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Tax Alerts
October 01, 2020
Tax Briefing(s)

The Treasury and IRS have issued guidance on the recent order by President Trump to defer certain employee payroll tax obligations on wages paid from September 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020. Under the guidance:


The IRS has released the 2020-2021 special per diem rates. Taxpayers use the per diem rates to substantiate the amount of ordinary and necessary business expenses incurred while traveling away from home. These special per diem rates include the special transportation industry meal and incidental expenses (M&IEs) rates, the rate for the incidental expenses only deduction, and the rates and list of high-cost localities for purposes of the high-low substantiation method. Taxpayers using the rates and list of high-cost localities provided in the guidance must comply with Rev. Proc. 2019-48, I.R.B. 2019-51, 1390.


The Treasury and IRS have issued final regulations that limit the Code Sec. 245A dividends received deduction and the Code Sec. 954(c) exception on distributions supported by certain earnings and profits not subject to the integrated international tax regime created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) ( P.L. 115-97). Proposed regulations and temporary regulations, issued on June 18, 2019, are adopted and removed, respectively.


Treasury has issued final and amended regulations on the rules for distributions made by terminated S corporations during the post-termination transition period (PTTP). These regulations apply after an S corporation has become a C corporation.


Final regulations clarify that the amount of the rehabilitation credit for a qualified rehabilitated building (QRB) is determined as a single credit in the year the QRB is placed in service. This is the case even though the credit is allocated ratably over a five-year period. The final regulations adopt without modification proposed regulations released earlier this year ( NPRM REG-124327-19).


The IRS has released final regulations that clarify the definition of a "qualifying relative" for purposes of various provisions for tax years 2018 through 2025. These regulations generally affect taxpayers who claim federal income tax benefits that require a taxpayer to have a qualifying relative.


The IRS has announced that Medicaid coverage of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing and diagnostic services is not minimum essential coverage for purposes of the premium tax credit under Code Sec. 36B.


The IRS has released guidance in the form of questions and answers with respect to certain provisions of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act), and the Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019 (Miners Act).


Final regulations provide additional guidance on the base erosion and anti-abuse tax (BEAT) under Code Sec. 59A. The regulations also address certain aspects of the BEAT under Code Secs. 1502 and 6031.


President Trump recently walked back consideration of capital gains indexing and a payroll tax cut, less than 24 hours after signaling his support for both.


The Senate’s top tax writers have released the first round of bipartisan task force reports examining over 40 expired and soon to be expired tax breaks known as tax extenders. Congress is expected to address these particular tax breaks, as well as temporary tax policy in general, when lawmakers return to Washington, D.C. in September.


Bonus depreciation guidance that applies to property acquired after September 27, 2017, in a tax year that includes September 28, 2017, allows taxpayers to make a late election or revoke a prior valid election to...


The IRS has granted a six-month extension to eligible partnerships to file a superseding Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income, and furnish corresponding Schedules K-1, Partner’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits. For a calendar year partnership, the deadline to file Form 1065 and corresponding Schedules K-1 was March 15, which has now been extended to September 15.


Proposed regulations increase a vehicle’s maximum value for eligibility to use the fleet-average valuation rule or the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule. The increase to $50,000 is effective for the 2018 calendar year. The maximum value is adjusted annually for inflation after 2018. The proposed regulations provide transition rules for certain employers.


The temporary nondiscrimination relief for closed defined benefit plans provided in Notice 2014-5, I.R.B. 2014-2, 276, is extended through plan years beginning in 2020. Notice 2014-5 provided temporary nondiscrimination relief for certain defined benefit pension plans that were "closed" before December 13, 2013. Notice 2014-5, I.R.B. 2014-2, 276, Notice 2015-28, I.R.B. 2015-14, 848, Notice 2016-57, I.R.B. 2016-40, 432, Notice 2017-45, I.R.B. 2017-38, 232, and Notice 2018-69, I.R.B. 2018-37, 426, are modified.


The IRS has adopted final regulations with respect to the allocation by a partnership of foreign income taxes. The final regulations are intended to improve the operation of an existing safe harbor rule. This safe harbor rule, under Reg. §1.704-1(b)(4)(viii), determines whether allocations of creditable foreign tax expenditures (CFTEs) are deemed to be in accordance with the partners’ interests in the partnership.


Transactions involving digital content and cloud computing have become common due to the growth of electronic commerce. The transactions must be classified in terms of character so that various provisions of the Code, such as the sourcing rules and subpart F, can be applied.


The IRS Large Business and International Division (LB&I) has withdrawn its directive to examiners that provided instructions on transfer pricing issue selection related to stock based compensation (SBC) in cost sharing arrangements (CSAs).


On July 1, President Trump signed into law a sweeping, bipartisan IRS reform bill called the Taxpayer First Act ( P.L. 116-25). This legislation aims to broadly redesign the IRS for the first time in over 20 years.


The House has approved a bipartisan repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) so-called "Cadillac"excise tax on certain high-cost insurance plans.


The IRS has released final regulations that clarify the employment tax treatment of partners in a partnership that owns a disregarded entity.


Final regulations allow employers to voluntarily truncate employees’ social security numbers (SSNs) on copies of Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, furnished to employees. The truncated SSNs appear on the forms as IRS truncated taxpayer identification numbers (TTINs). The regulations also clarify and provide an example of how the truncation rules apply to Forms W-2.


IRS final regulations provide rules that apply when the lessor of investment tax credit property elects to pass the credit through to a lessee. If this election is made, the lessee is generally required to include the credit amount in income (50 percent of the energy investment credit). The income is included in income ratably over the shortest MACRS depreciation period that applies to the investment credit property. No basis reduction is made to the investment credit property.


Tax writers in Congress are set to begin debating and writing tax reform legislation. On September 27, the White House and GOP leaders in Congress released a framework for tax reform. The framework sets out broad principles for tax reform, leaving the details to the two tax-writing committees: the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. How quickly lawmakers will write and pass tax legislation is unclear. What is clear is that tax reform is definitely one of the top issues on Congress’ Fall agenda.


As millions of Americans recover from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, Congress is debating disaster tax relief. The relief would enhance the casualty loss rules, relax some retirement savings rules, and make other temporary changes to the tax laws, all intended to help victims of these recent disasters. At press time, a package of temporary disaster tax relief measures is pending in the House. The timeline for Senate action, however, is unclear.


IRS Exam staffing in fiscal year (FY) 2016, the latest tax year with statistics available, reached a 20-year low. As a result, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has reported that the IRS undertook fewer audits.


IRS Chief Counsel, in generic legal advice (AM-2017-003), recently described when a qualified employer may take into account the payroll tax credit for increasing research activities. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act) created the payroll credit aimed at start-ups with little or no income tax liabilities. This tax break allows taxpayers to get the cash benefit of the payroll tax credit sooner as they reduce their payroll tax liability as payroll payments are made, instead of having to wait until the end of the quarter to receive the credit.


Every year, millions of post-secondary students access the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This year, the DRT is unavailable for FAFSA filers because of cybersecurity concerns. The information needed to complete the FAFSA can be found on a previously filed federal income tax return.


As the new administration and Congress get to work, tax reform is high on the agenda. Although legislative language has not been yet released, statements from tax writers in Congress shed some light on various proposals.