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Weekly IRS Roundup April 17 – April 23, 2022

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of April 17, 2022 – April 23, 2022. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

April 18, 2022: The IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2022-9, providing various prescribed interest rates for federal income tax purposes for May 2022.

April 18, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, reminding taxpayers of the option to request an automatic extension of time to file individual income tax returns and noting certain categories of taxpayers who automatically qualify for extensions.

April 18, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, setting forth certain penalty relief options that may be available to taxpayers who are unable to pay increased tax liabilities resulting from retroactive claims for employee retention tax credits.

April 19, 2022: The IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2022-23, providing procedures for taxpayers to make late elections under Sections 168(j)(8), 168(l)(3)(D) and 181(a)(1) of the Code, relating to certain depreciation deductions, for taxable years 2018 and 2019.

April 19, 2022: The IRS issued Notice 2022-16, providing the monthly update to certain interest rates used for pension plan funding and distribution purposes.

April 19, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, announcing that the 2022 IRS Nationwide Tax Forum, an annual series of continuing education seminars for tax professionals, will be held virtually from July 19, 2022, through August 18, 2022.

April 19, 2022: The IRS issued a news release urging taxpayers who missed the April 18, 2022, filing deadline to file their individual tax returns as soon as possible in order to obtain tax refunds and limit penalties and interest.

April 20, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, announcing the awarding of more than $12.1 million in grants to 131 organizations across the country as part of its Low Income Taxpayer Clinic program, a program to assist organizations in providing pro bono representation to low-income and English as a second language (ESL) taxpayers in federal tax disputes.

April 21, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, reminding tax-exempt organizations of the May 16, 2022, filing deadline with respect to certain information and tax returns.

April 22, 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 Washington, DC, office for this week’s roundup.




Weekly IRS Roundup February 13 – February 19, 2022

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of February 13, 2022 – February 19, 2022. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

February 14, 2022: The IRS issued a news release announcing the launch of a resource page that provides taxpayers with 2022 filing season updates, including updates concerning the resolution of unprocessed returns from the 2021 filing season.

February 15, 2022: The IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2022-4, providing various prescribed interest rates for federal income tax purposes for March 2022.

February 15, 2022: The IRS issued a news release announcing the release of an updated Form 14457, which relates to the IRS Voluntary Disclosure Practice for criminal prosecution. The updates include an expanded section on the reporting of virtual currency.

February 15, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, providing an update to a Fact Sheet containing answers to frequently asked questions regarding the tax treatment of emergency grants for higher education, which were introduced pursuant to pandemic-related legislation.

February 16, 2022: The IRS issued a news release recommending that taxpayers use the online resources on its homepage as their first resource for tax inquiries and provided links to certain commonly used resources.

February 16, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, warning tax professionals to be alert for a new phishing scam designed to steal tax preparation software account credentials.

February 16, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, soliciting applications for Taxpayer Advocacy Panel membership, an advisory body that receives taxpayer feedback and makes suggestions for improving IRS customer service.

February 16, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, setting forth additional transition relief (in the form of an additional exception for certain taxpayers for tax year 2021) from the requirement to file the new Schedules K-2 and K-3 relating to partnerships and flow-through entities.

February 17, 2022: The IRS issued Notice 2022-09, providing the monthly update to certain interest rates used for pension plan funding and distribution purposes.

February 17, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, reminding taxpayers with income from a farming or fishing business to file returns and pay taxes that are due by March 1, 2022, unless they have made estimated tax payments.

February 17, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, providing an update to a Fact Sheet containing answers to frequently asked questions regarding the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, enacted as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).

February 18, 2022: The IRS released its weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memorandums and Chief Counsel Advice).

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Recent Tax Developments Concerning Staking Rewards

Stakers—taxpayers involved in proof of stake (PoS) validation of blockchain transactions—continue to operate in uncharted tax waters. PoS blockchains represent over half of the $1.68 trillion cryptocurrency market capitalization, with five of the top 10 PoS blockchains having a stake rate greater than 50%. Despite the remarkable growth of the PoS market in the last two years, there is no government guidance about the tax treatment of staking rewards.

