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Weekly IRS Roundup April 5 – April 9, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Serve (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of April 5, 2021 – April 9, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

April 5, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing that it is mailing letters to certain taxpayers who claimed the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit, explaining why they may be getting a different amount than expected.

April 5, 2021: The IRS issued a news release estimating that more than $1.3 billion of unclaimed income tax refunds are available to the estimated 1.3 million taxpayers who did not file a 2017 Form 1040 and reminding such taxpayers to file their 2017 returns before the May 17, 2021, deadline for claiming refunds.

April 7, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing a fourth round of Economic Impact Payments consisting of over 25 million payments totaling over $36 billion, bringing the total amount of disbursements under the American Rescue Plan of 2021 (ARPA) to more than 156 million payments worth approximately $372 billion.

April 8, 2021: The IRS issued Notice 2021-25 and an accompanying news release, providing guidance on the application of section 274(n)(2)(D) of the Code, a provision added by the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 which provides for a temporary 100% deduction for food and beverages provided by a restaurant.

April 8, 2021: The IRS issued a news release reminding taxpayers who make estimated tax payments that the due date for the first estimated tax installment remains April 15, 2021.

April 8, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing various internal executive changes, including the appointment of Douglas O’Donnell as IRS Deputy Commissioner, Services and Enforcement, and Nikole Flax as Commissioner of the Large Business and International Division.

April 8, 2021: The IRS issued a news release reminding residents of US territories that, pursuant to recent legislation, they may be eligible to exclude up to $10,200 per person of unemployment compensation from gross income for the 2020 taxable year.

April 9, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing that, pursuant to ARPA, it was suspending the requirement that taxpayers repay excess advance payments of Premium Tax Credits.

April 9, 2021: The IRS issued a news release urging participants in abusive micro-captive insurance arrangements to exit the arrangements as soon as possible.

April 9, 2021: The IRS issued a news release reminding taxpayers that the deadline for filing the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) remains April 15, 2021.

April 9, 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 Le Chen in our Washington, DC, [...]

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Weekly IRS Roundup March 29 – April 2, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Serve (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of March 29, 2021 – April 2, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

March 29, 2021: The IRS issued Notice 2021-21 and an accompanying news release, extending certain individual income tax deadlines to May 17, 2021, including the deadline for making contributions to individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) and the deadline for claiming refunds.

March 30, 2021: The IRS issued corrections to final regulations published on January 15, 2021, regarding credits for carbon capture equipment under section 45Q of the Code.

March 30, 2021: The IRS released Announcement 2021-6, providing a report on advance pricing agreements for calendar year 2020 under the Advance Pricing and Mutual Agreement Program.

March 30, 2021: The IRS issued a news release warning students and staff of educational institutions of an IRS-impersonation phishing scam.

March 30, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing that it anticipates Economic Impact Payments will begin to be issued to Social Security recipients and other individuals who do not normally file tax returns starting the weekend of April 3.

March 30, 2021: The IRS issued a news release providing answers to frequently asked questions regarding the reporting of pandemic-related emergency financial aid grants by students and higher education institutions.

March 31, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing that it will take steps to provide automatic refunds to taxpayers who filed tax returns reporting unemployment compensation prior to changes made by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).

April 1, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing a third round of Economic Impact Payments consisting of four million payments totaling over $10 billion, bringing the total amount of disbursements under ARPA to more than 130 million payments worth approximately $335 billion.

April 2, 2021: The IRS issued Notice 2021-23 and an accompanying news release, providing guidance on the changes made by the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 on the employee retention credit under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

April 2, 2021: The IRS issued a news release soliciting civic-minded volunteers to serve on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, a federal advisory committee for identifying taxpayer concerns and making recommendations for improving IRS service and customer satisfaction.

April 2, 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 Le Chen in our Washington, DC, office for this week’s roundup.




Weekly IRS Roundup March 22 – March 26, 2021

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

March 22, 2021: The IRS issued Notice 2021-22, providing guidance on various interest rates relevant to employee benefit plans.

March 22, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing that the next batch of Economic Impact Payments under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) would be issued to taxpayers this week.

March 24, 2021: The IRS issued a news release confirming, as previously announced, the disbursement of approximately 37 million Economic Impact Payments, bringing the total amount of disbursements under ARPA to approximately 127 million payments worth approximately $325 billion.

