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Weekly IRS Roundup April 10 – April 16, 2022

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of April 10, 2022 – April 16, 2022. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

April 11, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, reminding taxpayers of the option to obtain an Identity Protection PIN to guard against tax-related identity theft.

April 12, 2022: The IRS issued a news release announcing the mailing of letters to certain taxpayers, notifying them of additional actions that must be taken to comply with the administrative requirements applicable to Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOFs).

April 12, 2022: The IRS issued a news release addressing certain common misconceptions regarding income tax refunds.

April 13, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, urging taxpayers who have filed their 2021 individual income tax returns to use the IRS Tax Withholding Estimator to ensure they are subject to an appropriate level of salary withholding for 2022.

April 13, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, providing an update to a Fact Sheet containing answers to frequently asked questions regarding the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit, enacted as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

April 13, 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).

April 14, 2022: The IRS issued a news release urging low- and moderate-income taxpayers to use IRS Free File to prepare and electronically file their tax returns.

April 14, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, reminding taxpayers of the resources available on irs.gov that can answer their tax questions.

April 15, 2022: The IRS issued Notice 2022-15, providing relief (for Q3 2022 through Q1 2023) with respect to penalties under Section 6656 of the Code for failure to make deposits of “Superfund” chemical taxes under Sections 4661 and 4671 of the Code, as reinstated by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The Notice also provides that, for Q1 2023 through Q3 2023, and subject to certain conditions, the IRS will not prohibit a taxpayer from using the Treas. Reg. § 40.6302(c)-1(b)(2)(v) “deposit safe harbor” if the taxpayer fails to make deposits of Superfund chemical taxes.

April 15, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, notifying taxpayers that CP2100 and CP2100A notices, which are sent semiannually to notify taxpayers who filed certain information returns that information on the returns does not match IRS records, will be sent out beginning in mid-April 2022.

April 15, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, reminding [...]

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Weekly IRS Roundup April 3 – April 9, 2022

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of April 3, 2022 – April 9, 2022. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

April 4, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, announcing that the application period for 2023 grants under the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) program, an IRS program created to assist organizations in providing pro bono representation to low-income and English as a second language (ESL) taxpayers in federal tax disputes, will begin on or around May 2, 2022.

April 4, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, announcing that, in advance of the federal tax filing deadline, free face-to-face tax preparation assistance will be provided at Taxpayer Assistance Centers around the country on April 9, 2022.

April 5, 2022: The IRS issued proposed regulations amending the eligibility requirements for the premium tax credit under Section 36B of the Code. The proposed regulations generally provide that, for purposes of determining eligibility for the premium tax credit, the affordability of an employer-sponsored health plan with respect to an employee’s family members is determined based on the cost of covering the employee and their family members, rather than on the cost of covering the employee individually.

April 6, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, reminding taxpayers who make estimated tax payments that the due date for the first estimated tax installment is April 18, 2022.

April 8, 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 March 20 – March 26, 2022

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of March 20, 2022 – March 26, 2022. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

March 21, 2022: The IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2022-07, addressing the disclosure of tax information pursuant to certain exceptions to the general non-disclosure rule of Internal Revenue Code (Code) Section 6103(a). The Revenue Ruling, which modifies and supersedes Revenue Ruling 2004-53, generally holds that individuals who lawfully obtain tax information under the disclosure exception in Section 6103(c) of the Code are subject to restrictions on redisclosure. However, individuals who obtain tax information under the exceptions in Section 6103(e) or 6013(k)(6) of the Code are not subject to restrictions on redisclosure. The ruling further holds that these results are not affected by whether the individuals are government employees.

March 21, 2022: The IRS issued Notice 2022-14, providing guidance on various interest rates relevant to employee benefit plans under the Code.

March 22, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, providing tips to taxpayers on how to avoid common tax return filing mistakes.

March 22, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, reminding taxpayers of the various electronic payment and deferred payment options available to those who owe taxes with the filing of their individual income tax returns.

March 23, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, providing an update to a Fact Sheet that contains answers to frequently asked questions regarding the tax treatment of 2020 unemployment compensation, taking into account relief provided by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).

March 23, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, setting forth common reasons why certain tax refunds may take longer than 21 days to be issued.

March 25, 2022: The IRS issued proposed regulations, setting forth an exception to the “unified plan rule” for multiple employer plans (MEPs) under Section 413(c) of the Code.

March 25, 2022: The IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2022-15, providing an update to the rules taxpayers can use when generating substitutes for Form 941 (Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return) and associated forms and schedules.

March 25, 2022: The IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2022-18, waiving the residence requirements needed to qualify for benefits under Section 911 of the Code for the 2021 taxable year, with respect to certain individual taxpayers who departed from Iraq, Burma, Chad, Afghanistan or Ethiopia in 2021.

March 25, 2022: The IRS issued a news release estimating that a total of nearly $1.5 billion worth of unclaimed tax refunds are available to approximately 1.5 million taxpayers who did not file individual income tax returns for the 2018 taxable year and urging those taxpayers to file such returns prior to the applicable deadlines in [...]

