investment or other non-business activities, take place with the purpose of earning income in the future, but no income has yet been collected in order to give more ventures access to tax-free spinoff under section 355(b).

September 25, 2018: The IRS issued a statement on the reorganization of the Advance Pricing and Mutual Agreement program, which will merge its economists and non-economists to facilitate the collaboration between team members and optimize economist involvement.

September 27, 2018: The IRS announced in Notice 2018-80 that it will issue proposed regulations providing that accrued market discount is not includable in income under section 451(b), which was added by 2017 tax reform.

September 27, 2018: The IRS issued a release reminding taxpayers ahead of the October 15 tax-filing extension deadline to be aware of criminal who continue to using devious tactics to steal money and personal information from unsuspecting taxpayers.

September 28, 2018: The IRs issued a discussion document regarding recalibration of the Compliance Assurance Process (CAP) program.

September 28, 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 17 – 21, 2018:

September 17, 2018: The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released a report reviewing whether the IRS complied with legal and internal guidelines governing the seizure of property for unpaid taxes.

September 17, 2018: TIGTA released a second report compiling statistical information reported by the IRS in order to provide information about how the IRS uses its compliance resources and the resulting tax collections.

September 18, 2018: The IRS published Revenue Ruling 2018-17, which provides the applicable federal interest rate for October 2018 and other interest rates.

September 19, 2018: The IRS published Revenue Procedure 2018-49, which allows taxpayers that early adopted a method of revenue recognition to change such method to one described in Section 16.11 of Revenue Procedure 2018-31. This is a very important method change that affects many taxpayers who have to comply with ASC 606.

September 20, 2018: The IRS announced in Notice 2018-72 that it intends to amend the section 871(m) regulations to delay the effective date of certain provisions.

September 21, 2018: Treasury and the IRS published proposed regulations that would remove from the section 385 regulations minimum documentation requirements that must be satisfied for certain related-party debt to be respected as such for tax purposes. We previously commented on this here.

September 21, 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.