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Weekly IRS Roundup September 7 – September 11, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of September 7, 2020 – September 11, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here. September 4, 2020: The IRS published Competent Authority Arrangements between the United States and the Republic of Serbia and the United States and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. Each country previously signed an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The new arrangements establish procedures for IGA-related automatic exchange obligations and for the exchange of information. September 9, 2020: The IRS publishing news release reminding self-employed individuals, investors, retirees and others with income not subject to withholding that third-quarter estimated tax payments for 2020 are due September 15. September 9, 2020: The IRS...

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Weekly IRS Roundup June 29 – July 3, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of June 29, 2020 – July 3, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here. June 29, 2020: The IRS issued a news release announcing that the tax filing and payment deadline of July 15 will not be postponed. However, individual taxpayers may request an automatic extension of time to file until October 15. Individual taxpayers that file Form 1040 series returns must file Form 4868 by July 15 to obtain the automatic extension. June 29, 2020: The IRS issued corrections to proposed regulations regarding the credit for carbon oxide sequestration under section 45Q. Among other changes, the IRS clarified that the applicable recapture period ends upon five years, and not three years, after the last taxable year in which the taxpayer claimed a tax code section 45Q credit. June 29, 2020:...

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Weekly IRS Roundup October 7 – October 11, 2019

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of October 7 – October 11, 2019. October 7, 2019: The IRS announced that taxpayers who requested the six-month filing extension should complete their tax returns and file on or before the October 15 deadline. October 8, 2019: The Treasury and the IRS released the 2019–2020 Priority Guidance Plan that sets forth guidance priorities. This plan prioritizes implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Pub. L. 115-97, 131 Stat. 2054 and of the Taxpayer First Act, Pub. L. 116-25, 133 Stat. 981, enacted on July 1, 2019. In addition, the 2019–2020 Priority Guidance Plan reflects the deregulatory policies and reforms described in Section 1 of Executive Order 13789 (April 21, 2017; 82 FR 19317) and Executive Order 13777 (February 24, 2017; 82 FR 12285). October 9, 2019: The Treasury and the IRS published a correction to a notice of proposed...

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More IRS “Campaigns?! IRS Announces Six More Examination Campaigns

On July 19, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Large Business & International (LB&I) division announced the approval of six new campaigns. As in the past, the IRS stated that “LB&I’s goal is to improve return selection, identify issues representing a risk of non-compliance, and make the greatest use of limited resources.” This brings the total number of campaigns to 59! LB&I’s campaign announcements and approved campaigns are available on the IRS’s website. The six new LB&I campaigns are listed below, verbatim by title and description. S Corporations Built in Gains Tax C corporations that convert to S corporations are subjected to the Built-in Gains tax (BIG) if they have a net unrealized built-in gain and sell assets within 5 years after the conversion. This tax is assessed to the S corporation. LB&I has found that S corporations are not always paying this tax when they sell the C corporation assets after the conversion....

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Weekly IRS Roundup February 18 – 22, 2019

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of February 18 – 22, 2019. February 19, 2019: The IRS issued a news release promoting online resources for answering taxpayer questions, in light of high call volume during the period following Presidents Day. February 19, 2019: The IRS issued a news release reminding farmers and fishermen to file Form 1040 and remit all taxes owed by March 1, 2019, if they had elected to forgo making quarterly estimated tax payments. February 19, 2019: The IRS acquiesced to the decision only in Jacobs v. Commissioner, 148 TC No. 24 (2017), dealing with whether the Boston Bruins’ pre-game meals at away game hotels were de minimis fringe benefits under section 132(e)(2) of the Code. February 21, 2019: The IRS issued a news release urging taxpayers to file reports of large cash transactions electronically, in lieu of filing a paper Form 8300. February 22,...

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Manafort Indictment Is a Good Reminder of FBAR Disclosure Requirements

On October 30, 2017, Paul Manafort Jr. was indicted for concealing his interests in several foreign bank accounts, as well as tax evasion and a host of other criminal charges.  The indictment reminds us how important it is to follow the strict guidelines of the reporting regime that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the US Department of the Treasury have established to disclose foreign bank accounts. Pursuant to the Bank Secrecy Act, a US citizen or resident (a US Person) is required to disclose certain foreign bank and financial accounts which he or she has “a financial interest in or signature authority over” annually.  This obligation can be triggered by direct or indirect interests; a US Person is treated as having a financial interest in a foreign account through indirect ownership of more than 50 percent of the voting power or equity of a foreign entity, like a corporation or partnership.  The US Person is required to annually disclose the interest...

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Fast Track Settlement Now For SB/SE Taxpayers

Today, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2017-25 extending the Fast Track Settlement (FTS) program to Small Business / Self Employed (SB/SE) taxpayers.  The IRS’s SB/SE group serves individuals filing Form 1040 (US Individual Income Tax Return), Schedules C, E, F or Form 2106 (Employee Business Expenses), and businesses with assets under $10 million. FTS offers a customer-driven approach to resolving tax disputes at the earliest possible stage in the examination process. The program provides an independent IRS Appeals review of the dispute.  Under this approach, the IRS Appeals Officer acts as the mediator and has settlement authority. The purpose of the program is to reduce the time to resolve cases and to provide the IRS Exam Team with the authority to settle cases based on hazards of litigation (which is generally reserved for IRS Appeals Officers).  FTS has been considered a great success by the IRS and many taxpayers.  The...

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IRS Opposes Granting of Certiorari in Cases Addressing Definition of Return

Two petitions for certiorari pending before the Supreme Court of the United States ask the Court to resolve the question of whether a tax return filed after an assessment by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a “return” for purposes of the Bankruptcy Code (BC). The answer to this question will determine whether a bankrupt taxpayer’s tax debts can be discharged or are permanently barred from discharge. According to these petitions, the courts of appeal are divided as to the answer. BC § 523(a) generally allows a debtor to discharge unsecured debt, except for, inter alia, tax debts of debtors who: (1) failed to file tax returns; (2) filed fraudulent tax returns; or (3) filed late tax returns, where a bankruptcy petition is filed within two years of the date the late return was filed. See BC § 523(a)(1)(B)(i), (B)(ii), (C). Before 2005, the BC did not define a “return” for purposes of the non-dischargeability rules, and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC)...

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