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Weekly IRS Roundup October 5 – October 9, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of October 5, 2020 – October 9, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here. October 7, 2020: The IRS published final regulations related to the withholding tax and information reporting requirements for the sale, exchange or redemption of a partnership interest held by a foreign person. October 7, 2020: The IRS published a draft of Publication 509 with draft tax calendars for 2021. October 9, 2020: The IRS published Revenue Ruling 2020-19 related to changes in basis of computing life insurance reserves. October 9, 2020: The IRS published Revenue Procedure 2020-44 to facilitate a transition from interbank offered rates to alternate reference rates. October 9, 2020: The IRS released Internal Revenue Bulletin 2020-42, dated October 13, 2020, containing the following...

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Tax Court Rejects IRS Argument that Corporate Taxpayer Failed to File Valid Return

The issue of whether a valid tax return has been filed usually comes up in the context of individuals. One common situation involves taxpayers who file so-called zero returns or returns with an altered jurat and protest paying any taxes. Another common situation, which has received substantial attention lately, involves whether a tax return filed after an assessment by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a “return” for purposes of the Bankruptcy Code. We previously posted on the latter. This post focuses on the uncommon situation where the IRS disputes whether a corporate taxpayer filed a valid return. As we have previously discussed, in the widely cited Beard v. Commissioner, 82 TC 766 (1984), the Tax Court defined a four-part test (the Beard Test) for determining whether a document constitutes a “return.” To be a return, a document must: (1) provide sufficient data to calculate tax liability; (2) purport to be a return; (3) be an honest and reasonable...

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Fourth Circuit Clarifies the Role of the Collection Due Process Hearing

In Iames v. Commissioner, No. 16-1154, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the US Tax Court’s ruling that once a taxpayer has unsuccessfully challenged his tax liability in a preassessment hearing before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Office of Appeals, he is precluded from challenging his tax liability in a collection due process (CDP) hearing under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 6330. IRC Section 6330, enacted by Congress to protect taxpayers from abusive or arbitrary collection practices, provides a set of procedural safeguards for taxpayers facing a potential levy action by the IRS: notice, an administrative hearing and judicial review. More specifically, before collecting a delinquent tax through a levy on a taxpayer’s property, the IRS must notify the taxpayer at least thirty days in advance of his right to an administrative hearing before the IRS Office of Appeals. IRC Section 6330(a) and (b). After the Office of Appeals...

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