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IRS Continues Focus on Hiring and Modernization of Technology

We previously discussed the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) efforts to adjust to a remote environment by offering video meetings and secure messaging systems in order to maintain an efficient audit process. We also previously shared the IRS Office of Chief Counsel’s plan to hire up to 200 additional lawyers to assist with litigation matters.

On March 16, 2022, the IRS announced it was continuing its hiring and modernization efforts via a plan to hire more than 200 additional technologists to help further modernize its technology. The announcement states, in part:

The IRS has undergone a significant technology transformation over the last several years as part of a large-scale enterprise modernization plan to transform the taxpayer experience, upgrade core service and enforcement systems, build a more sustainable technology infrastructure and enhance cybersecurity.

 

The agency is seeking to expand its pool of experts in hybrid and multi-cloud environments, no/low-code enterprise platforms and applications, data and analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, IT service management leading practices and networks management. Additional career opportunities include joining the integrated technical team modernizing the Individual Master File, the agency’s core tax processing system, and the Enterprise Case Management initiative modernizing IRS case management applications, services and associated processes. These are just some of the modernization efforts that the new hires will be working on.

This latest update comes on the heels of the IRS’s announcement last week that it plans to fill more than 5,000 positions in its processing centers located in Austin, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri and Ogden, Utah.

Practice Point: The IRS’s efforts to increase its workforce and update its technology is a step in the right direction as the agency faces numerous challenges with unprocessed returns, out-of-date computer systems and compliance challenges. As the IRS obtains newer and better equipment, we expect to see it use these new tools in its tax compliance mission.




Weekly IRS Roundup February 27 – March 5, 2022

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of February 27, 2022 – March 5, 2022. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

March 1, 2022: The IRS issued final regulations increasing the user fees for the special enrollment examination for enrolled agents and eliminating the user fees for the special enrollment examination for enrolled retirement plan agents.

March 1, 2022: The IRS issued proposal regulations increasing the renewal fee for enrolled agents and enrolled retirement plan agents.

March 1, 2022: The IRS issued a news release reminding taxpayers of the obligation to report certain types of income, such as gig economic earnings, earnings from virtual currency transactions and foreign-source income.

March 2, 2022: The IRS issued a news release announcing the release of a Fact Sheet containing answers to frequently asked questions regarding the 2021 Earned Income Tax Credit.

March 3, 2022: The IRS issued a news release providing an update to a Fact Sheet containing answers to frequently asked questions regarding the paid leave tax credits under sections 3131 through 3133 of the Code, enacted as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).

March 3, 2022: The IRS issued a news release providing an update to a Fact Sheet containing answers to frequently asked questions regarding the paid leave tax credits enacted as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

March 3, 2022: The IRS issued a news release announcing that it was aware of technical difficulties encountered by taxpayers attempting to electronically file Form 7203, S Corporation Shareholder Stock and Debt Basis Limitations, in advance of the March 1, 2022, filing deadline for taxpayers with income from a farming or fishing business. The IRS stated in the news release that a notice would be forthcoming providing an extended filing deadline for certain taxpayers.

March 4, 2022: The IRS issued Notice 2022-10, providing the 2022 table of housing expense limitations with respect to various foreign locations, for purposes of calculating the excludible/deductible housing cost amount under section 911(c) of the Code.

March 4, 2022: The IRS issued a news release announcing the creation of a new administrative division, the Taxpayer Experience Office, focused on improving the customer service experience for taxpayers.

March 4, 2022: The IRS issued a news release reminding taxpayers that free face-to-face tax preparation assistance will be provided at Taxpayer Assistance Centers around the country on Saturday, March 12, 2022.

March 4, 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 DC office for this week’s roundup.




Sixth Circuit Sides with Taxpayer in APA Challenge to Reportable Transaction Regime

We previously posted about the US Supreme Court’s opinion in CIC Servs., LLC v. IRS, which allowed a pre-enforcement challenge to the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) “reportable transaction” regime. In that post, we noted the district court opinion in Mann Construction, Inc. v. United States, No. 1:20-cv-11307 (E.D. Mich. 2021), holding that an IRS Notice requiring disclosure of listed transactions was not subject to the Administrative Procedure Act’s (APA) notice-and-comment requirement, and identified unanswered questions and potential future disputes over IRS enforcement strategies.

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has now reversed the district court in Mann Construction, holding that the IRS’s process for issuing Notice 2007-83—which designates certain employee-benefit plans featuring cash-value life insurance policies as listed transactions—violated the APA. Specifically, the court found that Notice 2007-83 was a legislative rule under the APA because it had the force and effect of law. The Sixth Circuit relied on CIC Services, explaining that Notice 2007-83 “defines a set of transactions that taxpayers must report, and that duty did not arise from a statute or a notice-and-comment rule…failure to comply comes with the risk of penalties and criminal sanctions, all characteristics of legislative rules.” The court further found that Congress did not expressly exempt the IRS from the APA’s notice-and-comment requirements with respect to the reportable transaction regime. The Sixth Circuit explained that there was an absence of any express deviation from the APA’s notice-and-comment procedures, and “any exceptions to the sturdy protections established by the APA’s notice-and-comment requirements must come from Congress, not us and not the IRS.”