In a closely followed case in the US District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Jarrett v. United States, No. 3:21-cv-00419 (M.D. Tenn.), a taxpayer paid tax on staking rewards and sued for a refund. The question before the district court is whether the receipt of staking rewards generates taxable income at the date the rewards are received.

On February 3, 2022, it was reported that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offered to refund the taxpayer’s money for taxes paid on staking rewards. The taxpayer rejected the IRS’s offer to receive a definitive ruling that will be binding on the IRS.

In this article, we look at the issue before the district court and address the significance of the recent offer by the IRS to refund the taxpayer’s tax payment.

VIRTUAL CURRENCY STAKING

In PoS systems, stakers are chosen by combinations of random selection plus the amount of units making up their stake and/or the amount of time they agree to lock up the stakes in a specific digital wallet. Staked units support the blockchain operations by validating transactions on the blockchain and earning rewards. Unlike the mining activities of proof of work (PoW) blockchain miners, stakers validate new blocks by forging the next block on the blockchain without mathematical computations. Certain platforms participate in staking by pooling their customers’ tokens and sharing the staking rewards.

Although each blockchain protocol is different, PoS protocols require stakers to hold (for an agreed amount of time) and post a minimum number of units (stake) to participate in the validation process. Stakers receive, as staking rewards, a specified number of units. These reward units can redistribute ownership stakes away from computers (nodes) that do not put up a stake to those nodes that do put up stakes.

The IRS has addressed the tax treatment of PoW blockchain miners but has not addressed the tax treatment of staking rewards. This means that taxpayers must consider general tax principles that apply to property transactions and adopt a tax methodology they believe is supportable on audit, subject to judicial and administrative review.

Stakers take a wide range of positions with respect to the tax character and tax timing of staking rewards. For example, some stakers take the position that the receipt of staking rewards result in taxable income from the performance of services, while others assert that staking rewards are not taxable until they sell, exchange or otherwise dispose of the rewards. The policy considerations behind each of these positions vary as well, with the timing of taxation on staking rewards currently being litigated in Jarrett v. United [...]

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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 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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Weekly IRS Roundup November 22 – November 26, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of November 22, 2021 – November 26, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

November 22, 2021: The IRS released a memorandum concerning a temporary deviation from the handwritten signature requirement for certain tax forms. To alleviate COVID-19 concerns while promoting timely filing, the IRS will allow taxpayers and representatives to use electronic or digital signatures when signing listed forms that currently require a handwritten signature. No specific technology is required to create the signature. The IRS has listed the eligible forms, which must be postmarked on August 28, 2020, or later.

November 22, 2021: The IRS released a memorandum extending through October 31, 2023, temporary deviations that allow IRS employees to: (1) accept images of signatures and digital signatures on documents related to the determination or collection of tax liability and (2) send or receive documents to or from taxpayers using emails with encrypted attachments when no other approved electronic alternative is available.

November 22, 2021: The IRS released a memorandum providing guidance concerning employee retention credits and the deferral of paying social security taxes in 2020.

November 23, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing the launch of a new Spanish-language version of the Child Tax Credit Update Portal (CTC-UP). Families who are already receiving monthly payments use the CTC-UP to update their accounts. Now, all the features that have only been available in English are also available in Spanish.

November 26, 2021: The IRS published a notice and request for comments on Form 944, Employer’s Annual Employment Tax Return, and Form 944-X, Adjusted Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund, which are used in part to ensure the smallest non-agricultural and non-household employers are paying the correct amount of social security tax, Medicare tax and withheld federal income tax. Comments are due on or before January 25, 2022.

