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Weekly IRS Roundup September 14 – September 18, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of September 14, 2020 – September 18, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here. September 14, 2020: The IRS published final regulations providing guidance on the limitation on the deduction for business interest expense after amendment of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The regulations provide guidance to taxpayers on how to calculate the limitation, what constitutes interest for purposes of the limitation, which taxpayers and trades or businesses are subject to the limitation and how the limitation applies in consolidated group, partnership, international and other contexts. The final regulations vary slightly from the document released on IRS.gov on July 28,...

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Are Crypto Loans Taxed as Loans?

Transactions involving the borrowing and lending of units of virtual currency (or crypto loans) are increasing in number and type. Lacking Treasury or IRS guidance with respect to crypto loans, potential tax issues that arise from these transactions must be analyzed and understood in accordance with broad, general tax principles established by case law and based on government guidance developed in other tax areas. Access the full article here.

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Taxation of Virtual Currency Staking Activities

Stakers—taxpayers involved in proof of stake (PoS) validation of blockchain transactions—are operating in uncharted tax waters. Treasury and the IRS have provided no guidance regarding when or whether staking rewards are included in taxable income. This article reviews various considerations that may help stakers document activities, rewards and expenses that support their federal and state tax positions. Access the full article here.

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Weekly IRS Roundup September 7 – September 11, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of September 7, 2020 – September 11, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here. September 4, 2020: The IRS published Competent Authority Arrangements between the United States and the Republic of Serbia and the United States and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. Each country previously signed an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The new arrangements establish procedures for IGA-related automatic exchange obligations and for the exchange of information. September 9, 2020: The IRS publishing news release reminding self-employed individuals, investors, retirees and others with income not subject to withholding that third-quarter estimated tax payments for 2020 are due September 15. September 9, 2020: The IRS...

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Final Section 468A Regulations Issued at Last

On September 4, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the US Department of the Treasury (Treasury) published in the Federal Register final regulations under section 468A of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) that address three issues raised by the nuclear electric industry concerning qualified nuclear decommissioning funds ("qualified funds"). These final regulations conclude a many years-long regulation project to clarify the rules relating to decommissioning costs and self-dealing rules. McDermott submitted multiple sets of comments throughout the process, and Marty Pugh provided vital testimony during an IRS hearing on the proposed regulations. Access the full article here.

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Taxation of Virtual Currency Mining Activities

Proof of work (PoW)—one of the consensus methodologies through which blockchain (digital ledger) transactions can be validated—relies on data miners whose mining activities involve solving complex mathematical calculations. This article discusses key tax issues for miners and the IRS’s preliminary views involving taxation of Bitcoin PoW mining activities. Access the full article here.

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Weekly IRS Roundup August 31 – September 4, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of August 31, 2020 – September 4, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here. September 1, 2020: The IRS released for publication in the federal register final regulations providing additional guidance on the base erosion and anti-abuse tax (BEAT) imposed on certain large corporate taxpayers with respect to certain payments made to foreign related parties. The final regulations affect corporations with substantial gross receipts that make payments to foreign related parties. September 1, 2020: The IRS announced the launch of the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) Centralized Partnership Audit Regime webpage. The Centralized Partnership Audit Regime replaces the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) and the electing large partnership rules. The centralized partnership...

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Can Virtual Currency Traders Elect into Special Rules that Allow Current Deductions for Trading Losses?

Traders in virtual currency seeking to deduct trading losses and avoid application of the capital loss limitations would want to elect into the special tax rules found at IRC § 475(f). However, such taxpayers should analyze the definitions of “securities” and “commodities,” determine whether they are eligible for either of the trader elections, and consider the federal and state tax implications of making such an election. Access the full article here.

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Weekly IRS Roundup August 24 – August 28, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of August 24, 2020 – August 28, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here. August 24 2020: The IRS published a memorandum concerning guidance to the field on the criteria that should be applied in considering if a request for designation for litigation should be made to the Office of Chief Counsel. The memorandum also provides interim guidance on the requirements of Section 1001 of the Taxpayer First Act (TFA) with respect to the limitation on designation of cases as not eligible for referral to the IRS Independent Office of Appeals. August 25, 2020: The IRS published a Summer 2020 Statistics of Income Bulletin. The Summer 2020 Bulletin focuses individual income tax shares, 2017; foreign recipients of US income, calendar year 2017; effects of post-filing adjustments on...

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When Can Bitcoin Positions Be Taxed as Mixed Straddles Subject to the Special Mixed Straddle Rules?

Taxpayers who enter into offsetting positions in actively traded personal property where one or more—but not all—of the positions making up a straddle are taxed as section 1256 contracts (while another offsetting position is not a section 1256 contract) are subject to the mixed straddle rules. Potential adverse consequences can be magnified or made more complex by application of these special rules. This article can help taxpayers understand and take action to minimize or avoid these consequences when such positions involve virtual currencies. Access the full article here.

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