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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.




Weekly IRS Roundup December 28, 2020 – January 8, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the weeks of December 28, 2020 – January 8, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

December 29, 2020: The IRS released Revenue Procedure 21-09 providing a procedure for a trade or business that manages or operates a qualified residential living facility to elect to be treated as a real property trade or business for purposes of section 163(j).

December 31, 2020: The IRS issued Notice 21-05 clarifying and modifying the beginning of construction requirement for qualified facility and energy property projects under sections 45 and 48.

December 31, 2020: The IRS released its weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memorandums and Chief Counsel Advice).

December 31, 2020: The IRS released Internal Revenue Bulletin 2021-1, dated January 4, 2021, containing the following highlights: Rev. Proc. 2021-1 (Administrative); Rev. Proc. 2021-2 (Administrative); Rev. Proc. 2021-3 (Administrative); Rev. Proc. 2021-4 (Employee Plans); Rev. Proc. 2021-5 (Exempt Organizations); and Rev. Proc. 2021-7 (Income Tax).

January 4, 2021: The IRS issued Notice 21-07 providing temporary relief for employers and employees using the automobile lease valuation rule due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

January 5, 2021: The IRS issued Revenue Procedure 21-08 modifying Revenue Procedure 2021-5 to provide that the exclusive means of submitting Form 1024-A, after the 90-day transition relief period, is through the electronic submission process.

January 5, 2021: The IRS issued Revenue Procedure 21-10 providing procedures for issuers of tax-advantaged bonds who received adverse determinations by the Office of Tax Exempt Bonds to request an administrative appeal from the Independent Office of Appeals.

January 5, 2021: The IRS released TD 9943 containing the final regulations under section 163(j) related to the limitation on the deduction for business interest expense.

January 6, 2021: The IRS issued Revenue Ruling 21-02 declaring Notice 2020-32 and Rev. Rul. 2020-27, both of which provided that certain taxpayers could not deduct expenses related to loans forgiven under the Paycheck Protection Program, as obsolete.

January 6, 2021: The IRS released TD 9944 containing the final regulations under section 45Q related to the credit for carbon oxide sequestration.

January 7, 2021: The IRS released TD 9945 containing the final regulations under section 1061 related to the characterization of gains for taxpayers directly or indirectly holding applicable partnership interests in connection with the performance of substantial services.

January 8, 2021: The IRS released its weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memorandums and Chief Counsel Advice).

January 8, 2021: The IRS released Internal Revenue Bulletin 2021-2, dated January 11, 2021, containing the following highlights: TD 9940 (Administrative); Notice 2021-03 (Employee Plans); Notice 2021-04 (Excise [...]

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Let’s All Stop and Reflect for a Moment

In a recent article for the American Bar Association’s ABA Tax Times, McDermott partner Andrew R. Roberson reflected on 2020 and the importance of giving back.

“From COVID-19 to the Black Lives Matter movement; from home office and Zoom to remote learning for students; and so on—these events have impacted us all, both on professional and personal levels.”

Access the article.




Tax Court Records Accessible Again

When the US Tax Court (Tax Court) shut down in March, the public was unable to request copies of Tax Court records. That changed effective June 1, 2020, as non-parties may now call and request copies of court records which will then be sent via email. The cost for copy requests is $0.50 per page, with a per-document cap of $3.00. The Tax Court’s press release on this subject can be found here.

Practice Point: It can be extremely beneficial to taxpayers and their advisors to see arguments being made by other taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service in cases with similar legal issues. The ability to now directly call the Tax Court to request briefs or other filings in a docketed case, and to receive such documents electronically, is significant. Moreover, the cap of $3.00 per document may provide an incentive to request documents where the price per page, without a cap, was previously financially burdensome.




Weekly IRS Roundup June 1 – June 5, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of June 1 – June 5, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

June 2, 2020: The IRS reminded taxpayers who live and work abroad that they have until July 15, 2020, to file their 2019 federal income tax return and pay any tax due. Typically, the deadline for such returns is June 15.

