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Weekly IRS Roundup August 17 – August 21, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of August 17, 2020 – August 21, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

August 19, 2020: The IRS requested comments from large corporate taxpayers currently utilizing the procedures under Revenue Procedure 94-69 to disclose changes in tax positions after the opening of an examination. The IRS is considering obsoleting Revenue Procedure 94-69, which is available to a small group of large corporate taxpayers. Revenue Procedure 94-69 provides special procedures for taxpayers that are subject to the (former) Coordinated Examination Program to show additional tax due or make disclosures to avoid the imposition of accuracy-related penalties for negligence, disregard of rules or regulations or substantial understatement of income tax under sections 6662(b)(1) and (b)(2). Comments are due by October 19, 2020.

August 19, 2020: The IRS published a practice unit concerning the taxability of distributions from an S corporation that either (1) does not have accumulated earnings and profits (AE&P), or (2) makes distributions from sources other than AE&P; that is, nondividend distributions made from the accumulated adjustments account, other adjustments account or a shareholder-level previously taxed income account from before 1983 to the extent it still exists. The practice unit also addresses what items to consider to determine the taxability of nondividend distributions, liquidating distributions and sale-or-exchange redemption distributions.

August 19, 2020: The IRS published a practice unit concerning the last-in first-out (LIFO) pooling method and taxpayers who may elect to compute opening and closing inventories for goods using LIFO.

August 20, 2020: The IRS published a memorandum concerning guidance for Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) employees on the types of cases accepted into TAS under Criteria 9 – Public Policy. The Taxpayer Advocate is adding four cases that fit the policy; (1) organizations where the IRS automatically revoked their tax-exempt status for failure to file an annual return or notice for three consecutive years; (2) cases involving any tax account-related issue referred to TAS from a Congressional office, including limited Economic Impact Payment (EIP) issues; (3) cases involving revocation, limitation or denial of a passport; and (4) cases that have been referred to a Private Collection Agency for collection of a federal tax debt.

August 20, 2020: The IRS published corrections to Treasury Decision 9614, which was published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Treasury Decision 9614 contained final regulations that apply to transfers of certain property by a domestic corporation to a foreign corporation in certain nonrecognition exchanges, or to distributions of stock of certain foreign corporations by a domestic corporation in certain nonrecognition distributions. The corrections are effective on August 20, 2020.

August 21, 2020: The IRS announced it has temporarily stopped mailing notices to taxpayers with [...]

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Weekly IRS Roundup September 30 – October 4, 2019

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of September 30 – October 4, 2019.

September 30, 2019: The IRS published a draft of the tax year 2019: (i) Form 1065, US Return of Partnership Income; (ii) its Schedule K-1, Partner’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc.; (iii) Form 1120-S, US Income Tax Return for an S Corporation; and (iv) its Schedule K-1, Shareholder’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc. The IRS intends the changes to the form and schedule to improve the quality of the information reported by partnerships both to the IRS and the partners of such entities and to improve the data available for the IRS’s compliance selection processes. This draft gives tax practitioners a preview of the changes and software providers the information they need to update systems before the final version of the updated forms and schedules are released in December. There is a limited window period (30 days) for taxpayers to provide comments on the forms to the IRS.

October 1, 2019: The Treasury and the IRS issued a revenue procedure that limits the inquiries required by US persons to determine whether certain foreign corporations are controlled foreign corporations. The revenue procedure also allows certain unrelated minority US shareholders to rely on specified financial statement information to calculate their subpart F and GILTI inclusions and satisfy reporting requirements with respect to certain CFCs if more detailed tax information is not available. It also provides penalty relief to taxpayers in the specified circumstances. The revenue procedure announces that the IRS intends to amend the instructions for Form 5471 to reduce the amount of information that certain unrelated minority US shareholders of the CFC are required to provide. It will also limit the filing requirements of US shareholders who only constructively own stock of the CFC solely due to downward attribution from another person.

October 2, 2019: The Treasury and the IRS released proposed regulations relating to the modification of section 958(b) by the TCJA. The proposed regulations provide relief to taxpayers affected by the repeal of section 958(b)(4), which provided that the downward attribution rules of section 318 were not to be applied so as to consider a United States person as owning stock owned by a foreign person. The regulations also propose modifications to existing regulations that are intended to ensure that the operation of certain rules is consistent with their application before the repeal of section 958(b)(4). The proposed regulations affect United States persons that have ownership interests in or that make or receive payments to or from certain foreign corporations. The modifications relate to the following: (i) section 267 (Deduction for Certain Payments to Foreign Related Persons); (ii) section 332 (Liquidation of Applicable Holding Company); (iii) section 367(a) (Triggering Event Exception for other Dispositions or Events under Treas. Reg. § 1.367(a)-8(k)(14)); (iv) section 672 (CFC’s Ownership of a Trust); (v) section 706 (Taxable Year of a Partnership); (vi) section 863 [...]

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Tax Reform Insight: US Tax Costs Significantly Reduced on Sale of CFC Stock

Following the 2017 Tax Act, the US tax costs to a corporate US shareholder that sells stock in a controlled foreign corporation (CFC) are significantly reduced. Beginning in 2018, the amount of gain will be generally less than in prior years and most or all such gain will frequently not be subject to any US federal income taxation.

The amount of gain recognized in a sale of course is the difference between the amount realized and the selling shareholder’s adjusted tax basis in the stock of the CFC. The initial basis in the stock of a CFC is increased by the amount of earnings of the CFC and its subsidiaries that was included in the gross income of the domestic corporation under Subpart F (i.e., previously taxed earnings). The increase in basis can be significant as a result of the transition tax Subpart F inclusion of post-1986 earnings of CFCs and the expansion of Subpart F inclusions for global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI).

The gain recognized by a domestic corporation upon the sale of stock in a CFC generally is capital gain subject to a 21 percent tax rate. Section 1248, however, recharacterizes as a deemed dividend all or a portion of the gain. The amount of gain recharacterized generally equals the amount of non-previously taxed earnings of the CFC and its foreign subsidiaries. Provided the domestic corporate shareholder held the CFC stock for at least one year, the amount of the gain recharacterized as a dividend generally is eligible for a 100 percent dividends received deduction under section 245A.


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Expansion of Subpart F under the Tax Reform Act

Under Subpart F, certain types of income and investments of earnings of a foreign corporation controlled by US shareholders (controlled foreign corporation, or CFC) are deemed distributed to the US shareholders and subject to current taxation. The recent tax reform legislation (Public Law No. 115-97) increased the amount of CFC income currently taxable to US shareholders, and expanded the CFC ownership rules, which means more foreign corporations are treated as CFCs.


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GILTI Rules Particularly Onerous for Non-C Corporation CFC Shareholders

The recently enacted tax reform legislation significantly expanded the application of Subpart F, including by adding a new inclusion rule for non-routine CFC income, termed “global intangible low-taxed income” (GILTI). The GILTI rules apply higher tax rates to GILTI attributed to individuals and trusts who own CFC stock (either directly or through LLCs or S corporations) than to C corporation shareholders. This article describes the difference and suggests steps individuals and trusts may take to defer or reduce the effect of the GILTI rules on individuals and trusts. Continue Reading. 

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Subpart F: When Does a CFC Receive Substantial Assistance in Performing Services?

Income derived by a controlled foreign corporation (CFC) from performing services for an unrelated customer generally is not Subpart F income. However, if U.S. related persons furnish substantial assistance contributing to the performance of the services, under regulations, the CFC will be deemed to perform the services for a related person. In such case, the services income would be Subpart F income to the extent attributable to services performed outside the CFC’s country of organization.

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