March 25, 2021: The IRS released Revenue Procedure 2021-19, providing guidance on median gross income figures, used by certain issuers of mortgage bonds and mortgage credit certificates.

March 25, 2021: The IRS issued a news release summarizing the proceedings from “The Challenge,” a meeting (held virtually this year) of the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5) regarding international coordination on tax crimes.

March 25, 2021: The IRS issued a news release noting the one-year anniversary of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and pledging the Criminal Investigation Division’s continued commitment to investigating COVID-19 fraud.

March 26, 2021: The IRS released Revenue Procedure 2021-17, providing guidance on average residence purchase prices, used by certain issuers of mortgage bonds and mortgage credit certificates.

March 26, 2021: The IRS released Revenue Procedure 2021-18, providing state and local governments in which an empowerment zone is located with an automatic procedure for extending the empowerment zone designation under section 1391(a).

March 26, 2021: The IRS issued Announcement 2021-5, announcing that the United States and Japan have entered into an arrangement regarding the implementation of the arbitration process provided for in the 2003 US-Japan tax treaty.

March 26, 2021: The IRS issued Announcement 2021-7, notifying taxpayers that amounts paid for personal protective equipment for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19 are treated as deductible medical expenses under section 213.

March 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 Le Chen in our Washington, DC, office for this week’s roundup.




IRS Issues Practice Unit on Section 965 Transition Tax

One of the most pressing audit issues for large taxpayers today centers on the Internal Revenue Code (Code) Section 965 transition tax. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has designated Code Section 965 as a campaign issue and is actively auditing taxpayers’ transition tax calculations and positions, along with other tax reform items. The stakes are high, particularly given the potential to pay this tax over a period of eight years.

On March 23, 2021, the IRS released a Practice Unit that provides an overview of the Code Section 965 transition tax with references to relevant resources. Unfortunately, unlike some other Practice Units, guidance is not provided as to the type of information revenue agents should be requesting from taxpayers.

Practice Point: Practice Units are presentation-type materials compiled by the IRS as a means for collaborating and sharing knowledge among IRS employees. They provide helpful guidance to revenue agents in the form of an overview of the law in a specific area, examination tips and guidance and references to relevant resources. Although the Code Section 965 transition tax Practice Unit does not provide insights into the types of questions and information that revenue agents may seek on audit, it is still useful for taxpayers to review to understand the IRS’s perspective in this area.




Weekly IRS Roundup March 8 – March 12, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of March 8, 2021 – March 12, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

March 11, 2021: The IRS released Internal Revenue Bulletin 2021-11, dated March 15, 2021, containing the following highlights: Notice 2021-20 (Employment Tax); Notice 2021-18 (Income Tax) and Notice 2021-19 (Income Tax).

March 12, 2021: The IRS updated its campaign list to add a new campaign for compliance with section 179D and to retire the campaign for the proper treatment of economic development incentives.

March 12, 2021: The IRS issued a Practice Unit on selling a partnership interest, covering areas such as: (1) ownership changes on sale of interest to a new or existing partner; (2) proper reporting of gain; (3) section 751 assets; (4) section 1250 assets and (5) section 754 elections.

March 12, 2021: The IRS requested comments on Form 1099-C (Cancellation of Debt) regarding cancellation of debt and removal of the 36-month non-payment testing period rule.

March 12, 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 Samuel DiPietro in our Chicago office for this week’s roundup.




Weekly IRS Roundup March 1 – March 5, 2021

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

March 1, 2021: The IRS issued Notice 21-20 providing guidance regarding the employee retention credit provided under section 2301 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Specifically, Notice 21-20 addresses the employee retention credit as it applies to qualified wages paid after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021.

March 2, 2021: The IRS issued Revenue Ruling 21-6, which provides certain applicable interest rates for the overpayments and underpayments of taxes. Specifically, Revenue Ruling 21-6 provides the daily compound interest for annual rates of 0.5% and the annual interest rates to be compounded daily pursuant to section 6622 that apply for prior periods.

March 2, 2021: The IRS issued Notice 21-15 providing guidance regarding the application of section 214 of the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, which provides temporary special rules for health flexible spending arrangements and dependent care assistance programs under section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code.

March 4, 2021: The IRS released Internal Revenue Bulletin 2021-10, dated March 8, 2021, containing the following highlights: Notice 2021-16 (Employee Plans); Notice 2021-15 (Income Tax); and Rev. Rul. 2021-5 (Income Tax).

