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Weekly IRS Roundup May 31 – June 3, 2022

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of May 31, 2022 – June 3, 2022. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

May 31, 2022: The IRS issued a press release, reminding taxpayers living and working outside the United States that their 2021 federal income tax return is due on June 15, 2022. The deadline applies to both US citizens and resident aliens abroad, including those with dual citizenship. The press release also contains other information to assist said taxpayers with their filings.

June 1, 2022: The IRS issued the first part of its “Dirty Dozen” tax scams for 2022, focusing on the following items:

  • Use of Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust (CRAT) to Eliminate Taxable Gain. In this transaction, appreciated property is transferred to a CRAT. Taxpayers improperly claim the transfer of the appreciated assets to the CRAT, which in and of itself gives those assets a step-up in basis to fair market value as if they had been sold to the trust. The CRAT then sells the property but does not recognize gain because of the claimed step-up in basis. Next, the CRAT uses the proceeds to purchase a single premium immediate annuity (SPIA). The beneficiary reports, as income, only a small portion of the annuity received from the SPIA. Through a misapplication of the law relating to CRATs, the beneficiary treats the remaining payment as an excluded portion representing a return of investment for which no tax is due. Taxpayers seek to achieve this inaccurate result by misapplying the rules under sections 72 and 664.
  • Maltese (or Other Foreign) Pension Arrangements Misusing Treaty. In these transactions, US citizens or US residents attempt to avoid US tax by making contributions to certain foreign individual retirement arrangements in Malta (or possibly other foreign countries). In these transactions, the individual typically lacks a local connection, and local law allows contributions in a form other than cash or does not limit the amount of contributions by reference to income earned from employment or self-employment activities. By improperly asserting that the foreign arrangement is a “pension fund” for US tax treaty purposes, the US taxpayer misconstrues the relevant treaty to improperly claim an exemption from US income tax on earnings in, and distributions from, the foreign arrangement.
  • Puerto Rican and Other Foreign Captive Insurance. In these transactions, US owners of closely held entities participate in a purported insurance arrangement with a Puerto Rican or other foreign corporation with cell arrangements or segregated asset plans in which the US owner has a financial interest. The US-based individual or entity claims deductions for the cost of “insurance coverage” provided by a fronting carrier, which reinsures the “coverage” with the foreign corporation. The characteristics of the purported insurance arrangements typically include one or more of the following: implausible risks covered, non-arm’s length pricing and lack of [...]

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Weekly IRS Roundup August 31 – September 4, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of August 31, 2020 – September 4, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

September 1, 2020: The IRS released for publication in the federal register final regulations providing additional guidance on the base erosion and anti-abuse tax (BEAT) imposed on certain large corporate taxpayers with respect to certain payments made to foreign related parties. The final regulations affect corporations with substantial gross receipts that make payments to foreign related parties.

September 1, 2020: The IRS announced the launch of the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) Centralized Partnership Audit Regime webpage. The Centralized Partnership Audit Regime replaces the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) and the electing large partnership rules. The centralized partnership audit regime, or BBA, is generally effective for tax years beginning January 2018. Under the BBA, the IRS generally assesses and collects any understatement of tax (called an imputed underpayment) at the partnership level.

September 1, 2020: The IRS published a memorandum providing guidance on the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA) until Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) 8.19 is revised. The guidance covers: (1) Appeals TEFRA Team (ATT) and Technical Guidance (TG) referrals; (2) Tax Court rules on BBA partnership proceedings; (3) Tax Computation Specialist (TCS) assistance; (4) Tried Cases and Counsel Settlements; (5) Tax Court Decision Appealed and Final Decision from Appeal; and (6) Department of Justice (DOJ) cases.

September 1, 2020: The IRS announced its intention to issue regulations addressing the application of sections 951 and 951A of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) to certain S corporations (as defined in section 1361(a)(1)) with accumulated earnings and profits, as described in section 316(a)(1) (AE&P). The notice also announces that the US Department of the Treasury and the IRS intend to issue regulations addressing the treatment of qualified improvement property (QIP) under the alternative depreciation system (ADS) of section 168(g) for purposes of calculating qualified business asset investment (QBAI) for purposes of the foreign-derived intangible income (FDII) and global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI) provisions. Comments should be submitted by November 2, 2020.

September 1, 2020: The IRS requested comments on Revenue Procedure 2015-40 (that provides guidance for taxpayers who believe that the actions of the United States, a treaty country or both result or will result in taxation that is contrary to the provisions of an applicable tax treaty) to submit the requested information in order to receive assistance from the IRS official acting as the US competent authority. Comments are due on or before November 2, 2020.

September 3, 2020: The IRS released the fourth quarter update to the 2019–2020 Priority Guidance Plan. The fourth quarter update to the 2019-2020 plan reflects 53 additional projects which have been published [...]

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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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Base Erosion Minimum Tax May Mean Change for Foreign Affiliates of US Multinationals

On November 16, 2017, we participated in a panel discussion at Tax Executives Institute’s (TEI’s) Chicago International Tax Forum regarding base erosion measures under the (then proposed) House and Senate tax reform bills. The House proposed a new 20 percent excise tax on most related-party payments (other than interest) that are deductible or includible in cost of goods sold or depreciable/amortizable basis. The Senate proposed a base erosion minimum tax on certain outbound base erosion payments paid by a corporation to foreign related parties. The conference committee has since submitted a conference report to accompany the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that adopts the Senate’s proposed base erosion measure, with some changes. The base erosion minimum tax is equal to the excess of 10 percent of the modified taxable income of the corporation over an amount equal to the taxpayer’s regular tax liability reduced by certain Chapter 1 credits. The base erosion minimum tax could impact any multinational group in which foreign affiliates provide services, intellectual property, depreciable or amortizable property and other deductible items to related US corporations. It remains to be seen how the base erosion minimum tax will affect businesses in practice, and how countries with which the United States has a tax treaty will respond.




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