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Weekly IRS Roundup August 22 – August 26, 2022

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of August 22, 2022 – August 26, 2022.

August 22, 2022: The IRS released Internal Revenue Bulletin 2022-34, which highlights the following:

  • Notice 2022-33. This guidance extends the deadlines for amending a retirement plan or individual retirement arrangement to reflect certain provisions of Division O of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, known as the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019, and section 104 of Division M of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, known as the Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019.
  • Notice 2022-34. This guidance delays the effective date of Foreign Currency Guidance again. The Department of Treasury and IRS intend to amend the regulations under section 987 to defer the applicability date of the 2016 final regulations and related 2019 final regulations by one additional year. The amendments would apply to the taxable year beginning on January 1, 2024.

August 22, 2022: The IRS issued Notice 2022-35 providing updates on the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding segment rates, the 24-month average corporate bond segment rates, the 25-year average segment rates, and the 30-year Treasury securities interest rates.

August 22, 2022: The IRS issued Tax Tip 2022-128 highlighting available resources to aspiring entrepreneurs about the basics of setting up a business.

August 23, 2022: The IRS issued Notice 2022-37 announcing that Treasury and the IRS intend to amend the section 871(m) regulations. This will delay the effective/applicability date of certain rules in those final regulations and extend the phase-in period provided in Notice 2020-2.

August 23, 2022: The IRS issued Tax Tip 2022-129 encouraging taxpayers who file federal excise taxes to file and pay electronically.

August 23, 2022: The IRS released the late-May filing season statistics for all Forms 1040 processed by the IRS for tax year 2021.

August 24, 2022: The IRS released Tax Tip 2022-130 announcing the addition of instructions for Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization in traditional Chinese.

August 24, 2022: The IRS announced it is refunding $1.2 billion in penalties for 1.6 million taxpayers related to certain 2019 and 2020 tax returns filed late. Notice 2022-36 provides penalty relief from certain failure to file penalties and certain international information return penalties. The relevant penalties will be waived, abated, refunded or credited. The relief is designed to help struggling taxpayers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to allow the IRS to focus resources on processing backlogged tax returns and taxpayer correspondence. We provided a more detailed analysis of the Notice 2022-36 here.

August 25, 2022: The IRS released Covid Tax Tip 2022-131 reminding taxpayers that the deadline to file tax returns for those that requested an extension is October 17, 2022.

August 26, 2022: The IRS released its weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memorandums and [...]

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IRS Provides Tax Penalty Relief for Certain Late Filed Returns

In Notice 2022-36, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced relief for taxpayers who failed to file certain tax and information returns with respect to tax years 2019 and 2020. The relief, which will be automatic, is provided if taxpayers file the missing forms by September 30, 2022. Once filed, the penalties will be waived or to the extent previously assessed, abated, refunded or credited to taxpayers.

The reason for this unprecedented relief is based upon the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Notice, the IRS explains that with a blanket abatement of penalties, IRS personnel can focus resources on processing the millions of returns backlogged by the pandemic and facilitate the IRS to get back to business as usual.

The IRS will abate any and all civil tax penalties related to failing to timely file the following returns:

  • The Form 1040 series
  • The Form 1041 series
  • The Form 1120 series
  • Form 1066
  • Form 990-PF
  • Form 1065.

The IRS will also abate the civil tax penalties asserted pursuant to Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Sections 6038, 6038A, 6038C, 6039F and 6677 for failing to timely file the following international information returns:

  • Forms 5471 and 5472
  • The Form 3520 series.

Additionally, the IRS will not impose penalties under IRC Section 6721(a)(2)(A) for failure to timely file any information return (as defined in IRC Section 6724(d)(1), e.g., certain Form 1099s) that meets the following criteria:

  • 2019 returns that were filed on or before August 1, 2020, with an original due date of January 31, 2020; February 28, 2020 (if filed on paper) or March 31, 2020 (if filed electronically); or March 15, 2020
  • 2020 returns that were filed on or before August 1, 2021, with an original due date of January 31, 2021; February 28, 2021 (if filed on paper) or March 31, 2021 (if filed electronically); or March 15, 2021.

Penalty relief, however, does not apply in situations where fraud was involved or if the tax penalty was settled under an Offer in Compromise or Closing Agreement.

Practice Point: Numerous civil tax penalties apply to taxpayers who fail to timely file certain tax and information returns—and those penalties can add up, accruing underpayment interest until paid. Notice 2022-36 is welcome relief to taxpayers who did not timely file as these penalties have been a bane to those who could not timely file their returns because of COVID-19 or did file timely but their returns have been sitting in an IRS center waiting to be processed. We have helped numerous taxpayers obtain abatement for these penalties over the last two years, and the process takes a lot of time and resources to complete. With this announcement, hopefully the IRS can redirect its limited resources to backlogged tax returns it has not been able to process since the pandemic began in early 2020.




