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Weekly IRS Roundup July 19 – July 23, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of July 19, 2021 – July 23, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

July 19, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing an enhancement to its online account systems, specifically that tax professionals and taxpayers may now initiate and execute a Power of Attorney or Tax Information Authorization online in lieu of using Forms 2848 and 8821, respectively.

July 20, 2021: The IRS issued a news release urging tax professionals to use multi-factor authentication technology to protect taxpayers’ information from identity and data theft.

July 21, 2021: The IRS issued proposed regulations expanding electronic filing requirements with respect to various business tax returns and statements, pursuant to the Taxpayer First Act of 2019 provisions and related legislation.

July 21, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing that, in partnership with local civic organizations, events will be held in several cities across the country on July 23 – 24, 2021, to assist eligible families in registering for advance payments of the Child Tax Credit.

July 21, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing the disbursement of more than 2.2 million Economic Impact Payments worth more than $4 billion, bringing the total amount of disbursements under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to more than 171 million payments worth more than $400 billion.

July 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 Le Chen in our Washington, DC, office for this week’s roundup.




Weekly IRS Roundup July 12 – July 16, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of July 12, 2021 – July 16, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

July 12, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing the launch of a Spanish-language version of the Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant, an online tool designed to assist families in determining their eligibility for advance payments of the Child Tax Credit.

July 13, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing the imminent issuance of another round of tax refunds to taxpayers who paid taxes on unemployment compensation in 2020, pursuant to the retroactive exclusion of such compensation from 2020 taxable income under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

July 14, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing the start of a summer campaign by the Security Summit, a partnership between the IRS, state tax agencies and private organizations to raise awareness within the tax community about identity theft and data security.

July 15, 2021: The IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2021-14, providing various prescribed interest rates for federal income tax purposes for August 2021.

July 15, 2021: The IRS issued Notice 2021-44, providing the monthly update to certain interest rates used for pension plan funding and distribution purposes.

July 15, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing the disbursement of the July round of advance payments of the Child Tax Credit, consisting of approximately 35 million payments worth approximately $15 billion.

July 16, 2021: The IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2021-30, updating the procedures for the correction programs under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), a program for retirement plans to come into compliance with certain requirements under sections 401, 403 and 408 of the Code.

July 16, 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 Le Chen in our Washington, DC, office for this week’s roundup.




Weekly IRS Roundup July 5 – July 9, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of July 5, 2021 – July 9, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

July 6, 2021: The IRS—in conjunction with the US Department of Labor and the US Department of Health and Human Services—released temporary regulations implementing provisions of the No Surprises Act, enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and designed to protect persons with health insurance from “surprise” medical bills for certain medical services. The IRS separately released proposed regulations with respect to a subset of the temporary regulations, containing the same text.

July 6, 2021: The IRS issued a set of FAQs and an associated news release, answering questions regarding COVID-related grants provided to certain transportation companies under the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act.

July 7, 2021: The IRS issued a news release reminding taxpayers that, in partnership with local civic organizations, special events will be held in 12 cities on July 9 – 10, 2021, to assist eligible families in registering for advance payments of the Child Tax Credit.

July 9, 2021: The IRS issued Notice 2021-38 and an accompanying news release, providing guidance regarding the requirements (as enacted under section 432(k) of the Code as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021) for certain multiemployer pension plans to obtain special financial assistance under section 4262 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), as enacted by the same Act.

July 9, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing that July 13, 2021, is the final day to register for the 2021 IRS Nationwide Tax Forum, an annual series of continuing education seminars for tax professionals to be held virtually from July 20, 2021 through August 19, 2021.

July 9, 2021: The IRS issued a news release reminding taxpayers of the resources available on irs.gov to assist with answering tax questions.

July 9, 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 Le Chen in our Washington, DC, office for this week’s roundup.




IRS Issues Annual “Dirty Dozen” List of Tax-Related Scams

Each year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publishes a list of tax-related scams, which it calls the “Dirty Dozen.” This year, it provided a “Dirty Dozen” scam series warning taxpayers of such scams.

In IR-2021-135 (June 28, 2021), the IRS rolled out its “Dirty Dozen” list for 2021, warning taxpayers to look out for 12 nefarious schemes and scams. The 2021 list is separated into the following four categories:

  • Pandemic-related scams, such as Economic Impact Payment theft
  • Personal information cons including phishing, ransomware and phone “vishing”
  • Ruses focusing on unsuspecting victims, such as fake charities and senior/immigrant fraud
  • Schemes that persuade taxpayers into unscrupulous actions, such as Offer In Compromise mills and syndicated conservation easements

In IR-2021-137 (June 29, 2021), the IRS advised taxpayers to look out for unexpected schemes in the form of emails, texts, social media messages and phone calls. These phishing scams target taxpayers and tax professionals and can seem legitimate at first glance. For example, emails or phone calls purporting to be from the IRS may request financial information or request that the recipient link to an attachment. Some scams utilize social media and seek to use events like COVID-19 to trick people. Recipients of such unsolicited emails or phone calls can report the actions to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

In IR-2021-141 (June 30, 2021), the IRS shared five scams relating to requests for donations to fake charities, tax scams targeting immigrants and senior citizens, offer in compromise mills, unscrupulous tax return preparers and unemployment insurance fraud.

