Tax Court Holds IRS Chief Counsel Attorneys May Make Initial Penalty Determination

In general, section 6751 requires that a supervisor give written approval before penalties can be asserted against a taxpayer. In Koh v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2020-77, authored by the US Tax Court’s (Tax Court) most recent addition—Judge Travis Greaves—the Tax Court affirmed that an attorney from Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Chief Counsel may be authorized to assert such penalties in an answer to a Tax Court petition. In Koh, the IRS sent the taxpayer a notice of deficiency that included a determination related to penalties under section 6662(j). The taxpayer filed a petition with the Tax Court contesting the IRS’s determination. In its answer, the IRS Chief Counsel attorney asserted that the taxpayer was liable for accuracy-related penalties under section 6662(b)(1) or (2), in the alternative to the section 6662(j) penalties assessed in the original deficiency notice. The taxpayer sought partial judgment on the pleadings on the grounds that IRS Chief...

Continue Reading

Tax Court Zooms into Remote Proceedings

On May 29, 2020, the US Tax Court (Tax Court) announced that to accommodate continuing uncertainties relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, and until further notice, all court proceedings would be conducted remotely. The Tax Court also issued Administrative Order 2020-02 regarding the conduct of remote proceedings and Administrative Order 2020-03 regarding limited entries of appearance. The Orders are effective until terminated by the Tax Court. Administrative Order 2020-02 contains sample forms, which are also available under the “Forms” tab on the Tax Court’s website, providing more information on how Tax Court proceedings will be conducted during the pandemic. The updated forms include: Notice Setting Case for Trial Standing Pretrial Order for Regular Cases Standing Pretrial Order for Small Tax Cases Pretrial Memorandum Petitioner’s (Taxpayer’s) Getting Ready for Trial Checklist The forms make clear certain requirements that are contained in the Tax Court...

Continue Reading

Weekly IRS Roundup May 25 – May 29, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of May 25 – May 29, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here. May 26, 2020: The IRS and United States Department of the Treasury issued proposed regulations to provide guidance on federal income tax withholding on certain periodic retirement and annuity payments under IRC § 3405(a). May 26, 2020: The IRS and Treasury issued final regulations clarifying the reporting requirements under IRC § 6033, generally applicable to tax-exempt organizations. May 26, 2020: The IRS Practice Unit titled Taxation on the Disposition of USRPI by Foreign Persons was updated to clarify that publicly traded stock of a corporation continues to not be US real property interests (USRPI) if held by a 5% or less shareholder. The 5% threshold was increased to 10% only for real estate investment...

Continue Reading

Weekly IRS Roundup May 18 – May 22, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of May 18 – May 22, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here. May 18, 2020:  The U.S. Tax Court announced that comments to the proposed amendments to the Rules of its Practice and Procedure should be emailed to Stephanie A. Servoss, Clerk of the Court, at Rules@ustaxcourt.gov. The Tax Court has not received mail since March 19, 2020. May 18, 2020:  The IRS added approximately 3,500 phone operators to answer Economic Impact Payment (EIP) questions. May 19, 2020:  The Large Business & International (LB&I) released information regarding the Swiss Bank Program Campaign. The program allows Swiss financial institutions to provide information on the U.S. persons with beneficial ownership of foreign financial accounts. The campaign will address noncompliance of such...

Continue Reading

Andy Keyso To Head IRS Appeals

On May 20, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that Andy Keyso has been named Chief of the IRS Independent Office of Appeals. He replaces Donna Hansberry, who retired in December 2019. Mr. Keyso is a long time veteran of the IRS, with more than 25 years of service. During his career, he has held numerous positions within the IRS, including serving as the IRS Chief of Staff, 18 years in various positions in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, including as Associate Chief Counsel of the Income Tax and Accounting Division. Mr. Keyso also served as Special Counsel to the Chief Counsel and as an attorney in the Procedure and Administration Division. Before coming to Washington, DC, Mr. Keyso worked in the field as a revenue agent in the former Newark, New Jersey District, where he later served as a technical advisor to the Chief, Examination Division. Since July 2017, Mr. Keyso has been the Deputy Chief of Appeals and acting Appeals Chief. Keyso is a...

