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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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IRS Targets Private Foundations That May Be Used by Wealthy Taxpayers in Tax Planning

​In remarks at the NYU Tax Controversy Forum on June 18, 2020, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials indicated that the agency is analyzing the use of private foundations for tax planning. Ms. Tamera Ripperda, who is the commissioner of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TEGE) Division and previously served as the industry director for the Global High Wealth in the Large Business and International (LB&I) Division, said the agency is focusing on cross-division collaborations to target high-income, high-wealth taxpayers. The TEGE Division has trained more than 400 LB&I agents this year on the use of private foundations in tax planning for high-net-worth individuals. Additionally, the divisions are using data analytics to identify linkages between LB&I and TEGE cases. Commissioner Ripparda stated that TEGE has identified more than 1,000 private foundations “that have linkages or that are interwoven into these global high-wealth enterprises,”...

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Weekly IRS Roundup May 18 – May 22, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of May 18 – May 22, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here. May 18, 2020:  The U.S. Tax Court announced that comments to the proposed amendments to the Rules of its Practice and Procedure should be emailed to Stephanie A. Servoss, Clerk of the Court, at Rules@ustaxcourt.gov. The Tax Court has not received mail since March 19, 2020. May 18, 2020:  The IRS added approximately 3,500 phone operators to answer Economic Impact Payment (EIP) questions. May 19, 2020:  The Large Business & International (LB&I) released information regarding the Swiss Bank Program Campaign. The program allows Swiss financial institutions to provide information on the U.S. persons with beneficial ownership of foreign financial accounts. The campaign will address noncompliance of such...

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IRS Appeals Large Case Pilot Program Ends

More than three years ago, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revised the Internal Revenue Manual to provide IRS Appeals Division (Appeals) with discretion to invite representatives from the IRS Examination Division (Exam) and IRS Office of Chief Counsel (Counsel) to the Appeals conference. The IRS also started a three-year initiative for taxpayers under the Large Business & International (LB&I) Division with cases assigned to Appeals Team Case Leaders (ATCLs). Under the initiative, LB&I personnel from Exam and Counsel were invited to the non-settlement portion of the taxpayer’s Appeals conference to test whether the participation of both parties would assist Appeals in narrowing and resolving complex factual and legal differences. The IRS announced that the initiative ended on May 1, 2020. The IRS has invited comments from the public about the initiative and its effectiveness. Such comments should be submitted by August 31, 2020. The practice of...

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Weekly IRS Roundup April 27 – May 1, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of April 27 – May 1, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here. April 28, 2020: The IRS published Large Business and International (LB&I) Process Unit on the substantiation of foreign tax credits for individuals. For an individual to claim a foreign tax credit, individual taxpayers must submit Form 1116 with their US federal income tax return. At the request of the IRS, the taxpayer must provide evidence supporting the foreign taxes claimed on Form 1116. April 28, 2020: The IRS published LB&I Concept Unit on the installment method under IRC § 453. An installment sale occurs when a seller receives at least one payment in a tax year after the disposition. An installment sale is reported on a Form 6252. April 30, 2020: The IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2020-29,...

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You Can Now Submit Your Letter Rulings and Determinations to the IRS Electronically

Rev. Proc. 2020-29 temporarily allows taxpayers to submit certain requests for letter rulings and determinations to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) electronically. Electronic submissions will be permitted until the revenue procedure is superseded or modified, but taxpayers may still make paper submissions. Electronic submissions are permitted for requests for letter rulings, closing agreements, determination letters, and information letters from the Associate Chief Counsel Offices and for determination letters from the Large Business and International (LB&I) Division. However, procedures for submissions to the IRS Small Business/Self Employed Division, Wage and Investment Division, or Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division are unchanged. The revenue procedure permits electronic submission by either fax or compressed and encrypted email, although the IRS prefers fax submissions for security reasons. Taxpayers submitting through email must include a...

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Weekly IRS Roundup April 6 – 10, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of April 6 – 10, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here. April 8, 2020: The IRS announced that four LB&I campaigns related to agricultural chemicals security credit, partial disposition election for buildings, restoration of sequestered alternative minimum tax credit carryforward and work opportunity tax credit have been retired. Even though these issues are no longer LB&I campaigns, such issues may still be identified and included in the scope of an LB&I examination. April 8, 2020: The IRS released Revenue Procedure 2020-23, allowing for eligible partnerships to file amended partnership returns for taxable years beginning in 2018 and 2019 by using Form 1065, US Return of Partnership Income, checking the “Amended Return” box and issuing an amended Schedule...

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No IDR Enforcement During COVID-19

Yesterday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced in a memorandum to all Large Business & International (LB&I) division employees that it was suspending the normal Information Document Request (IDR) procedures. The letter suspends enforcement until July 15, 2020; however, LB&I managers will have the discretion to continue with the IDR enforcement process when in their judgment the interests of tax administration warrant (e.g., cases with short statutes, listed transactions or fraud development). The memorandum, however, does not tell examining agents to stop issuing IDRs or working on their cases as the suspension relates only to enforcement of IDRs. Practice Point: The suspension of the IDR enforcement procedures is welcome news to taxpayers with ongoing audits. With tax professionals displaced in their homes while mandatory self-isolation continues, meeting IDR deadlines has been challenging. We suggest, however, that taxpayers try to...

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Weekly IRS Roundup January 20 – 24, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of January 20 – 24, 2020. January 20, 2020: The IRS released new Instructions to IRS Form 1120-S, US Income Tax Return for an S Corporation. These changes conform to the new regulations, which changed the qualified business income deduction, addressed qualified opportunity fund investments, and removed the AMT refundable credit. In conjunction with these changes, the IRS also released updated Instructions to Form 1065, Partner’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc., so that it complied with the new rules regarding the qualified business income deduction. January 21, 2020: The IRS issued a notice updating both the corporate bond weighted average interest rates and the permissible range of interest rates used to calculate pension plan minimum funding for plan years beginning in January 2020. The IRS updated various projections,...

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Weekly IRS Roundup November 25 – 29, 2019

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of November 25 – 29, 2019. November 26, 2019: The IRS issued a News Release regarding a Revenue Procedure that updates the rules for using per diem rates to substantiate, under section 274 and Treas. Reg. § 1.274-5,  the amount of ordinary and necessary business expenses paid or incurred while traveling away from home, including employees’ lodging, meals, and incidental expenses. The IRS noted that taxpayers are not required to use a method described in the Revenue Procedure and may instead substantiate actual allowable expenses provided they maintain adequate records. November 26, 2019: The IRS released the Fall 2019 Statistics of Income Bulletin, which is issued quarterly by the Statistics of Income Division of the IRS and provides the most recent statistics available from tax and information returns filed by US taxpayers. The bulletin...

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