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IRS Issues New Procedures for Large Corporate Audit Disclosures

For decades, large corporate taxpayers under continuous audit have been able to make disclosures under Revenue Procedure 94-69 at the beginning of an examination to notify the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of adjustments (both positive and negative) to their tax returns and thereby obtain protection from various penalties and obviate the need to file a formal amended tax return. In 2020, the IRS questioned the continuing utility of this disclosure process and invited comments on said process. With the new Revenue Procedure 2022-39, the IRS has moved the largest corporate taxpayers into a new era of voluntary disclosure. This is a significant development for impacted taxpayers.

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IRS Official Provides Update on Large Partnership Compliance Audits

Almost 11 months ago, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a memorandum regarding the implementation of the Large Partnership Compliance (LPC) Pilot Program, including the identification, selecting and delivery of large partnership tax returns, exam procedures and feedback. The goal of the LPC program is to identify the largest partnership cases and develop improved methods for identifying and assessing the compliance risks presented by these taxpayers. Large partnerships include those with more than $10 million in assets, and such partnerships are subject to data analytics and classification processes. Audits of these large partnerships are conducted by the Large Business & International (LB&I) division.

The LPC program was discussed at the recent Tax Executives Institute conference in New York. IRS officials noted that 50 large partnerships have been selected for the first round of audits, focusing on the 2019 tax year. The IRS currently is undecided as to whether LB&I plans to audit subsequent year returns for the selected partnerships, but likely will not subject such partnerships to a continuous audit process that is used for many large corporate taxpayers.

An interesting discussion took place at the conference related to whether IRS revenue agents will share with the selected partnerships the risk level assigned to their partnership return and which issues will be examined. (Risk assessment and identification of issues are generally included in audit plans for corporate taxpayers, although the level of risk may not necessarily be disclosed.) Currently, some agents are providing such information to selected partnerships but there is no consensus or standard practice at the audit level.

Practice Point: The IRS has made it well known that large partnerships are on their radar and there is a need to focus on these audits to ensure taxpayer compliance. In our experience, revenue agents tend to be more transparent in audits of large taxpayers when it comes to the issues under examination, but it would be a welcome development if the IRS announced at the outset of the audit more standard procedures for informing taxpayers of the risk levels assigned. As the LPC program continues, we are hopeful that the IRS will decide to share more data with the public. We expect an increase in audit activity as a result of additional funding received by the IRS, and it appears that the IRS will focus those efforts on large partnerships.




IRS Announces Progress on Processing Tax Returns

The phrase “it’s in the mail” is sometimes an excuse for one’s delinquency in filing tax returns. However, that is not necessarily the case for taxpayers who have submitted their individual tax returns during the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of the pandemic on the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) ability to open mail and process returns has been well-documented. In March 2022, the IRS announced that it was hiring more than 5,000 positions in its service processing centers in three states.

On August 29, 2022, the IRS provided an update on the status of its return processing efforts. The update provides, in part:

The IRS is opening mail within normal timeframes and all paper and electronic individual returns received prior to January 2022 have been processed if the return had no errors or did not require further review.

 

As of August 19, 2022, we had 8.7 million unprocessed individual returns received in calendar year 2022. These include tax year 2021 returns and late filed tax year 2020 and prior returns. Of these, 1.7 million returns require error correction or other special handling, and 7 million are paper returns waiting to be reviewed and processed. This work does not typically require us to correspond with taxpayers but does require special handling by an IRS employee so, in these instances, it is taking the IRS more than 21 days to issue any related refund and in some cases this work could take more than 120 days. If a correction is made to any Recovery Rebate Credit, Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit claimed on the return, the IRS will send taxpayers an explanation. Taxpayers are encouraged to continue to check Tax Season Refund Frequently Asked Questions.

Further information is provided, including how long taxpayers may have to wait and what actions they can take (i.e., checking Where’s My Refund? or viewing their account).