In IR- 2021-144 (July 1, 2021), the IRS concluded its series by warning taxpayers to watch out for certain transactions and arrangements marketed by promoters.

Prior year information on the “Dirty Dozen” lists can be found here.

Practice Point: Taxpayers and tax professionals need to be vigilant in protecting against tax-related scams and schemes. If you doubt the legitimacy of a contact purporting to be from the IRS, make sure to confirm the identity of the contact with IRS personnel. For example, we recently received an unsolicited email from an irs.gov address and, to ensure the email was legitimate, we reached out to IRS personnel and were able to confirm that the email was legitimate. However, we have had other situations where emails and phone calls purporting to be from the IRS were from third parties with no connection to the government.




Weekly IRS Roundup June 14 – June 18, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of June 14, 2021 – June 18, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

June 14, 2021: The IRS issued a news release unveiling updates to its online Non-Filer Sign-Up Tool, expanding the scope of the tool to assist families who do not normally file tax returns to register for and receive monthly advance payments of the Child Tax Credit (as expanded by the American Rescue Plan of 2021).

June 15, 2021: The IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2021-12, providing various prescribed interest rates for federal income tax purposes for July 2021.

June 16, 2021: The IRS issued corrections to final regulations published on January 5, 2021, regarding simplified accounting rules for small businesses under sections 263A, 448, 460 and 471 of the Code.

June 16, 2021: The IRS issued Notice 2021-37, providing the monthly update to certain interest rates used for pension plan funding and distribution purposes.

June 17, 2021: The IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2021-28, providing procedures for taxpayers to change to the alternative depreciation system of accounting under section 168(g) of the Code with respect to certain residential real property placed in service prior to 2018 as required by the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020.

June 17, 2021: The IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2021-29, providing simplified procedures for certain partnerships to file amended partnership returns to comply with the procedures for tax accounting with respect to residential real property discussed in Revenue Procedure 2021-28.

June 18, 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 Le Chen in our Washington, DC, office for this week’s roundup.




Pro Bono Update: A Team Effort by Tax Helpers

Our Tax Practice Group recently wrote an article for the American Bar Association’s quarterly newsletter on pro bono matters entitled, “A Team Effort by Tax Helpers.” The article discusses our recent pro bono efforts, which includes teaming up with a low income taxpayer clinic in a docketed Tax Court case. (The full article can be accessed here.)

As we have written in the past, we believe tax practitioners should strive to assist low income taxpayers in their disputes with the Internal Revenue Service to ensure taxpayers of limited means have access to full and adequate representation. We know many other law firms and tax volunteers provide such pro bono services and we look forward to continuing to help those in need.




Weekly IRS Roundup June 7 – June 11, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of June 7, 2021 – June 11, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

June 7, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing it has begun sending letters to inform more than 36 million American families of their potential eligibility to receive monthly Child Tax Credit payments beginning in July, pursuant to the expansion of the Child Tax Credit under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).

June 8, 2021: The IRS issued a news release, soliciting applications for 80 vacancies within its Procurement office, including vacancies for contract specialists who assist the IRS in the procurement and administration of third-party contracts.

June 8, 2021: The IRS issued a news release reminding taxpayers who make estimated tax payments that the second installment of estimated taxes for 2021 is due June 15, 2021.

June 9, 2021: The IRS issued a news release announcing the disbursement of more than 2.3 million Economic Impact Payments worth more than $4.2 billion, bringing the total amount of disbursements under ARPA to more than 169 million payments worth approximately $395 billion.

June 10, 2021: The IRS issued Notice 2021-36, announcing that the applicability date for certain regulations under sections 59A and 6038A of the Code, which set forth various reporting requirements with respect to qualified derivative payments (QDPs) for purposes of the base erosion and anti-abuse tax (BEAT), is delayed to the 2023 taxable year.

June 11, 2021: The IRS issued final regulations regarding the new mandatory 60-day postponement of certain tax deadlines due to a federally-declared disaster, enacted as section 7805A(d) of the Code by the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020.

June 11, 2021: The IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2021-11, providing the semi-annual Standard Industry Fare Level (SIFL) rates and terminal charges used in computing the value of noncommercial flights on employer-provided aircrafts for purposes of the taxation of fringe benefits under section 61 of the Code. The Revenue Ruling provides both unadjusted SIFL rates and SIFL rates adjusted for relief provided to the airline industry by COVID-related legislation.

