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IRS Releases Practice Units on Permanent Establishments

On January 29 and 30, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service’s Large Business and International (LB&I) division released new Practice Units on Permanent Establishments, which can be found here and here. Permanent Establishments create taxing nexus for foreign businesses doing business in the United States and for those who have “effectively connected income.” The Practice Units provide the IRS’s LB&I audit teams with a general guide on the tax concepts related to permanent establishments. The Practice Units provide examples of the analysis necessary to determine whether a foreign company has a permanent establishment, for example, as a result of its agent concluding contracts on its behalf in the United States. Additionally, the Practice Unit on treaty exemptions describes whether an activity has a preparatory or auxiliary character for purposes of determining whether a foreign enterprise has a US permanent establishment. LB&I auditors will use the...

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Weekly IRS Roundup January 14 – 18, 2019

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of January 14 – 18, 2019. January 15, 2019: The IRS issued final regulations implementing the transition tax under section 965 of the Code, enacted as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. January 15, 2019: The IRS released an updated contingency plan describing its actions and activities in light of the partial federal government shutdown. January 16, 2019: The IRS released Notice 2019-11, providing a penalty waiver, under certain conditions, for an individual taxpayer’s underpayment of withholding and estimated income tax, in light of the major changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. January 18, 2019: The IRS issued final regulations providing guidance on the deduction for qualified business income under section 199A of the Code, enacted as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. January 18, 2019: The IRS released proposed regulations...

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Weekly IRS Roundup January 7 – 11, 2019

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of January 7 – 11, 2019. Tax news is very limited because of the government shutdown: January 7, 2019: The IRS issued a news release confirming that, despite the partial federal government shutdown, it will process tax returns beginning January 28, 2019, and provide refunds to taxpayers as scheduled. January 7, 2019: The IRS released the final 2018 version of Form 8996, dealing with certification as a qualified opportunity fund under section 1400Z-2 of the Code, enacted in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. January 7, 2019: The IRS issued an announcement cancelling a public hearing—originally scheduled for January 10, 2019—on proposed regulations concerning qualified opportunity funds under section 1400Z-2 of the Code, in light of the partial federal government shutdown. January 7, 2019: The IRS released final instructions for Form 8992, dealing...

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Joint Committee Releases Overview of Its Refund Review Process

Clients ask us all of the time, “What is the Joint Committee on Taxation’s (JCT) process for reviewing refund claims granted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)?” Recently, the JCT has released an overview of its process. Wait, what? After the IRS has agreed to issue you a refund, there is a congressional committee that has to check the IRS’s work? Yep! Internal Revenue Code (IRC) §6405 prohibits the IRS/US Department of the Treasury from issuing certain refund payments to taxpayers until 30 days after a “report” is given to the JCT. Only refunds “in excess” of $5 million for corporate taxpayers and $2 million for all other taxpayers (partnerships, individuals, trusts, etc.) are required to be reported to the JCT. A refund claim is an amount listed on an amended return (e.g., Forms 1140X and 1120X), tentative carrybacks (e.g., Forms 1139 and 1045), and refunds attributable to certain disaster losses. Numerous types of refund payments are excepted from JCT...

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Weekly IRS Roundup December 31, 2018 – January 4, 2019

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of December 24, 2018 – January 4, 2019. Tax news is very limited because of the government shut down: December 31, 2018: The IRS released Notice 2019-09, providing interim guidance on section 4960 of the Code, enacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, regarding excise taxes on excess remuneration and excess parachute payments paid by certain tax-exempt organizations to covered employees. December 31, 2018: The IRS released the final 2018 version of Form 8990, dealing with limitations on business interest expense deductions under section 163(j) of the Code. December 31, 2018: The IRS released final instructions for the 2018 version of Form 1116, dealing with the foreign tax credit, reflecting changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. January 4, 2018: The IRS released final instructions for the 2018 version of Form 8990, dealing with...

