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CARES Act Refund Claim Guidance

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, provides tax relief to taxpayers in certain situations. Some of these provisions may generate refunds for prior years, such as the relaxation of restrictions on the use of net operating losses (NOLs) and interest deductions as well as the retroactive availability of additional depreciation related to qualified improvement property. For our prior discussions of these, and other CARES Act provisions, see here. Naturally, it would be beneficial to taxpayers to obtain such refunds to increase cash liquidity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under normal circumstances, there are two ways corporate taxpayers can seek tax refunds: (1) filing an amended return; or (2) requesting a “quick refund” by filing Form 1139, Corporation Application for Tentative Refund. Normally, a corporate taxpayer must file Form 1139 within 12 months of the close of the taxable year in which the NOL arose. Then, the Internal...

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Weekly IRS Roundup March 30 – April 3, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of March 30 – April 3, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here. March 30, 2020: Economic impact payments will be sent out over the next three weeks. These payments will be distributed automatically, with no action needed by most people. However, some taxpayers who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the economic impact payment. The Treasury Department plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS for direct deposit of the economic impact payments. March 31, 2020: The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service launched the Employee Retention Credit to encourage businesses financially impacted by COVID-19 to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax...

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IRS to Temporarily Adjust Operations and Key Compliance Functions

On March 25, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced a new People First Initiative designed to provide relief to taxpayers on a variety of issues ranging from easing payment guidelines to postponing compliance actions in light of the challenges caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The initiative’s projected start date is April 1, 2020, and it is planned to continue through at least July 15, 2020. During this period, the IRS will avoid in-person contacts as much as possible while focusing on taking the steps necessary to protect all applicable statutes of limitation. Access the full article.

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Taxpayer Victory in an IRC Section 199 Contract Manufacturing Case

Recently, the US Federal District Court for the Southern District of Iowa in Meredith Corp. v. United States, No. 4:17-cv-00385 (S.D. Iowa Mar. 20, 2020), held that a magazine publisher was entitled to refund of federal income tax based for the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 199 domestic production deduction based upon the printing services performed by a contract manufacturer. At issue in the case was whether the publisher qualified as a printer of magazines for purposes of IRC section 199 despite hiring third-party printers to print its magazines. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) argued that the third-party printers, not the magazine publisher, had the “benefits and burdens of ownership,” and thus only the third-party printers were eligible for the IRC section 199 deduction. The case involved tax years 2006 through 2012. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repealed IRC section 199 domestic production deduction for tax years after 2018. This was a fact...

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Weekly IRS Roundup March 16 – 20, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of March 16 - 20, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here. March 17, 2020: The IRS published Rev. Rul. 2020-9 to provide various prescribed rates for federal income tax purposes for April 2020. March 18, 2020: The US Tax Court announced that it will close effective March 18, 2020 until further notice. Mail will be held for delivery until the US Tax Court reopens. Taxpayers may comply with statutory deadlines for filing petitions or notices of appeal by timely mailing a petition or notice of appeal, which will be determined by the United States Postal Service’s postmark or the delivery certificate of a designated private delivery service. The eAccess and eFiling systems will remain operational. For more information, see here. March 19, 2020: The IRS released...

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Supreme Court Tackles Tax-Related Cases

The United States Supreme Court has picked up the pace this week, already issuing eight regular opinions and four opinions relating to orders as of today. We discuss the tax-related items here. In Rodriguez v. FDIC, the question was how to decide which member of a consolidated group of corporations is entitled to a tax refund. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a refund to the designated agent of an affiliated group, but the dispute centered on how that refund should be distributed among the group’s members. Some courts have looked at state law to resolve the distribution issue while others crafted a federal common law rule providing that, in the absence of an unambiguous tax allocation agreement, the refund belongs to the group member responsible for the losses that led to the refund. The Supreme Court rejected the latter common law rule, finding that it was not a legitimate exercise of federal common lawmaking. In reaching its decision, the Court...

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Tax Blog: New Questions and Answers for Section 965

The IRS has released new informal guidance (“Questions and Answers”) regarding section 965, containing information on making successive installment payments, filing transfer agreements as a result of certain acceleration or triggering events, and other matters related to S corporation shareholders making the section 965(i) election. Consistent with prior advice issued by the IRS (see coverage here and here), the Questions and Answers provide that the IRS cannot make a refund or apply as a credit any amount of an installment payment until the entire income tax liability is satisfied (i.e., any overpayments of an installment obligation will be used to satisfy future section 965 installment payments). The Questions and Answers also provides details on payment obligations with respect to successive installment payments under section 965(h). In particular, the IRS will “make every effort to issue an installment notice and payment voucher” for each successive...

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Court Rules That Wind Farm Did Not Provide Proof of Development Fee to Receive 1603 Cash Grant

On June 20, 2019, the United States Court of Federal Claims published its long-awaited opinion in California Ridge Wind Energy, LLC v. United States, No. 14-250 C. The opinion addressed how taxpayers engaging in related party transactions may appropriately determine the cost basis with respect to a wind energy project under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Central to the case was whether the taxpayer was allowed to include a $50 million development fee paid by a project entity to a related developer in the cost basis of a wind project for purposes of calculating the cash grant under Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 (Section 1603). Section 1603 allowed taxpayers to take a cash grant in lieu of the production tax credit of up to 30% of the eligible cost basis of a wind project. The eligible cost basis under Section 1603 is determined in the same manner as under Section 45 for purposes of the investment tax credit (ITC). The...

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Taxpayers Should Prepare for the Next Penalty Battleground

The IRS is using a new tool from its arsenal to enforce compliance for tax refund and credit claims: the Internal Revenue Code Section 6676 penalty. Taxpayers and their advisers need to be aware of the mechanics of this penalty and how best to avoid it being sustained. Andrew R. Roberson, Kevin Spencer and Evan Walters authored a comprehensive article on IRC Section 6676. They discuss: The origins of IRC Section 6676 How to contest the penalty and privilege concerns What taxpayers who are considering filing—or have already filed—refund claims should keep in mind now that the penalty is the IRS’s favorite new compliance tool Read the article here.

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Ninth Circuit Allows IRS to Overrule Common-Law Mailbox Rule

Most tax professionals are aware of the common-law “mailbox rule,” which provides that proof of proper mailing creates a rebuttable presumption that the document was physically delivered to the addressee. Internal Revenue Code (Code) section 7502 was enacted to codify the mailbox rule for tax purposes. Thus, for documents received after the applicable deadline, the document will be deemed to have been delivered on the date the document is postmarked. To protect taxpayers against a failure of delivery, Code section 7502 also provides that when a document is sent by registered mail, the registration serves as prima facie evidence that the document was delivered, and the date of registration is treated as the postmark date. In other words, if the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) claims not to have received a document, the presumption arises that such document was delivered so long as the taxpayer produces the registration. Over the years, courts struggled with the...

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