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Weekly IRS Roundup April 8 – 12, 2019

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of April 8 – 12, 2019.

April 8, 2019: The IRS issued a news release warning taxpayers against rushing to file their returns and recommending they file for an extension if needed.

April 9, 2019: The IRS issued a news release seeking volunteers for the taxpayer advocate panel. The application process is open through May 3, 2019.

April 10, 2019: The IRS issued corrections to final regulations (TD 9846) implementing Section 965 of the code.

April 11, 2019: The IRS released Revenue Procedure 2019-18 providing a safe harbor for professional sports teams when determining the value of player and staff-member contracts for the purpose of recognizing gain or loss on a trade, staff-member contract or draft pick.

April 11, 2019: The IRS issued corrections to proposed regulations (REG–104464–18) dealing with the amount of the deduction for foreign-derived intangible income (FDII) and global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI).

April 12, 2019: The IRS issued a news release announcing 50 million people still needed to file their 2018 returns as the deadline approaches.

April 12, 2019:  IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig released a message thanking taxpayers for filing their returns.

Special thanks to Terence McAllister in our New York office for this week’s roundup.




Weekly IRS Roundup March 4 – 8, 2019

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of March 4 – 8, 2019.

March 4, 2019: The IRS issued proposed regulations under Section 250 of the Code for determining domestic corporations’ deductions for foreign-derived intangible income (FDII) and global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI).

March 4, 2019: The IRS issued a news release kicking off the annual list of what the agency terms the most prevalent or “Dirty Dozen” tax scams.

March 5, 2019: The IRS released Notice 2019-18 informing taxpayers that the Treasury Department and the IRS no longer intend to amend the required minimum distribution regulations under § 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code.

March 6, 2019: The IRS scheduled a public hearing for March 25, 2019, on proposed regulations relating to the Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax.

March 6, 2019: The IRS released Notice 2019-20 providing a waiver of penalties under Sections 6722 and 6698 to certain partnerships for the 2018 tax year.

March 8, 2019: The IRS issued a news release postponing tax return filing and payment deadlines for victims of tornadoes and severe storms in parts of Alabama.

March 9, 2019: The IRS issued a news release advising business owners and self-employed individuals that Publication 5318 contains information of recent tax law changes that might affect their bottom line.

March 9, 2019: The IRS scheduled a March 20 public hearing on proposed regulations on hybrid entities and transactions under section 267A, and scheduled an April 10 public hearing on proposed regulations regarding withholding requirements.

Special thanks to Terence McAllister in our New York office for this week’s roundup.




Weekly IRS Roundup August 20 – 24, 2018

Presented below is our summary of significant IRS guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of August 20 – 24, 2018:

August 21, 2018: The IRS and Treasury released Notice 2018-67, which provides guidance regarding separately calculating the unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) of each trade or business conducted by a tax-exempt entity. Section 512(a)(6), enacted as part of tax reform, requires this separate calculation by tax-exempt organizations with more than one unrelated trade or business.

August 21, 2018: The IRS and Treasury released Notice 2018-68, which provides guidance regarding new section 162(m). Section 162(m), enacted as part of tax reform, limits the deduction for compensation paid by a publicly traded corporation to a covered employee. The notice provides guidance regarding the “grandfather” exception for certain compensation arrangements in effect on November 2, 2017. See our commentary for more information.

August 22, 2018: The IRS released Revenue Procedure 2018-44, which provides guidance regarding accounting method changing resulting from the revocation or termination of an entity’s S corporation status. Revenue Procedure 2018-44 adds such accounting method changes to the list of “automatic changes” listed in Revenue Procedure 2018-31.

August 22, 2018: The IRS published a draft Form 8992 for computing global low-taxed intangible income and a draft Form 8993 for computing foreign derived intangible income.

August 23, 2018: The IRS published proposed regulations providing guidance regarding the availability of a charitable deduction when the taxpayer also receives (or expects to receive) a state or local tax credit for the contribution.

August 24, 2018: The IRS made it clear that US citizens and residents that are contractors or employees of contractors supporting US Armed Forces are eligible for the section 911 foreign earned income exclusion.