Continue Reading

Weekly IRS Roundup May 11 – May 15, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of May 11 – May 15, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here. May 12, 2020: The IRS issued proposed regulations concerning the application of IRC § 162(f), as amended by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The proposed regulations provide that taxpayers may not deduct amounts that, pursuant to court orders or settlement agreements, are paid to, or at the direction of, governments in relation to the violation of any law or the investigation or inquiry into the potential violation of any law. May 13, 2020: The IRS and the Department of Treasury provided a notice of public hearing for the source of income from certain sales of property under IRC § 863 on June 3, 2020. May 15, 2020: The IRS expanded partner for Economic Impact Payments to provide information in multiple languages to...

Continue Reading

Weekly IRS Roundup May 4 – May 8, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of May 4 – May 8, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here. May 7, 2020: The IRS issued proposed regulations that provide guidance for estates and trusts clarifying that certain deductions of estates and non-grantor trusts are not miscellaneous itemized deductions. The proposed regulations also provide guidance on determining the character, amount and allocation of deductions in excess of gross income succeeded to by a beneficiary on the termination of an estate or non-grantor trust. May 8, 2020: The Large Business & International (LB&I) Division of the IRS released an update to the Practice Unit titled Official Versus Free Market Exchange Rate. The update covers determining the appropriate exchange rate used to translate foreign currency amounts. The unit...

Continue Reading

IRC 45Q Credit Under IRS Scrutiny: Government Finds Majority of Carbon Oxide Credits Improperly Claimed

In response to a series of questions posed in a November 2019 letter from Senator Menendez (D-NJ), the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued a letter on April 15, 2020, analyzing carbon oxide credits under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 45Q. For tax years between 2010 and 2019, TIGTA found that up to 87% of the value of the credits claimed were not in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitoring, reporting, and verification requirements. IRC section 45Q provides a credit to taxpayers that capture and sequester carbon oxide. The credit was initially enacted into law in 2008, then substantially revised in 2018. As part of the revisions, the credit was expanded from solely carbon dioxide capture to include a broader set of carbon oxide emissions. This substantially expanded the class of taxpayers eligible to claim the credit. Although Treasury released some guidance in February 2020, there are still many...

Continue Reading

IRS Appeals Large Case Pilot Program Ends

More than three years ago, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revised the Internal Revenue Manual to provide IRS Appeals Division (Appeals) with discretion to invite representatives from the IRS Examination Division (Exam) and IRS Office of Chief Counsel (Counsel) to the Appeals conference. The IRS also started a three-year initiative for taxpayers under the Large Business & International (LB&I) Division with cases assigned to Appeals Team Case Leaders (ATCLs). Under the initiative, LB&I personnel from Exam and Counsel were invited to the non-settlement portion of the taxpayer’s Appeals conference to test whether the participation of both parties would assist Appeals in narrowing and resolving complex factual and legal differences. The IRS announced that the initiative ended on May 1, 2020. The IRS has invited comments from the public about the initiative and its effectiveness. Such comments should be submitted by August 31, 2020. The practice of...

Continue Reading

Weekly IRS Roundup April 27 – May 1, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of April 27 – May 1, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here. April 28, 2020: The IRS published Large Business and International (LB&I) Process Unit on the substantiation of foreign tax credits for individuals. For an individual to claim a foreign tax credit, individual taxpayers must submit Form 1116 with their US federal income tax return. At the request of the IRS, the taxpayer must provide evidence supporting the foreign taxes claimed on Form 1116. April 28, 2020: The IRS published LB&I Concept Unit on the installment method under IRC § 453. An installment sale occurs when a seller receives at least one payment in a tax year after the disposition. An installment sale is reported on a Form 6252. April 30, 2020: The IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2020-29,...

Continue Reading

STAY CONNECTED

TOPICS

ARCHIVES