November 26, 2021: The IRS published a notice and request for comments concerning TD 8857 (addressing the determination of underwriting income by non-life insurance companies), which allows a non-life insurance company to increase unpaid losses on a yearly basis by the amount of estimated salvage recoverable if the company discloses this to the state insurance regulatory authority. Comments are due on or before January 28, 2022.

November 26, 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 July 12 – July 16, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of July 12, 2021 – July 16, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

July 12, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing the launch of a Spanish-language version of the Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant, an online tool designed to assist families in determining their eligibility for advance payments of the Child Tax Credit.

July 13, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing the imminent issuance of another round of tax refunds to taxpayers who paid taxes on unemployment compensation in 2020, pursuant to the retroactive exclusion of such compensation from 2020 taxable income under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

July 14, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing the start of a summer campaign by the Security Summit, a partnership between the IRS, state tax agencies and private organizations to raise awareness within the tax community about identity theft and data security.

July 15, 2021: The IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2021-14, providing various prescribed interest rates for federal income tax purposes for August 2021.

July 15, 2021: The IRS issued Notice 2021-44, providing the monthly update to certain interest rates used for pension plan funding and distribution purposes.

July 15, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing the disbursement of the July round of advance payments of the Child Tax Credit, consisting of approximately 35 million payments worth approximately $15 billion.

July 16, 2021: The IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2021-30, updating the procedures for the correction programs under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), a program for retirement plans to come into compliance with certain requirements under sections 401, 403 and 408 of the Code.

July 16, 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 Le Chen in our Washington, DC, office for this week’s roundup.




Weekly IRS Roundup June 14 – June 18, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of June 14, 2021 – June 18, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

June 14, 2021: The IRS issued a news release unveiling updates to its online Non-Filer Sign-Up Tool, expanding the scope of the tool to assist families who do not normally file tax returns to register for and receive monthly advance payments of the Child Tax Credit (as expanded by the American Rescue Plan of 2021).

June 15, 2021: The IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2021-12, providing various prescribed interest rates for federal income tax purposes for July 2021.

June 16, 2021: The IRS issued corrections to final regulations published on January 5, 2021, regarding simplified accounting rules for small businesses under sections 263A, 448, 460 and 471 of the Code.

June 16, 2021: The IRS issued Notice 2021-37, providing the monthly update to certain interest rates used for pension plan funding and distribution purposes.

June 17, 2021: The IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2021-28, providing procedures for taxpayers to change to the alternative depreciation system of accounting under section 168(g) of the Code with respect to certain residential real property placed in service prior to 2018 as required by the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020.

June 17, 2021: The IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2021-29, providing simplified procedures for certain partnerships to file amended partnership returns to comply with the procedures for tax accounting with respect to residential real property discussed in Revenue Procedure 2021-28.

June 18, 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 Le Chen in our Washington, DC, office for this week’s roundup.




Weekly IRS Roundup May 31 – June 4, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of May 31, 2021 – June 4, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

June 1, 2021: The IRS issued a news release, soliciting applications for the IRS Advisory Council, a forum consisting of representatives of the public to advise the IRS regarding various tax administration issues.

June 2, 2021: The IRS issued a news release, reminding taxpayers living and working abroad of the June 15, 2021, deadline for filing their 2020 US federal income tax returns.

June 4, 2021: The IRS issued Notice 2021-34, providing the applicable reference price and associated credit amount used in determining the marginal well production credit under section 45I of the Code.

June 4, 2021: The IRS issued Announcement 2021-11, announcing that the United States and Switzerland have entered into an arrangement listing the US and Swiss pension and retirement plans, which now include various US and Swiss individual retirement savings plans that may qualify for the exemption from withholding on dividends under the US-Switzerland tax treaty.

June 4, 2021: The IRS issued a news release, announcing the issuance of more than 2.8 million refunds to taxpayers who paid taxes on unemployment compensation in 2020, compensation that was retroactively excluded from 2020 taxable income by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

June 4, 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 Le Chen in our Washington, DC, office for this week’s roundup.




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