June 11, 2021: The IRS issued an Action on Decision, announcing it would not acquiesce to TriNet Group, Inc. v. United States, 979 F.3d 1311 (11th Cir. 2020), which held that a professional employer organization (PEO) had “control of the payment of wages” to its clients’ employees and therefore the PEO—not its clients—was the “employer” (under section 3401(d) of the Code) eligible to claim Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tip tax credits with respect to such wages.

June 11, 2021: The IRS issued a news release and two sets of FAQs, providing assistance to families and small businesses claiming [...]

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Weekly IRS Roundup May 31 – June 4, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of May 31, 2021 – June 4, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

June 1, 2021: The IRS issued a news release, soliciting applications for the IRS Advisory Council, a forum consisting of representatives of the public to advise the IRS regarding various tax administration issues.

June 2, 2021: The IRS issued a news release, reminding taxpayers living and working abroad of the June 15, 2021, deadline for filing their 2020 US federal income tax returns.

June 4, 2021: The IRS issued Notice 2021-34, providing the applicable reference price and associated credit amount used in determining the marginal well production credit under section 45I of the Code.

June 4, 2021: The IRS issued Announcement 2021-11, announcing that the United States and Switzerland have entered into an arrangement listing the US and Swiss pension and retirement plans, which now include various US and Swiss individual retirement savings plans that may qualify for the exemption from withholding on dividends under the US-Switzerland tax treaty.

June 4, 2021: The IRS issued a news release, announcing the issuance of more than 2.8 million refunds to taxpayers who paid taxes on unemployment compensation in 2020, compensation that was retroactively excluded from 2020 taxable income by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

June 4, 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 Le Chen in our Washington, DC, office for this week’s roundup.




Weekly IRS Roundup May 24 – May 28, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of May 24, 2021 – May 28, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

May 24, 2021: The IRS issued a news release, announcing that the 2021 IRS Nationwide Tax Forum—an annual series of continuing education seminars for tax professionals—will be held virtually from July 20, 2021, through August 19, 2021.

May 26, 2021: The IRS issued a news release, announcing the disbursement of more than 1.8 million Economic Impact Payments worth more than $3.5 billion, bringing the total amount of disbursements under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to nearly 167 million payments worth approximately $391 billion.

May 27, 2021: The IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2021-10 and an accompanying news release, setting forth the overpayment and underpayment interest rates under section 6621 of the Code for Q3 of 2021.

May 28, 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 Le Chen in our Washington, DC, office for this week’s roundup.




Supreme Court Opens Door to APA Challenge of Overreaching IRS Information Reporting Regime

In CIC Services, LLC v. Internal Revenue Service, a unanimous US Supreme Court allowed CIC, a tax advisor, to proceed with a pre-enforcement challenge to the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) “reportable transaction” regime. CIC alleged that the IRS violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) when it issued Notice 2016-66 (Notice), deeming certain micro-captive insurance transactions as “reportable transactions” and sought an order enjoining enforcement of the Notice. The IRS sought to avoid judicial review by hiding behind the Anti-Injunction Act’s (AIA) bar on suits brought “for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax.” Disagreeing with the trial and appellate courts, the Supreme Court allowed CIC’s suit to proceed, finding that CIC was challenging a regulatory mandate separate from any tax. As the Court explained, “The tax appears on the scene – as criminal penalties do too – only to sanction that mandate’s violation.” By choosing to address their concerns about micro-captive transactions by imposing a non-tax reporting obligation, Congress and the IRS “took suits to enjoin their regulatory response outside the Anti-Injunction Act’s domain.”

On remand, the Court’s decision leaves open questions that the lower courts must now address while also providing meaningful clues about how the Court may approach future disputes over IRS enforcement strategies. Such questions include: (1) does the reportable transaction regime as the IRS currently administers it violate the APA (See: Mann Construction, Inc. v. United States, No. 1:20-cv-11307 (E.D. Mich. May 13, 2021) (holding that IRS Notice requiring disclosure of listed transactions was not subject to APA’s notice-and-comment requirement); (2) would the AIA bar a suit to enjoin enforcement of a reporting obligation brought by a taxpayer, as opposed to an advisor; (3) how onerous must the challenged requirement be; (4) how disconnected from the tax penalty must the challenged requirement be and (5) is the existence of criminal penalties sufficient and/or necessary to exempt a challenge from the AIA?

Practice Point: APA challenges in tax cases have steadily increased since the Supreme Court’s rejection of tax exceptionalism 10 years ago in Mayo Foundation for Medical Education & Research v. United States, 562 U.S. 44 (2011). As tax law continues to get more complicated and the IRS issues additional guidance, we can expect this trend to continue. Understanding how to use the APA to challenge the overreaching of the IRS is an important tool for taxpayers and tax advisors alike. In the absence of a clear congressional mandate, any new enforcement policy issued by the IRS may be fair game for an APA challenge. The Supreme Court has opened the door to judicial review of unsanctioned IRS programs that place unfair burdens on taxpayers. And, this issue extends beyond the reportable transaction regime, including to the information reporting proposals recently announced by the Biden Administration.




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