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NTA Announces Date and Location for 4th International Conference on Taxpayer Rights

The National Taxpayer Advocate recently announced that the 4th International Conference on Taxpayer Rights will be held May 23 – 24, 2019, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The purpose of conference is to connect government officials, scholars and practitioners from around the world to explore how taxpayer rights globally serve as the foundation for effective tax administration. The theme for the 2019 conference will be the role of taxpayer rights in the digital age and the implications of the expanding digital environment for transparency, certainty and privacy in tax administration. Presentations and paper proposals on range of topics are being sought, and the deadline to submit a proposal is December 1, 2018. Prior conferences have been held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Vienna, Austria and Washington, DC Conference. Archived materials for the prior conferences can be found here. We previously attended and participated in the Amsterdam and Vienna conferences....

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LB&I Announces Six New Campaigns

On May 21, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Large Business and International Division (LB&I) announced the identification and selection of six new campaigns. These new campaigns follow the initial 13 campaigns announced on January 31, 2017, followed by 11 campaigns announced on November 3, 2017, and 5 campaigns announced on March 13, 2018. The following are the six new LB&I campaigns by title and description: Interest Capitalization for Self-Constructed Assets When a taxpayer engages in certain production activities they are required to capitalize interest expense under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 263A. Interest capitalization applies to interest a taxpayer pays or incurs during the production period when producing property that meets the definition of designated property. Designated property under IRC Section 263A(f) is defined as (a) any real property, or (b) tangible personal property that has: (i) a long useful life (depreciable...

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More Changes to IRS Appeals’ Practices?

We have previously commented on changes at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Appeals Division, including: (1) the allowance of Appeals to invite representatives from the IRS Examination Division (Exam) and IRS Office of Chief Counsel to the Appeals conference, (2) the limitations on in-person conferences, and (3) the use of “virtual” conferences. IRS Extends Permanent Invitation to Exam to Attend Appeals Conferences Appeals Large Case Pilot Program Draws Criticism Virtual IRS Appeals – A New Frontier? More Changes to IRS Appeals, in Response to Taxpayer and Practitioner Concerns IRS Appeals Chief Donna Hansberry discussed these changes at a recent tax law conference held by the Federal Bar Association. According to reports, Ms. Hansberry wants feedback from practitioners on the compliance attendance and virtual conferences. Regarding compliance attendance at Appeals conferences, Ms. Hansberry indicated that the IRS is still evaluating this pilot program, and...

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Treasury to Withdraw Controversial Proposed Estate Tax Valuation Rules

On October 4, 2017, the US Department of the Treasury (Treasury) announced that it would withdraw more than 200 regulations, including the proposed regulations under Internal Revenue Code (Code) Section 2704. The announcement is part of President Trump's initiative to lessen the regulatory burden on taxpayers due to excessive regulations. In a press statement, Treasury explained that the Code Section 2704 proposed regulations were being withdrawn because they: …would have hurt family-owned and operated businesses by limiting valuation discounts. The regulations would have made it difficult and costly for a family to transfer their businesses to the next generation. Commenters warned that the valuation requirements of the proposed regulations were unclear and could not be meaningfully applied. Numerous practitioners were critical of the proposed regulations because they disregarded restrictions for valuation purposes on the ability to liquidate...

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More Changes to IRS Appeals, in Response to Taxpayer and Practitioner Concerns

As we have recently discussed, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Appeals has been making a number of changes to their administrative review process in the last few years. While many of these changes have been driven by lack of resources, others—like the standing invitation of Exam into the Appeals process—have the potential to undermine the independence of Appeals, which has historically been a vital component of the taxpayer’s right of redress with the Service. In this week’s American Bar Association conference in Austin, Texas, IRS Appeals clarified that, for field cases worked by revenue agents, taxpayers may still receive in-person conferences, despite recent pronouncements that phone conferences are the preferred or default method. Conferences in campus cases (or correspondence audit cases) will still be generally handled by telephone, but there will eventually be a move to in-person conferences by request. Campus cases are being treated differently because...

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