What now? Mann Construction is a heavy blow to the IRS’s reportable transaction regime, and similar APA attacks are underway against other Notices imposing non-statutory reporting obligations. One example is Notice 2017-10, which identifies certain syndicated conservation easement transactions as listed transactions subject to disclosure to the IRS.

Practice Point: In 2011, the Supreme Court announced in Mayo Found. for Med. Educ. & Rsch. v. United States, that “we are not inclined to carve out an approach to administrative review good for tax law only.” The last 10 years have seen numerous APA challenges in the tax world, some successful and others unsuccessful. CIC Services and Mann Construction are two important cases for taxpayers subject to non-statutory reporting obligations. Taxpayers and practitioners should carefully consider the impact of these cases in similar reporting situations in determining whether to initiate APA challenges.




IRS Proposes New Process for Post-Filing Disclosures to Replace Revenue Procedure 94-69

For many years, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided large corporate taxpayers who are under continuous audit to make affirmative disclosures at the start of an audit so they have an opportunity to disclose tax positions and avoid certain civil tax penalties. The procedure, outlined in Revenue Procedure 94-69, has been very popular with both taxpayers and IRS agents because it provides a mechanism that allows taxpayers to informally “amend” a return without filling out all of the paperwork. IRS agents also like the procedure because it allows them to focus the examination on the disclosed issues and incorporate the adjustments in the final computation from the audit. Indeed, the procedure has grown in practice to include the disclosure of affirmative and negative adjustments at the start of the examination and not just in the audits of taxpayers under the jurisdiction of the IRS’s Large Business & International division. However, as the continuous audit paradigm has ended, in 2020 the IRS questioned the continuing viability of this procedure and sought comments from taxpayers on if, and how, it should continue.

Numerous commentators (including the American Bar Association Section of Taxation and Tax Executives Institute, Inc.) recommended that the IRS keep this post-filing disclosure procedure in place, citing the following points in support:

  • The procedure avoids the need to file a formal amended return, a burdensome process on large taxpayers.
  • Requiring formal amended returns can be a significant strain on taxpayer resources, including the potential need to deal with state and local tax filings.
  • All mistakes can be fixed at one time (i.e., avoiding multiple amended returns).
  • The procedure eases reporting issues with Schedules K-1 that are issued after the original tax return is filed.
  • The procedure allows incorporating carryover adjustments from prior examinations.
  • There’s potential to avoid strict liability for penalties relating to transfer pricing adjustments.

On February 25, 2022, the IRS announced that it will standardize the process for making post-filing disclosures so that eligible taxpayers and IRS agents have consistent guidelines for determining what constitutes an adequate disclosure. To that end, the IRS has published a new draft form, Form 15307, Post-Filing Disclosure for Specified Large Business Taxpayers, to be used by eligible taxpayers seeking to make a post-filing disclosure. Taxpayer comments on the new draft form can be submitted here.

The draft Form 15307, which must be signed under penalties or perjury, requires that the taxpayer identify the number of disclosures and provide specific information about each disclosure, including:

  • Adjustment type
  • Timing
  • Effect of carryover
  • Description
  • Increase/decrease to taxable income or tax credits
  • Explanation of the item being disclosed

Examples of acceptable and unacceptable descriptions and disclosures are provided in the instructions to the draft form. Generally, netting of adjustments is not permitted, however, where the facts and circumstances of an item are identical and represent a high volume of low dollar amounts, the disclosures can be netted. The [...]

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Weekly IRS Roundup February 20 – February 26, 2022

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of February 20, 2022 – February 26, 2022. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

February 22, 2022: The IRS issued a correction to final regulations published on January 25, 2022, relating to the treatment of domestic partnerships that hold stock in foreign corporations.

February 22, 2022: The IRS issued a news release announcing the release of an updated list containing information about Low Income Taxpayer Clinics available around the country.

February 23, 2022: The IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2022-05 and an accompanying news release, setting forth the overpayment and underpayment interest rates under Section 6621 of the Code for Q2 2022.

February 24, 2022: The IRS issued final regulations relating to required minimum distributions under Section 401 of the Code with respect to certain employee pension and retirement plans.

February 24, 2022: The IRS issued a further correction to final regulations published on January 25, 2022, relating to the treatment of domestic partnerships that hold stock in foreign corporations.

February 24, 2022: The IRS issued a news release promoting its “Where’s My Refund?” online and mobile tools as ways for taxpayers to check on the status of their tax refunds.

February 24, 2022: The IRS issued a news release, providing an update to a Fact Sheet containing answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Premium Tax Credit under Section 36B of the Code, as expanded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).

February 25, 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.




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