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Tax Alerts
May 14, 2021
Tax Briefing(s)

The IRS has postponed the federal tax filing and payment deadlines, and associated interest, penalties, and additions to tax, for certain taxpayers who have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. 


The IRS has provided guidance related to the temporary 100-percent deduction for business meals provided by a restaurant. The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 ( P.L. 116-260) temporarily increased the deduction from 50 percent to 100 percent for a business’s restaurant food and beverage expenses for 2021 and 2022. All other food and beverage expenses are still subject to the 50 percent deduction limitation unless some other exception applies.


The IRS has issued guidance for employers claiming the employee retention credit under Act Sec. 2301 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) ( P.L. 116-136), as modified by Act Secs. 206 and 207 of the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 (Relief Act) (Division EE of P.L. 116-260), for the first and second calendar quarters in 2021. The guidance amplifies previous guidance which addressed amendments made by section 206 of the Relief Act for calendar quarters in 2020.


The IRS has issued guidance clarifying that amounts paid for personal protective equipment—such as masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes—for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19 PPE) are treated as amounts paid for medical care under Code Sec. 213(d).


The U.S. Department of Labor has published a new webpage with guidance implementing the Continuation of Health Coverage premium assistance provisions of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), to provide full COBRA premium assistance to certain individuals who experienced a reduction in hours or involuntary termination of employment.


The IRS has announced that, under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) ( P.L. 117-2), the requirement that taxpayers increase their tax liability by all or a portion of their excess advance payments of the Premium Tax Credit (excess APTC) is suspended for tax year (TY) 2020.


The IRS has extended the penalty relief provided in Notice 2020-22, I.R.B. 2020-17, 664, for failure to deposit employment taxes, to eligible employers that reduce their required deposits in anticipation of the following credits.


Continuing an ongoing effort to help those experiencing homelessness during the pandemic, the IRS has reminded people who do not have a permanent address or a bank account that may still qualify for Economic Impact Payments (EIP) and other tax benefits.


Death benefits that an S corporation provided to its sole shareholder under a split-dollar life insurance arrangement were employee compensation rather than a corporate distribution. In reaching this decision, the Tax Court firmly rejected the contrary conclusion reached by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in J.J. Machacek, CA-6, 2018-2 U.S.T.C. 50,447.


The termination date for an empowerment zone designation under Code Sec. 1391 is generally deemed to extend until December 31, 2025. However, the state or local government that nominated the zone may decline the deemed extension.


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.