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IRS Proposes New Process for Post-Filing Disclosures to Replace Revenue Procedure 94-69

For many years, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided large corporate taxpayers who are under continuous audit to make affirmative disclosures at the start of an audit so they have an opportunity to disclose tax positions and avoid certain civil tax penalties. The procedure, outlined in Revenue Procedure 94-69, has been very popular with both taxpayers and IRS agents because it provides a mechanism that allows taxpayers to informally “amend” a return without filling out all of the paperwork. IRS agents also like the procedure because it allows them to focus the examination on the disclosed issues and incorporate the adjustments in the final computation from the audit. Indeed, the procedure has grown in practice to include the disclosure of affirmative and negative adjustments at the start of the examination and not just in the audits of taxpayers under the jurisdiction of the IRS’s Large Business & International division. However, as the continuous audit paradigm has ended, in 2020 the IRS questioned the continuing viability of this procedure and sought comments from taxpayers on if, and how, it should continue.

Numerous commentators (including the American Bar Association Section of Taxation and Tax Executives Institute, Inc.) recommended that the IRS keep this post-filing disclosure procedure in place, citing the following points in support:

  • The procedure avoids the need to file a formal amended return, a burdensome process on large taxpayers.
  • Requiring formal amended returns can be a significant strain on taxpayer resources, including the potential need to deal with state and local tax filings.
  • All mistakes can be fixed at one time (i.e., avoiding multiple amended returns).
  • The procedure eases reporting issues with Schedules K-1 that are issued after the original tax return is filed.
  • The procedure allows incorporating carryover adjustments from prior examinations.
  • There’s potential to avoid strict liability for penalties relating to transfer pricing adjustments.

On February 25, 2022, the IRS announced that it will standardize the process for making post-filing disclosures so that eligible taxpayers and IRS agents have consistent guidelines for determining what constitutes an adequate disclosure. To that end, the IRS has published a new draft form, Form 15307, Post-Filing Disclosure for Specified Large Business Taxpayers, to be used by eligible taxpayers seeking to make a post-filing disclosure. Taxpayer comments on the new draft form can be submitted here.

The draft Form 15307, which must be signed under penalties or perjury, requires that the taxpayer identify the number of disclosures and provide specific information about each disclosure, including:

  • Adjustment type
  • Timing
  • Effect of carryover
  • Description
  • Increase/decrease to taxable income or tax credits
  • Explanation of the item being disclosed

Examples of acceptable and unacceptable descriptions and disclosures are provided in the instructions to the draft form. Generally, netting of adjustments is not permitted, however, where the facts and circumstances of an item are identical and represent a high volume of low dollar amounts, the disclosures can be netted. The [...]

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Weekly IRS Roundup October 18 – October 22, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of October 18, 2021 – October 22, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

October 18, 2021: The IRS announced that beginning October 18, its Large Business and International (LB&I) Division will accept all taxpayer requests to meet with IRS employees using secure video conferencing.

October 20, 2021: The IRS published an announcement, reminding employers that the next quarterly payroll tax return is due November 1, 2021. The IRS urged employers to use the speed and convenience of filing the returns electronically.

October 21, 2021: The IRS and US Department of the Treasury (Treasury) published a notice and request for comments concerning Form 4810 (Request for Prompt Assessment Under Internal Revenue Code Section 6501(d)). The form is used to help locate a return and expedite the processing of a taxpayer’s request. Written comments are due on or before December 20, 2021.

October 21, 2021: The IRS published an announcement, reminding the more than 759,000 federal tax return preparers that they must renew their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) now for 2022. All current PTINs will expire December 31, 2021.

October 21, 2021: The IRS published a notice, setting forth current standards that a limited liability company (LLC) must satisfy in order to receive a determination letter recognizing it as tax exempt under Section 501(a) and described in Section 501(c)(3). The notice also requests comments on these standards, as well as specific issues relating to tax exempt status for LLCs, to assist the Treasury and the IRS in determining whether additional guidance is needed concerning the standards that an LLC must satisfy in order to be exempt from taxation by reason of being described in Section 501(c). Written comments should be submitted by February 6, 2022.