March 5, 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 Samuel DiPietro in our Chicago office for this week’s roundup.




Weekly IRS Roundup February 22 – February 26, 2021

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

February 25, 2021: The IRS issued an alert warning taxpayers to refrain from submitting meritless amended returns to claim the Domestic Production Activities Deduction (DPAD) for prior tax years—the DPAD was repealed as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for taxable years after December 31, 2017. This alert was in response to a large number of filings claiming the DPAD deduction based on studies conducted after the fact, which the IRS claims contained unreasonable assumptions of facts and law. The IRS further noted that examining these claims will continue to be a priority and that penalties may be asserted under section 6676. We have previously written about section 199 refund claims and penalties under section 6676.

February 25, 2021: The IRS released Internal Revenue Bulletin 2021-9, dated March 1, 2021, containing the following highlights: Announcement 2021-4 (Administrative).

February 26, 2021: The IRS issued Notice 21-18 providing the adjusted limitations on housing expenses for 2021 for purposes of section 911, which allows a qualified individual to elect to exclude from gross income certain foreign earned income and to exclude or deduct certain housing expenses.

February 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 Samuel DiPietro in our Chicago office for this week’s roundup.




Weekly IRS Roundup February 15 – February 19, 2021

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

February 16, 2021: The IRS issued Revenue Ruling 21-05, which provides the applicable short-, mid- and long-term applicable federal rates for the month of March. These rates are used for purposes of section 1274(d), which relates to the determination of issue price in the case of certain debt instruments issued for property.

February 16, 2021: The IRS issued Notice 21-16 providing guidance on the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates used in section 417(e)(3) and the 24-month average segment rates under section 430(h)(2). In addition, the notice provides guidance as to the interest rate on 30-year US Department of the Treasury securities under section 417(e)(3)(A)(ii)(II) and the 30-year Treasury weighted average rate under section 431(c)(6)(E)(ii)(I).

February 18, 2021: The IRS issued Notice 21-15 clarifying the application of section 214 which provides temporary special rules for health flexible spending arrangements and dependent care assistance programs under section 125 cafeteria plans. (For more information, see our On the Subject here.)

February 18, 2021: The IRS released Internal Revenue Bulletin 2021-8, dated February 22, 2021, containing the following highlights: Announcement 2021-2 (Administrative); Announcement 2021-3 (Administrative); and Rev. Proc. 2021-15 (Administrative).

February 19, 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 Samuel DiPietro in our Chicago office for this week’s roundup.




Weekly IRS Roundup February 8 – February 12, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of February 8, 2021 – February 12, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

On February 9, the Internal Revenue Service announced that Nancy Sieger would permanently fill the role of chief information officer. Nancy has served as the acting chief information officer since June 2019.

February 11, 2021: The IRS released Internal Revenue Bulletin 2021-7, dated February 16, 2021, containing the following highlights: TD 9938 (Excise Tax; Exempt Organizations); Notice 2021-10 (Income Tax).

February 12, 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 Samuel DiPietro in our Chicago office for this week’s roundup.




Weekly IRS Roundup February 1 – February 5, 2021

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

February 4, 2021: The IRS published Rev. Proc. 2021-15 providing a safe harbor for eligible educators to treat unreimbursed expenses paid or incurred after March 12, 2020, for COVID-19 protective items to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the classroom.

February 5, 2021: The IRS announced that Heather C. Maloy would replace Lia Colbert as the director of the Taxpayer First Act Office.

February 5, 2021: The IRS issued a news release reminding taxpayers to avoid “ghost” tax return preparers who refuse to sign tax returns they prepare.

February 5, 2021: The IRS released its weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memorandums and Chief Counsel Advice).

February 6, 2021: The IRS released Internal Revenue Bulletin 2021-6, dated February 8, 2021, containing the following highlights: Notice 2021-6 (Administrative); Notice 2021-11(Administrative; Employment Tax); Notice 2021-12 (Income Tax); Rev. Proc. 2021-11 (Income Tax); Rev. Rul. 2021-4 (Income Tax); TD 9946 (Income Tax); TD 9947 (Income Tax); TD 9948 (Income Tax); Notice 2021-8 (Income Tax; Administrative); Notice 2021-13 (Income Tax; Administrative).

Special thanks to Samuel DiPietro in our Chicago office for this week’s roundup.




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