Tax Court Relaxes COVID-19 Protocols

Courts have been relaxing their COVID-19 protocols over the past several months, and on August 23, 2022, the US Tax Court announced its latest position. In Administrative Order No. 2022-01, the Tax Court detailed new protocols for entry into the Washington, DC, courthouse, as well as in-person proceedings at all the locations in which it holds court.

As of August 29, 2022, court personnel and contractors will no longer be required to show a COVID-19 attestation form, a vaccination card or a negative COVID-19 test to enter the Washington, DC, courthouse. Instead, anyone entering will be required to self-certify whether they have or have been exposed to COVID-19. Additionally, individuals who test positive for COVID-19 within five days of entering the Washington, DC, courthouse are requested to notify the Tax Court.

Trial participants, witnesses and members of the public attending in-person proceedings must complete the COVID-19 self-certification requirement via QR code for entry into a Tax Court proceeding at any location. Additionally, entrants to both the Washington, DC, courthouse and Tax Court in-person proceedings at any location are requested to follow the current guidelines provided in the Court Standards and Protocols to Protect Public Health.

Practice Point: COVID-19’s effects on the administration of Tax Court proceedings lingers on more than two years after the outbreak. If you plan to attend a court proceeding in person, we suggest checking the Tax Court’s website in advance to ensure that you are in compliance with its procedures before showing up.




A Look at the Tax Court’s Congressional Budget Justification

We frequently write about developments at the US Tax Court, including noteworthy cases, administrative matters, and the status of presidentially appointed Judges and court-appointed Special Trial Judges. One item we have not discussed in the past is the Tax Court’s “Reports & Statistics,” which is available here.

The Reports & Statistics page currently contains two items: (1) Congressional Budget Justification Reports and (2) Appellate Reports. The former contains reports for FY 2021, FY 2022 and FY 2023, and the latter contains, by months, cases commenced in the US Courts of Appeals from July 2020 through March 2022.

The Congressional Budget Justification Reports are submitted to the Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittees on Financial Services and General Government in the US House of Representative and US Senate. The FY 2023 Congressional Budget Justification Report (FY23 Report), submitted February 28, 2022, includes detailed information regarding the operations of the Tax Court and breakdown of its expenses (both prior and anticipated future expenses).

The FY23 Report contains details on the Tax Court’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the substantial increase in petitions filed in FY 2021 (35,297 petitions, up from the historical average of between 23,000 and 26,000 petitions). The report also discusses the court’s use of in-person and remote proceedings over the past two years, noting that the success of remote proceedings and the move to institutionalize remote proceedings post-pandemic.

For FY 2023, the Tax Court requested a budget of $57,300,000. This constitutes a 1.6% decrease from the FY 2022 requested budget. The following charts reflect prior and current requests and staffing levels.

A few other points are worth mentioning. The FY23 Report indicates that the Tax Court does not plan on holding a Judicial Conference in 2023 due to ongoing uncertainties relating to the COVID-19 pandemic (the last Judicial Conference was held in FY 2018). The FY23 Report also discusses the status of the Limited Entry of Appearance procedures that started in September 2019 and mentions certain legislative proposals submitted to Congress for fee proposals (e.g., raising the fee for filing a petition from $60 to $100). Finally, the FY23 Report notes that there are two vacancies for judicially appointed Judges (we note that currently no individuals have been nominated for these vacancies).

Practice Point: The FY23 Report contains detailed information about the Tax Court. It is worth a quick read for those who practice in the Tax Court or are interested in learning more about the Court’s operations.




Weekly IRS Roundup February 27 – March 5, 2022

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of February 27, 2022 – March 5, 2022. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

March 1, 2022: The IRS issued final regulations increasing the user fees for the special enrollment examination for enrolled agents and eliminating the user fees for the special enrollment examination for enrolled retirement plan agents.

March 1, 2022: The IRS issued proposal regulations increasing the renewal fee for enrolled agents and enrolled retirement plan agents.

March 1, 2022: The IRS issued a news release reminding taxpayers of the obligation to report certain types of income, such as gig economic earnings, earnings from virtual currency transactions and foreign-source income.

March 2, 2022: The IRS issued a news release announcing the release of a Fact Sheet containing answers to frequently asked questions regarding the 2021 Earned Income Tax Credit.

March 3, 2022: The IRS issued a news release providing an update to a Fact Sheet containing answers to frequently asked questions regarding the paid leave tax credits under sections 3131 through 3133 of the Code, enacted as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).

