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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 announced that, as part of a larger effort to reach underserved communities, it is taking a number of aggressive steps to expand information and assistance available to taxpayers in additional languages, including providing the Form 1040 in Spanish for the first time.

September 10, 2020: The IRS published a notice and request for comments concerning United States gift (and generation-skipping transfer) tax return (Form 709). Form 709 is used by individuals to report transfers subject to the gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes and to compute these taxes. The IRS uses the information to collect and enforce these taxes, verify that the taxes are properly computed and compute the tax base for the estate tax. Comments are due on or before November 9, 2020.

September 10, 2020: The IRS published a notice and request for comments concerning Form 15254 (Request for Section 754 Revocation) which is a new form for a partnership to submit a revocation request from an election to adjust the basis of partnership property. Comments are due on or before November 9, 2020.

September 10, 2020: The IRS published a practice unit focusing on audit techniques for examiners assigned foreign earned income exclusion cases.

September 10, 2020: The IRS published a news release urging individuals who owe taxes but have not yet filed for 2019 to act now to avoid larger penalties that, by law, start after September 14.

September 11, 2020: The IRS released Internal Revenue Bulletin 2020-38, dated September 14, 2020, containing the following highlights: (1) Announcement 2020-15 (Exempt Organizations); (2) Announcement 2020-16 (Exempt Organizations); (3) Notice 2020-65 (Administrative, Employment Tax); (4) Notice 2020-68 (Employee Plans); (5) Revenue Procedure 2020-40 (Employee Plans); and (6) TD 9907 (Income Tax).

September 11, 2020: 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 [...]

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Proposed New IRS Rules for Valuing Interest in Family-Controlled Entities May Curb Discounts For Estate, Gift and Generation-Skipping Tax Purposes

On August 2, 2016, the US Department of the Treasury issued long-awaited, proposed regulations on the valuation of interests in family-controlled entities for estate, gift and generation-skipping tax purposes. If finalized, these new rules are likely to substantially increase estate taxes payable by the estates of owners of family-controlled businesses, farms, real estate companies and investment companies. They would overturn well-settled law that for decades has allowed valuation discounts to be applied to these interests. Estate planners have long relied on the current rules in minimizing the transfer tax cost of passing family-controlled entities from one generation to the next.

The new rules are in proposed form and are not effective until issued in final form. This will probably not occur until sometime next year at the earliest. Proposed regulations often are changed, sometimes materially, before they are finalized. And sometimes they are not finalized quickly or at all. As a result, no one can be certain of the final form that these rules will take or when they will become effective, if at all.

That said, for some of you this may be an opportunity to plan your estate under current law for at least a few more months. We recommend that you discuss with your estate planner whether you should consider further steps now in light of these possible rule changes. If you have transactions in process, you may want to consider accelerating their completion. At a minimum, this possible law change may act as a prompt for families to have needed—perhaps long overdue—tax, succession and estate planning discussions with their professional advisers.

View recent press coverage of the proposed regulations.

Read our past discussions of these regulations and also our post on recent developments.

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