Practice Point: The IRS is making headway in processing returns and, with increased funding on the horizon, it appears that things may be getting back to normal—at least back to pre-pandemic levels of productivity. However, taxpayers should always take the appropriate steps to ensure that their returns are timely filed and that they have proof of when and what was filed with the IRS. This includes making copies of paper filed returns, using IRS-approved mail delivery services such as the US Postal Service and certain private delivery services and retaining electronic receipts for electronically filed returns. Because processing times for mailed returns are still slow, taxpayers should consider the potential advantages to filing timely but in paper through the mail for purposes of the period of limitations on assessment of additional tax in Internal Revenue Code Section 6501.




Weekly IRS Roundup July 18 – July 22, 2022

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of July 18, 2022 – July 22, 2022. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

July 18, 2022: The IRS issued Tax Tip 2022-108, reminding people that they can get the latest IRS news through the agency’s verified social media accounts and by subscribing to e-news services.

July 18, 2022: The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released its Fiscal Year 2022 IRS Federal Information Security Modernization Act Evaluation report. In the report, TIGTA determined that the Cybersecurity Program was not effective in 17 out of 20 metrics. (TIGTA does not make recommendations as part of its evaluation.)

July 19, 2022: The IRS announced that the Security Summit partners are encouraging tax professionals to inform clients about the IRS Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program to help protect people against tax-related identity theft. This announcement came during the first of the five-part summer series to highlight the critical steps tax professionals can take to protect client data and their businesses.

July 19, 2022: The IRS reminded 2021 tax extension filers not to wait until October to file their returns. (The IRS estimated that 19 million taxpayers requested an extension to file their 2021 tax return.) The announcement urges taxpayers to file their returns as soon as they have all the necessary information and to avoid the October 17 deadline and last-minute rush.

July 19, 2022: The IRS issued Tax Tip 2022-110, which contains information on reporting independent contractor compensation of $600 or more. This is completed using Form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation.

July 20, 2022: The IRS announced a new five-year strategic plan that outlines its goals to improve taxpayer service and tax administration. The IRS Strategic Plan FY 2022-2026 will serve as a roadmap to help guide the agency’s programs and operations and to meet the changing needs of taxpayers and members of the tax community. The plan also focuses on four goals to improve customer service: (1) Service; (2) Enforcement; (3) People and (4) Transformation. We will be posting more information about the plan on the blog in the coming days.

July 20, 2022: The IRS issued Tax Tip 2022-110, reminding taxpayers of the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), an independent organization within the IRS that helps to protect taxpayer rights. The tax tip also includes information on the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR). We previously wrote an article explaining what TAS does and how it can be utilized by all types of taxpayers, as well as a post about how taxpayers can utilize the TBOR.

July 20, 2022: The IRS issued a notice and request for comments for [...]

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Weekly IRS Roundup December 20 – December 24, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of December 20, 2021 – December 24, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

December 20, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing that victims of this month’s tornadoes in parts of Illinois and Tennessee will have until May 16, 2022, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

December 20, 2021: The IRS released instructions for Form 8992, U.S. Shareholder Calculation of Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (GILTI), to reflect a new separate Schedule A and eliminate the requirement for domestic partnerships to file the form.

December 20, 2021: The IRS released Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax (for Individuals), which was updated for the 2021 tax year. This publication covers the general rules for filing a federal income tax return and supplements the information contained in tax form instructions.

December 21, 2021: The IRS released a memorandum that reissues interim guidance AP-08-0521-0015 concerning procedures for accepting images of signatures and digital signatures and approval to receive documents by email and transmit documents to taxpayers. The memorandum is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, where the IRS took several steps to protect employees while still delivering on their mission-critical functions.

December 21, 2021: The IRS released Published 15, (Circular E), Employer’s Tax Guide, which explains tax responsibilities as an employer. The updates reflect COVID-19 related employment tax credits and other tax relief.

December 22, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing that victims of Hurricane Ida in six states now have until February 15, 2022 (extended from January 3), to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. The updated relief covers the entire states of Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as parts of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

December 23, 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.




Weekly IRS Roundup November 1 – November 5, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of November 1, 2021 – November 5, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

November 1, 2021: The IRS released a memorandum, providing guidance on the refund recoupment process for employees of Specialty Collection Offer in Compromise. Beginning with offers accepted on or after November 1, 2021, the offer in the compromise refund recoupment process will no longer be applicable for offsetting tax periods included on Form 656.

