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Weekly IRS Roundup December 13 – December 17, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of December 13, 2021 – December 17, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

December 13, 2021: The IRS published a memorandum concerning its commitment to creating an environment conducive to civility, which includes mutual respect, politeness and fairness. The IRS stated that acting with civility and treating others with respect furthers confidence in the legal system, thus enhancing the quality of justice. The memorandum also stated that the IRS’s sole objective is to reach the correct result.

December 13, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing that it joined with several leading nonprofits to highlight a special tax provision that allows more people to deduct donations to qualifying charities on their 2021 federal income tax return.

December 14, 2021: The IRS released a practice unit, providing an overview of base erosion anti-abuse tax under Section 59A after issuance of final regulatory packages in 2019 and 2020.

December 14, 2021: The IRS released a practice unit, addressing the general process for determining if a nonresident alien (NRA) student, trainee, teacher or researcher is eligible to claim a treaty-based exemption on Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ for income received that is effectively connected with a US trade or business.

December 14, 2021: The IRS released a practice unit, guiding examiners through the procedures for properly conducting promoter investigations. The goal of a promoter investigation is to identify and quickly terminate the abusive promotion or activity, assert promoter penalties where applicable and identify participants in the abusive transaction.

December 14, 2021: The IRS released a practice unit, reflecting the recently finalized Treasury Regulation 1.861-9 (regarding interest expense apportionment) and addressing the impact of flow-through entities on the foreign tax credit. The concept unit is applicable to individual taxpayers who receive Schedule K-1(s) from partnerships or S corporations that report foreign income, related deductions and taxes. Members of limited liability companies who file a Form 1065 and beneficiaries of a trust who file a Form 1041 are also subject to the rules discussed in the practice unit.

December 14, 2021: The IRS released a practice unit, explaining the process for calculating the interest due under Section 453A on a deferred tax liability in installment sales transactions.

December 14, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing that victims of tornadoes in Kentucky will have until May 16, 2022, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

December 14, 2021: The IRS published a revenue ruling, providing various prescribed rates for federal income tax purposes for January 2022.

December 15, 2021: The IRS published a notice concerning procedures under Section 446 of Section 1.446-1(e) of the Income [...]

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Reasonable Cause for E-Filing Errors?

Tax return filing season is fast approaching, and taxpayers big and small are preparing to file their returns. A recent US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit decision, Haynes v. United States, No. 17-50816 (5th Cir. Jan. 29, 2019), indicates that many of those taxpayers will face uncertainty if their returns are late due to preparer errors or technological issues when electronically filed (e-filed).

The court in Haynes declined to rule on whether the Supreme Court decision in United States v. Boyle, 469 US 241 (1985), applied to e-filing a tax return. The court instead remanded the case to resolve factual issues. In declining to examine the application of Boyle, the decision leaves in place uncertainty for many taxpayers who e-file their returns.

Internal Revenue Code Section 6651(a)(1) excuses a taxpayer from penalties for failure to file a return on time if they show the failure was “due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect.” In Boyle, an estate executor hired an experienced lawyer to prepare estate tax returns, but the lawyer failed to put the filing date on the calendar. Nevertheless, the court held that determining a deadline and meeting it did not require any special skills, and therefore relying on an agent was unreasonable. Accordingly, the Court in Boyle did not excuse late filing, and the taxpayer was subject to penalty. (more…)

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