March 3, 2022: The IRS issued a news release providing an update to a Fact Sheet containing answers to frequently asked questions regarding the paid leave tax credits enacted as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

March 3, 2022: The IRS issued a news release announcing that it was aware of technical difficulties encountered by taxpayers attempting to electronically file Form 7203, S Corporation Shareholder Stock and Debt Basis Limitations, in advance of the March 1, 2022, filing deadline for taxpayers with income from a farming or fishing business. The IRS stated in the news release that a notice would be forthcoming providing an extended filing deadline for certain taxpayers.

March 4, 2022: The IRS issued Notice 2022-10, providing the 2022 table of housing expense limitations with respect to various foreign locations, for purposes of calculating the excludible/deductible housing cost amount under section 911(c) of the Code.

March 4, 2022: The IRS issued a news release announcing the creation of a new administrative division, the Taxpayer Experience Office, focused on improving the customer service experience for taxpayers.

March 4, 2022: The IRS issued a news release reminding taxpayers that free face-to-face tax preparation assistance will be provided at Taxpayer Assistance Centers around the country on Saturday, March 12, 2022.

March 4, 2022: 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 DC office for this week’s roundup.




National Taxpayer Advocate’s Report Highlights Tough Times for Tax Administration

On January 12, 2022, the National Taxpayer Advocate released a report to US Congress concerning the state of tax administration in 2021. The report highlights the struggles the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been having in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, including how the IRS is substantially behind in processing returns, the breakdown of the IRS call center, delays in processing responses to IRS notices sent to taxpayers and a myriad of other issues. (There is indeed a backlog for processing millions of tax returns!)

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) can be a helpful and powerful tool for taxpayers looking to resolve their tax issues with the IRS. We have provided information on this resource in earlier submissions. (See Taxpayer Advocate Service: Not Just for Low-Income Taxpayers.)

Practice Point: For those who are having difficulties interacting with the IRS and unable to achieve reasonable or satisfactory responses or explanations, seeking assistance from TAS can go a long way in resolving tax issues. The process is free to taxpayers and starts with the filing of Form 911 with the appropriate TAS office. If you seek assistance in the near future, be mindful that TAS is currently flooded with requests for help but will work your case—if it meets the relevant criteria—as soon as possible. A dose of patience will be needed to work through this resource to obtain a successful resolution of your tax issue.




Weekly IRS Roundup December 20 – December 24, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of December 20, 2021 – December 24, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

December 20, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing that victims of this month’s tornadoes in parts of Illinois and Tennessee will have until May 16, 2022, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

December 20, 2021: The IRS released instructions for Form 8992, U.S. Shareholder Calculation of Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (GILTI), to reflect a new separate Schedule A and eliminate the requirement for domestic partnerships to file the form.

December 20, 2021: The IRS released Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax (for Individuals), which was updated for the 2021 tax year. This publication covers the general rules for filing a federal income tax return and supplements the information contained in tax form instructions.

December 21, 2021: The IRS released a memorandum that reissues interim guidance AP-08-0521-0015 concerning procedures for accepting images of signatures and digital signatures and approval to receive documents by email and transmit documents to taxpayers. The memorandum is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, where the IRS took several steps to protect employees while still delivering on their mission-critical functions.

December 21, 2021: The IRS released Published 15, (Circular E), Employer’s Tax Guide, which explains tax responsibilities as an employer. The updates reflect COVID-19 related employment tax credits and other tax relief.

December 22, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing that victims of Hurricane Ida in six states now have until February 15, 2022 (extended from January 3), to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. The updated relief covers the entire states of Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as parts of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

December 23, 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 Robbie Alipour in our Chicago office for this week’s roundup.




Weekly IRS Roundup November 15 – November 19, 2021

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

November 15, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing the launch of a new online tool designed to help US withholding agents comply with their reporting and withholding responsibilities with respect to IRS Form 1042-S, Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding. The tool performs a quality review of data before submitting to the IRS. Use of the tool does not change a withholding agent’s obligations to file Form 1042-S with the IRS and furnish a copy to the payee.

November 15, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing that victims of wildfires that began July 14, 2021, now have until January 3, 2022, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

November 16, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing that, effective November 15, 2021, tax professionals are able to order up to 30 Transcript Delivery System transcripts per client through the Practitioner Priority Service line. This is an increase from the previous 10 transcripts per client limit.

November 16, 2021: The IRS published a news release regarding Notice 2021-63, which details how the temporary 100% business deduction for food or beverages from restaurants applies to taxpayers properly applying the rules of Revenue Procedure 2019-48 when using per diem rates.