June 3, 2020: The IRS issued Notice 2020-42 to provide temporary relief from the physical presence requirement in Treasury Regulations § 1.401(a)-21(d)(6) for participant elections required to be witnessed by a plan representative or a notary public, including a spousal consent required under IRC § 417.

June 4, 2020: The IRS issued Notice 2020-39 and updated the Qualified Opportunity Zones frequently asked questions (FAQs). Notice 2020-39 answers questions regarding relief from certain requirements under IRC § 1400Z-2, particularly providing that if a taxpayer’s 180th day to invest in a qualified opportunity zone would have fallen on or after April 1, 2020, and before December 31, 2020, the taxpayer now has until December 31, 2020, to invest that gain into a qualified opportunity fund (QOF). In addition, Notice 2020-39 provides that the period between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, is suspended for purposes of the 30-month period during which property may be substantially improved.

June 4, 2020: The IRS announced that the Office of Chief Counsel will be expanding its Virtual Settlement Days program. Settlement Days events are organized in effort to resolve US Tax Court cases by providing taxpayers not represented by counsel the opportunity to receive free tax advice from certain pro bono groups such as the Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) and American Bar Association (ABA).Through this program, taxpayers can also discuss their Tax Court cases and resolve related tax issues with members of the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, the Independent Office of Appeals and Collection.Due to COVID-19, Settlement Days events are now virtual and allow for taxpayers and volunteers to join from any location. 

June 5, 2020: The IRS issued Notice 2020-43 to seek public comment on a proposed requirement for partnerships to use only one of two alternative methods described in Notice 2020-43 to satisfy the Tax Capital Reporting Requirement with respect to partnership taxable years that end on or after December 31, 2020. The two methods that a partnership may use to report, for each partner, are either (i) the partner’s basis in its partnership interest, reduced by the partner’s allocable share of partnership liabilities, as determined under IRC § 752 (Modified Outside Basis Method); or (ii) the partner’s share of previously taxed capital, as calculated under a modified version of Treas. Reg. § 1.743-1(d) (Modified Previously Taxed Capital Method).

June 5, 2020: The IRS released its weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, [...]

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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 trusts (REITs) under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act).

May 27, 2020: The IRS and Treasury issued Notice 2020-41 to modify prior IRS notices addressing the beginning of construction requirement for both the production tax credit for renewable energy facilities under IRC § 45 and the investment tax credit for energy property under IRC § 48.

May 27, 2020: The IRS announced that some Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) will be sent to taxpayers in the form of a prepaid debit card that will arrive in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services.”

May 28, 2020: The IRS announced that taxpayers will be able to file Form 1040-X, Amended US Individual Income Tax Return, electronically this summer. Previously, Form 1040-X was only accepted through the mail.

May 28, 2020: The IRS and Treasury issued proposed regulations regarding the credit for carbon oxide sequestration under IRC § 45Q.

May 29, 2020: The IRS released its weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memorandums and Chief Counsel Advice).

Special thanks to Emily Mussio in our Chicago office for this week’s roundup.




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 aid with outreach.

May 15, 2020: The IRS released its weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memorandums and Chief Counsel Advice).

Special thanks to Emily Mussio in our Chicago office for this week’s roundup.




Despite NOL Carrybacks, IRS Continues to Deny Refunds of Section 965 Transition Tax Overpayments

In a series of frequently asked questions (FAQs) addressing the interaction of recently enacted net operating loss (NOL) carryback provisions and section 965, the IRS stated that taxpayers may not receive a refund of any section 965 tax payment unless and until the payment exceeds the “entire income tax liability for section 965.” The IRS further stated that such amount “includes all amounts to be paid in installments under section 965(h) in subsequent years.” This position – that taxpayers are not entitled to a refund of an overpayment of the section 965 tax liability unless and until the overpayment amount exceeds the full eight years of installment payments – is consistent with the IRS’s previously published position in PMTA 2018-016 (and as discussed in our prior analyses, here and here).

Access the full article. 




