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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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Internal Revenue Service Updates Golden Parachute Payments Audit Technique Guide, Signaling Key Items IRS May Review on Audit

In early 2017, the IRS updated its Golden Parachute Payments Audit Technique Guide for the first time since its 2005 issuance. While intended as an internal reference for IRS agents conducting golden parachute examinations, the Audit Technique Guide offers valuable insight for both public and private companies, and recipients of golden parachute payments, into how IRS agents are likely to approach golden parachutes when conducting an audit. Continue Reading

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Fifth Circuit Rejects Substantial Authority Defense to Penalties

Prudent taxpayers analyze the relevant tax law while structuring and implementing transactions.  The most obvious reason to do so is to ensure that the taxpayer’s proposed tax treatment is accepted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  Another reason is to ensure that, if such treatment is not accepted, the taxpayer will not be subjected to penalties. The most common penalty asserted by the IRS in this regard is the accuracy-related penalty under IRC Section 6662.  Among the many defenses to this penalty is the “substantial authority” defense, which looks at whether the weight of authorities supporting the return position is substantial in relation to the weight of authority supporting contrary treatment.  The types of authorities that may be considered is broad, and includes the Internal Revenue Code, Treasury Regulations (proposed, temporary and final), other IRS published guidance, case law, tax treaties, legislative materials and certain IRS private...

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