November 17, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing that victims of Hurricane Ida throughout Mississippi now have additional time—until January 3, 2022—to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

November 17, 2021: The Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC) published a news release announcing its annual report for 2021, which includes recommendations to the IRS regarding new and continuing issues in tax administration. The 2021 report includes recommendations on 24 issues, covering a broad range of topics. The IRSAC is a federal advisory committee that provides an organized public forum for the discussion of relevant tax administration issues between IRS officials and representatives of the public. IRSAC members offer constructive observations regarding current or proposed IRS policies, programs and procedures.

November 17, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing it unveiled a new how-to video series enabling taxpayers to avoid potential scams by considering and applying for an Offer in Compromise themselves and to avoid paying excessive fees to companies advertising outlandish claims.

November 17, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing the launch of an improved identity verification and sign-in process that enables more people to securely access IRS online tools and applications.

November 17, 2021: The IRS’s National Taxpayer Advocate published a blog post indicating that US Congress [...]

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Weekly IRS Roundup November 1 – November 5, 2021

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

November 1, 2021: The IRS released a memorandum, providing guidance on the refund recoupment process for employees of Specialty Collection Offer in Compromise. Beginning with offers accepted on or after November 1, 2021, the offer in the compromise refund recoupment process will no longer be applicable for offsetting tax periods included on Form 656.

November 1, 2021: The IRS released a memorandum, extending certain temporary guidance related to taxpayer contact, initial contact and asset evaluations with respect to Internal Revenue Manual SBSE-05-0321-0019, Extension of Temporary Guidance for Field Collection and Specialty Collection Offers in Compromise Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Resumption of NFTL Procedures. The memorandum also extends the waiver that requires a field call prior to acceptance of certain Offers in Compromise in accordance with IRM 5.8.4.8(10) until January 31, 2022. The temporary guidance regarding Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) determinations and filings was not extended.

November 2, 2021: The IRS released the IRS Chief Counsel code and subject matter directory for November 2021.

November 3, 2021: The IRS published a news release, reminding taxpayers that a special tax provision will allow more Americans to easily deduct up to $600 in donations to qualifying charities on their 2021 federal income tax return. A temporary law change now permits them to claim a limited deduction on their 2021 federal income tax returns for cash contributions made to qualifying charitable organizations.

November 3, 2021: The IRS published FAQs concerning carried interest reporting details for partnerships. The purpose of the FAQs is to provide guidance relating to both pass-through entity filing and reporting requirements and owner taxpayer filing requirements in accordance with US Department of the Treasury (Treasury) regulations revised in T.D. 9945 (concerning guidance under Section 1061, which recharacterizes certain net long-term capital gains of a partner that holds one or more applicable partnership interests as short-term capital gains).

November 3, 2021: The IRS published a news release, announcing that victims of Hurricane Ida in parts of Connecticut now have until January 3, 2022, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

November 3, 2021: The IRS and Treasury published a notice and request for comments concerning third-party disclosure requirements in IRS regulations. Written comments are due on or before January 3, 2022.

November 5, 2021: The IRS published a practice unit concerning expense allocation and apportionment when calculating a foreign tax credit under Section 904. The practice unit was revised to correct an error and supersedes the August 29, 2016, practice unit with the same title.

November 5, 2021: The IRS and Treasury
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IRS Audit Update: Communicating Via Video Meetings and Secure Messaging

The traditional audit experience for taxpayers large and small has, like many things, been impacted by COVID-19. Taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have been forced to navigate audits in a remote environment, causing issues related to exchanging documents, engaging in discussions and even filing tax returns and other documents. The IRS has worked hard to adjust to the pandemic and made significant strides in maintaining an efficient audit process.

The key to a well-organized and just audit process is communication between taxpayers and the IRS. In a welcome development, the IRS Large Business & International (LB&I) Division recently announced that effective October 18, 2021 (and expiring October 18, 2023), IRS employees must grant an LB&I taxpayer’s request for a video meeting in lieu of an in-person or telephone discussion. The video meeting must be through IRS-approved solutions, which is currently WebEx and ZoomGov with a future phase-in of Microsoft Teams planned. Screen sharing is permitted but files may not be transferred on these platforms.

Additionally, the IRS has been offering the Taxpayer Digital Communications (TDC) secure messaging system as another communication method. The TDC system avoids the need to send documents to the IRS via facsimile and allows the transfer of files of up to one gigabyte in a secure messaging environment. The IRS is also working with corporate taxpayers on third-party virtual reading rooms that permit IRS employees to review documents without downloading them.

Practice Point: The use of video meetings and the TDC system are two ways that the IRS and taxpayers can continue to communicate effectively and efficiently in a remote working environment. The IRS is continuing to roll out new programs and initiatives in this area and the McDermott tax team will continue to provide updates as they become available.




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