October 22, 2021: The IRS published an announcement, reminding employers that they generally will not jeopardize the tax status of their pension plans if they rehire retirees or permit distributions of retirement benefits to current employees who have reached age 59 and a half or the plan’s normal retirement age. The IRS posted FAQs to help employers impacted by COVID-19, which resulted in labor shortages.

October 22, 2021: The IRS published Revenue Procedure 2021-42, providing guidelines and general requirements for the development, printing and approval of the 2021 substitute tax forms. The IRS accepts quality substitute tax forms that are consistent with the official forms and have no adverse impact on processing.

October 22, 2021: The IRS released its weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memorandums and Chief Counsel Advice).

Special thanks to Robbie Alipour in our Chicago office for this week’s roundup.




IRS Provides Some Relief from Tax Payment (But Not Filing) Deadlines Due to COVID-19

On March 13, 2020, President Trump issued an emergency declaration that directed Secretary Mnuchin to provide appropriate relief from tax payment deadlines to Americans who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to this direction, the IRS issued Notice 2020-17. The Notice declares that all taxpayers have been affected by the emergency and gives all taxpayers an extension of time until July 15, 2020, to make certain income tax payments that would otherwise have been due on April 15, 2020 (however, at this time, tax returns must still be filed by the April 15 deadline absent an extension).

We outline the specifics.

Access the full article.




Reasonable Cause for E-Filing Errors?

Tax return filing season is fast approaching, and taxpayers big and small are preparing to file their returns. A recent US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit decision, Haynes v. United States, No. 17-50816 (5th Cir. Jan. 29, 2019), indicates that many of those taxpayers will face uncertainty if their returns are late due to preparer errors or technological issues when electronically filed (e-filed).

The court in Haynes declined to rule on whether the Supreme Court decision in United States v. Boyle, 469 US 241 (1985), applied to e-filing a tax return. The court instead remanded the case to resolve factual issues. In declining to examine the application of Boyle, the decision leaves in place uncertainty for many taxpayers who e-file their returns.

Internal Revenue Code Section 6651(a)(1) excuses a taxpayer from penalties for failure to file a return on time if they show the failure was “due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect.” In Boyle, an estate executor hired an experienced lawyer to prepare estate tax returns, but the lawyer failed to put the filing date on the calendar. Nevertheless, the court held that determining a deadline and meeting it did not require any special skills, and therefore relying on an agent was unreasonable. Accordingly, the Court in Boyle did not excuse late filing, and the taxpayer was subject to penalty. (more…)




IRS OVDP Ending | Time Is Now for Coming into US Tax Compliance – Especially for Those with Willfulness Issues

On March 13, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it will begin ramping down the current Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) and urged taxpayers with undisclosed foreign assets to apply for the program prior to its close on September 28, 2018. We have previously reported on developments in the OVDP.

Access the full article. 




IRS is Required to Search Tax Return Information Records to Help Determine Worker Classification

On April 5, 2017, in an unanimous court reviewed opinion, the United States Tax Court determined that disclosure of a worker’s tax return information to absolve the employer from liabilities arising out of the employer’s withholding requirement is not subject to the general prohibition against disclosing taxpayer return information pursuant to Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 6103, and does not shift the burden of proof to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

In Mescalero Apache Tribe v. Commissioner, 148 T.C. 11 (2017), the IRS determined that a number of the Mescalero Apache Tribe’s workers were not independent contractors, but employees. If the IRS prevailed in its worker reclassification determination then, as the employer, the Mescalero Apache Tribe would be jointly and severally liable for Federal income tax that should have been withheld on the workers’ earnings. To prevent double taxation, IRC Section 3402(d) provides that the IRS cannot collect from the employer the withholding tax liability if the employees have already paid income tax on their earnings. To prove its position that the workers were independent contractors and alternatively to reduce any potential withholding tax liability if the workers were classified as employees, the Mescalero Apache Tribe asked each worker to complete Form 4669, Statement of Payments Received. However, the Mescalero Apache Tribe had trouble locating each of its workers because many had moved or lived in hard-to-reach areas without phone service or basic utilities. (more…)




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