November 1, 2021: The IRS released a memorandum, extending certain temporary guidance related to taxpayer contact, initial contact and asset evaluations with respect to Internal Revenue Manual SBSE-05-0321-0019, Extension of Temporary Guidance for Field Collection and Specialty Collection Offers in Compromise Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Resumption of NFTL Procedures. The memorandum also extends the waiver that requires a field call prior to acceptance of certain Offers in Compromise in accordance with IRM 5.8.4.8(10) until January 31, 2022. The temporary guidance regarding Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) determinations and filings was not extended.

November 2, 2021: The IRS released the IRS Chief Counsel code and subject matter directory for November 2021.

November 3, 2021: The IRS published a news release, reminding taxpayers that a special tax provision will allow more Americans to easily deduct up to $600 in donations to qualifying charities on their 2021 federal income tax return. A temporary law change now permits them to claim a limited deduction on their 2021 federal income tax returns for cash contributions made to qualifying charitable organizations.

November 3, 2021: The IRS published FAQs concerning carried interest reporting details for partnerships. The purpose of the FAQs is to provide guidance relating to both pass-through entity filing and reporting requirements and owner taxpayer filing requirements in accordance with US Department of the Treasury (Treasury) regulations revised in T.D. 9945 (concerning guidance under Section 1061, which recharacterizes certain net long-term capital gains of a partner that holds one or more applicable partnership interests as short-term capital gains).

November 3, 2021: The IRS published a news release, announcing that victims of Hurricane Ida in parts of Connecticut now have until January 3, 2022, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

November 3, 2021: The IRS and Treasury published a notice and request for comments concerning third-party disclosure requirements in IRS regulations. Written comments are due on or before January 3, 2022.

November 5, 2021: The IRS published a practice unit concerning expense allocation and apportionment when calculating a foreign tax credit under Section 904. The practice unit was revised to correct an error and supersedes the August 29, 2016, practice unit with the same title.

November 5, 2021: The IRS and Treasury
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Weekly IRS Roundup October 25 – October 29, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of October 25, 2021 – October 29, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

October 25, 2021: The IRS released a memorandum implementing the Large Partnership Compliance (LPC) Pilot Program, including the identification, selection and delivery of large partnership tax returns, exam procedures and feedback.

October 25, 2021: The IRS released a memorandum providing emergency guidance on emails with personal accounts in exigent circumstances to IRS employees responsible for protecting sensitive but unclassified data, including tax information and personally identifiable information.

October 26, 2021: The IRS and US Department of the Treasury (Treasury) published a notice and request for comments concerning the foreign tax credit used by individuals, estates or trusts. Comments are requested on Form 1116, Foreign Tax Credit (Individual, Estate or Trust), and Schedules B and C, which are used by individuals (including nonresident aliens), estates or trusts who paid foreign income taxes on US taxable income to compute the foreign tax credit. Written comments are due on or before December 27, 2021.

October 26, 2021: The IRS published a practice unit examining education expenses claimed by Nonresident Alien Individual (NRA) employees. The unit focuses on examining the education expenses claimed by NRAs engaged in a US trade or business as employees and discusses the issues and audit steps that examiners will need to consider for these taxpayers.

October 27, 2021: The IRS published a new release announcing that victims of Hurricane Ida in parts of Mississippi now have additional time—until January 3, 2022—to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. The deadline remains November 1, 2021, for affected taxpayers in other parts of Mississippi.

October 28, 2021: The IRS and Treasury published a notice and request for comments concerning Form 3468 (Investment Credit). The form is used to compute taxpayers’ credit against their income tax for certain expenses incurred for their trades or businesses. Written comments are due on or before December 27, 2021.

October 29, 2021: The IRS and Treasury published a notice and request for comments concerning Form SS-4 (Application for Employer Identification Number). The form is used by taxpayers who are required to have an identification number for use on any return, statement or other document to obtain such number. Written comments are due on or before December 28, 2021.