Weekly IRS Roundup April 20 – April 24, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of April 20 – April 24, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

April 21, 2020: The US Tax Court proposed amendments to its Rules of Practice and Procedure. The proposed amendment to Rule 24 incorporates simplified procedures for the withdrawal and substitution of counsel, and clarifies limitations on counsel’s representation of a party to more closely follow the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Written comments to the proposed amendments must be received by May 31, 2020.

April 21, 2020: The Treasury Department and the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2020-27 to provide a waiver of the time requirements of IRC § 911(d)(1). The waiver applies to any individual who reasonably expected to meet the eligibility requirements of IRS § 911(d)(1) during 2019 or 2020, but failed to do so because the individual departed a foreign country on or after a specified date due to COVID-19.

April 21, 2020: The Treasury Department and the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2020-20 to address the “substantial presence test” under IRC § 7701(b)(3) and the impact of travel and related disruptions resulting from COVID-19. COVID-19 may have affected the travel plans of foreign travelers who intended to leave the US. The Revenue Procedure provides that when applying the substantial presence test, an alien individual may exclude certain days of physical presence in the United States, including if the individual qualifies for the Medical Condition Exception described in Revenue Procedure 2020-20.

April 21, 2020: The IRS published frequently asked questions (FAQs) titled “Information for nonresident aliens and foreign businesses impacted by COVID-19 travel disruptions.” The FAQs address the impact of COVID-19 travel disruptions on nonresident alien individuals who perform services or other activities in the US and foreign corporations who employ individuals or engage individuals as agents to perform services or other activities in the US may be considered engaged in a US trade or business. The FAQs provides that the affected person may choose an uninterrupted period of up to 60 calendar days, beginning on or after February 1, 2020 and on or before April 1, 2020, during which services or other activities conducted in the US will not be taken into account in determining whether the nonresident alien or foreign corporation is engaged in a US trade or business. However, it must be true that such activities were performed by one or more individuals temporarily present in the US and would not have been performed in the US but for COVID-19 travel disruptions.

April 23, 2020: The Treasury Department and the IRS released proposed regulations addressing how to determine if an exempt organization has more than one unrelated trade or business, and, if so, how to calculate the organization’s unrelated business taxable income.

April 23, 2020: The IRS published FAQs on carrybacks of net operating [...]

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Weekly IRS Roundup April 13 – April 17, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of April 13 – April 17, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

April 16, 2020: The CARES Act made several modifications to net operating losses (NOLs). Specifically, NOLs incurred in 2018, 2019 and 2020 can be carried back to offset taxable income earned during the five-year period prior to the year in which the NOL was incurred. Accordingly, to allow taxpayers to meet the deadlines to submit such refunds, the IRS issued temporary procedures to allow taxpayers to fax certain Forms 1139 and 1045 due to COVID-19.

Only claims allowed under sections 2303 and 2305 of the CARES Act that are made on Form 1139 or Form 1045 are eligible refund claims that can be faxed.

April 16, 2020: The IRS published FAQs to address specific issues related to the deferral of deposit and payment of employment taxes due to the CARES Act. The deferral applies to deposits and payments of the employer’s share of Social Security tax that would otherwise be required to be made during the period beginning on March 27, 2020, and ending December 31, 2020. Employers that received a Paycheck Protection Program loan may not defer the deposit and payment of the employer’s share of Social Security tax that is otherwise due after the employer receives a decision from the lender that the loan was forgiven.

April 17, 2020: The IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2020-25, which provides guidance allowing a taxpayer to change its depreciation under IRC § 168 for qualified improvement property placed in service by the taxpayer after December 31, 2017, in its taxable year ending in 2018, 2019 or 2020.

April 17, 2020: The IRS released FAQs regarding the Economic Impact Payments (EIPs). The FAQs address eligibility, requesting EIPs, calculating EIPs and receiving EIPs.   

April 17, 2020: The IRS released its weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memorandums and Chief Counsel Advice).

Special thanks to Emily Mussio in our Chicago office for this week’s roundup.




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