August 24, 2018: The IRS released its weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memorandum and Chief Counsel Advice).

Special thanks to Kevin Hall in our DC office for this week’s roundup.




Tax Reform Insight: Eligibility Requirements for Reduced Tax Rate on FDII for Royalties

A domestic corporation’s royalty income derived in connection with business conducted outside the United States generally is eligible for the reduced 13.125 percent effective tax rate on foreign derived intangible income (FDII). To qualify, the licensee must be a foreign person, and the intangible property must be used outside the US for the ultimate benefit of an unrelated foreign person.

For example, the lower rate generally should be available for royalties from licensing intangible property to an unrelated foreign person for use: (1) in the production and sale of products to foreign customers; (2) to provide services to foreign customers; or (3) to sublicense the intangible property to foreign persons.

Royalties from licensing intangible property to an unrelated US corporation that is for use outside the US may not qualify for FDII benefits. Such royalties should qualify, however, if instead the license is with a foreign subsidiary of the US corporation, or if a foreign subsidiary otherwise economically is considered the licensee.

The 13.125 percent tax rate is also available for certain royalties derived from licensing intangible property to related foreign persons. For example, royalties generally should qualify if the related foreign person uses the intangibles outside the United States to (1) produce and sell products to unrelated foreign customers; (2) provide services to unrelated foreign customers, or (3) sublicense the intangibles to unrelated foreign persons. (more…)




Tax in the City® Seattle Proves to be the Largest Turnout to Date

The second meeting of McDermott’s Tax in the City® initiative in Seattle was held on May 22, 2018 at the Amazon headquarters. McDermott established Tax in the City® in 2014 as a discussion and networking group for women in tax aimed to foster collaboration and mentorship, and to facilitate in-person connections and roundtable events around the country. With the highest attendance rate of any Tax in the City® event to date, the May meeting featured a CLE/CPE presentation about Ethical Considerations around Tax Reform by Elizabeth Chao, Kirsten Hazel, Jane May and Erin Turley, followed by a roundtable discussion about recent tax reform insights led by Britt HaxtonSandra McGill and Diann Smith.

Here’s what we covered at last week’s Tax in the City® Seattle:

  • Tax Reform: Ethical Considerations – Because of tax reform, taxpayers face increased uncertainty and will likely face increased IRS/state scrutiny for their 2017 & 2018 returns. Therefore, it’s crucial for taxpayers to be intentional about post-reform planning and compliance, including by coordinating among various departments (federal tax, state and local tax, employee benefits, treasury, operations, etc.). Taxpayers should understand the weight of various IRS/state revenue authority guidance, the IRS’s authority to issue retroactive regulations within 18 months of passing legislation, and how to take reasonable positions in the absence of guidance. They should also understand when the IRS has longer than three years to assess tax, including when there is an omission of global intangible low taxed income (GILTI) or when the tax relates to the section 965 transition tax.
  • Tax Reform Changes to Employee Compensation and Benefit Deductions – Post-tax reform, all employees of US public companies, private companies with US publicly traded debt, and foreign issuers with ADRs traded on the US market are covered employees subject to the $1 million limit for deductible compensation. Though a grandfather rule applies if existing contracts are not materially modified, key questions about how to apply this rule remain. Tax reform eliminated the employer deduction for transportation subsidies (other than bicycle subsidies). It also reduced employers’ ability to deduct meal and entertainment expenses, and removed employers’ and employees’ ability to deduct moving expenses.
  • Supreme Court Update: Wayfair – Jurisdiction to Tax – Following the Wayfair oral arguments, it is difficult to predict whether the Supreme Court will uphold as constitutional South Dakota’s tax on online retailers. Wayfair raises the fundamental question of when the courts should settle tax issues, and when they should wait for Congress to act.
  • Interaction of Cross-Border Tax Reform Provisions – Income of a US multinational is subject to varying rates of US tax depending on where it is earned. The US parent’s income from selling to US customers will be subject to the full rate of 21 percent and its income from selling to foreign customers will generally be subject to the foreign derived intangible income (FDII) rate of 13.125 percent. If the income is earned by a [...]

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