October 29, 2021: The IRS and Treasury published a notice and request for comments concerning rules relating to the manner and method of reporting and paying the nondeductible 50% excise tax imposed by Section 5881 with respect to the receipt of greenmail. Written comments are due on or before December 28, 2021.

October 29, 2021: The IRS released a memorandum [...]

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Weekly IRS Roundup September 20 – 24, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of September 20 – 24, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

September 22, 2021: The US Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the IRS published final regulations under IRC § 301. The regulations update existing regulations under IRC § 301 to reflect statutory changes made by the Technical and Miscellaneous Revenue Act of 1988, which changes provide that the amount of a distribution of property made by a corporation to its shareholder is the fair market value of the distributed property. The regulations affect shareholders that receive a distribution of property from a corporation.

September 22, 2021: The IRS introduced a new webpage that provides information to taxpayers whose large refunds are subject to further review by the Joint Committee on Taxation.

September 22, 2021: The IRS released instructions for Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income, to reflect the addition of Schedules K-2 and K-3. The new schedules assist partnerships in providing partners with the information necessary for the partners to complete their returns with respect to the international tax provisions of the IRC. The IRS also released related instructions for Form 1120-S, U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation, to reflect Schedules K-2 and K-3, which assist with reporting items of international tax relevance from the operation of an S corporation.

September 24, 2021: The Treasury Department and the IRS published final regulations under IRC under sections 250 and 951A addressing the calculation of qualified business asset investment for qualified improvement property under the alternative depreciation system. The regulations also deal with the transition rules relating to the impact on loss accounts of net operating loss carrybacks allowed by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The final regulations affect United States shareholders of controlled foreign corporations, domestic corporations eligible for the section 250 deduction and taxpayers that claim credits or deductions for foreign income taxes.

September 24, 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.




Weekly IRS Roundup September 13 – 17, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of September 13, 2021 – September 17, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

September 13, 2021: The IRS issued a news release concerning resources available to help small businesses learn their employer tax responsibilities and to help their employees.

September 13, 2021: The IRS postponed various tax filing and payment deadlines for victims of Hurricane Ida in parts of Pennsylvania. Victims now have until January 3, 2022, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

September 14, 2021: The US Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the IRS published a notice and request for comments concerning the interest rates and appropriate foreign loss payment patterns for determining the qualified insurance income of certain controlled corporations under IRC § 954(f). Written comments should be received on or before November 15, 2021.

September 14, 2021: The IRS issued a news release reminding employers about a valuable tax credit available to them for hiring long-term unemployment recipients and other groups of workers facing significant employment barriers.

September 15, 2021: The Treasury and the IRS published a notice and request for comments concerning forms related to foreign account tax compliance act registration (FATCA), including Forms 8966, 8957, 8966-C, 8809-I and 8508-I. Written comments should be received on or before November 15, 2021.

September 16, 2021: The IRS issued a news release reminding taxpayers who asked for an extension to file their 2020 return that they should file on or before October 15, 2021, to avoid the penalty for filing late.

September 16, 2021: The IRS published a practice unit concerning the limitation of exchange gain or loss on payment or disposition of debt instrument.

September 16, 2021: The Treasury and the IRS published a notice and request for comments on Revenue Procedure 99-17 that prescribes the time and manner for dealers in commodities and traders in securities or commodities to elect to use the mark-to-market method of accounting under IRC § 475(e) or IRC § 475(f). Written comments should be received on or before November 15, 2021.

September 16, 2021: The Treasury and the IRS published a notice and request for comments on Revenue Procedure 2003-33, which provides qualifying taxpayers with an extension of time—pursuant to Treasury Regulations Section 301.9100-3—to file an election described in IRC § 338(a) or IRC § 338(h)(10) to treat the purchase of a corporation’s stock as an asset acquisition. Written comments should be received on or before November 15, 2021.

September 17, 2021: The Treasury and the IRS published a notice and request for comments on forms used by business entity taxpayers, including Forms 1065, 1066, 1120, 1120-C, 1120-F, 1120-H, 1120-ND, 1120-S, [...]

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