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Section 965 Transition Tax Overpayment Addressed in Technical Corrections

On January 2, 2019, the outgoing Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Kevin Brady (R-TX), released the Tax Technical and Clerical Corrections Act (the Bill), addressing several technical issues associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97) (TCJA). The Bill includes certain provisions that, if enacted, would affirm Congress’ intent that taxpayers with an overpayment with respect to an installment payment of the transition tax under Internal Revenue Code (Code) Section 965 should be able to claim a credit or refund with respect to such amount. The provisions in the Bill with respect to Code Section 965 overpayments are largely consistent with similar draft legislation introduced on November 26, 2018 (the Retirement, Savings and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018 and the Taxpayer First Act of 2018, or H.R. 88; see prior discussion here). In particular, the Bill provides that where a taxpayer that made an election under Code Section 965(h)(1) to pay...

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Tax Reform Insights: IRS Proposes Section 163(j) Regulations – New Business Interest Expenses Deduction Limit

On November 26, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed regulations (Proposed Regulations) pursuant to section 163(j). Public Law 115-97, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), amended Internal Revenue Code (Code) Section 163 by modifying paragraph (j) to limit the amount of business interest a taxpayer may deduct for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. The amendment generally limits the deduction for business interest to the sum of a taxpayer’s business interest income and thirty percent of a taxpayer’s adjusted taxable income (ATI) for the taxable year. The Code Section 163(j) limit is also increased by a taxpayer’s “floor plan financing interest,” which is certain interest used to finance the acquisition of motor vehicles held for sale or lease. Code Section 163(j)(8) defines ATI as a taxpayer’s taxable income computed without regard to: any item of income, gain, deduction, or loss which is not properly allocable to a trade or...

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Congress Allows Transfer of Improperly Filed Cases to Tax Court

Taxes and tax litigation can be complex and confusing. Taxpayers have the option of filing a petition in the United States Tax Court (Tax Court) prior to payment of any asserted deficiency. Alternatively, taxpayers can pay the deficiency, file a claim for refund with the Internal Revenue Service and, if that claim is denied or more than six months have elapsed, file a complaint in local District Court or the Court of Federal Claims requesting a refund. These forum rules sometimes trip up taxpayers and can lead to the filing of a suit in the wrong court. In the Protecting Access to the Courts for Taxpayers Act (H.R. 3996), Congress has provided relief for taxpayers in this type of situation through an amendment to 28 USC section 1631: Whenever a civil action is filed in a court as defined in section 610 of this title or an appeal, including a petition for review of administrative action, is noticed for or filed with such a court and that court finds that there...

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Weekly IRS Roundup December 3 – 7, 2018

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of December 3 – 7, 2018: December 4, 2018: The IRS issued a news release granting taxpayers an extra day, until Thursday, December 6, 2018, to file any return or pay any tax originally due on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, in light of the Executive Order closing all federal agencies on December 5, 2018, as a mark of respect for President George H.W. Bush. December 4, 2018: The IRS issued Notice 2018-95, providing transition relief from the “once-in-always-in” condition for excluding part-time employees under Treas. Reg. § 1.403(b)-5(b)(4)(iii)(B). December 6, 2018: The IRS in Revenue Ruling 2018-32 released the interest rates for underpayments and overpayments applicable for the calendar quarter beginning January 1, 2019. December 7, 2018: The IRS issued Notice 2018-97, providing initial guidance on the application of section 83(i) of the...

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Weekly IRS Roundup November 19 – 23, 2018

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of November 19 – 23, 2018: November 19, 2018: The IRS in a news release reminds taxpayers that the non-recognition treatment for like-kind exchanges under Code Section 1031 is now limited to certain exchanges of real property. November 19, 2018: The IRS issued the final regulations under Code Section 267A on allocating costs to certain property produced or acquired for resale by a taxpayer. November 19, 2018: The IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2018-56, expanding the list of changes of methods of accounting for which the taxpayers may obtain automatic consent under the regulations of Code Section 267A. November 20, 2018: The IRS issued a notice to request comments on Form W-8CE, Notice of Expatriation and Waiver of Treaty Benefits, which the taxpayers use to notify expatriating payers of information necessary to determine the proper tax...

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