Newsletters

Tax Alerts
Tax Briefing(s)

The IRS released the optional standard mileage rates for 2022. Most taxpayers may use these rates to compute deductible costs of operating vehicles for:

  • business,

  • medical, and

  • charitable purposes

Some members of the military may also use these rates to compute their moving expense deductions.


The IRS has encouraged taxpayers to take important actions this month to help them file their tax returns in 2022, including special steps related to Economic Impact Payments and advance Child Tax Credit payments. As a part of a series of reminders to help taxpayers get ready for the upcoming tax filing season, the IRS highlighted a special page the outlines the steps taxpayers can take to make the tax filing season easier.


The IRS has extended the availability of electronic signatures on certain audit and non-audit forms. Through October 31, 2023, taxpayers and their authorized representatives may electronically sign documents and email documents to the IRS. This is an exception to normal policy. Previously, the IRS had allowed e-signatures through the end of 2021.


The IRS has issued guidance for employers on the retroactive termination of the COVID-19 employee retention credit against the employer's share of Medicare tax. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (P.L. 117-58) amended Code Sec. 3134 so that for most employers the credit applies only to wages paid before October 1, 2021. If the employer is a recovery startup business, the credit continues to apply to wages paid before January 1, 2022.


The IRS has reminded tax professionals and taxpayers that they can use digital signatures on a variety of common IRS forms and access a secure online platform to view and make changes to their account. The IRS has balanced the e-signature option with critical security and protection needed against identity theft and fraud.


The IRS has reminded taxpayers that they can get extra protection starting in January by joining the Service's Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) program. The IRS has made recent changes to the program to make it easier for more taxpayers to join. The fastest and easiest way to receive an IP Pin is by using the Get an IP PIN tool.


The Internal Revenue Service is now allowing taxpayers who have had an offer in compromise accepted by the agency to keep their tax refunds instead of the previous policy of having those refunds applied to their outstanding tax debt.


A. Mcnulty, 157 TC —, No. 10, Dec. 61,950

Delivery of coins to the owner of a self-directed "Check Book IRA" was taxable income even though she took the coins as manager of the IRA’s LLC. While an IRA owner may act as a conduit or agent of the IRA custodian, she may do so only as long as she is not in constructive or actual receipt of the IRA assets. The fact that the Check Book IRA website said this would not be treated as a taxable distribution did not constitute reasonable cause for escaping understatement penalties.


The Internal Revenue Service is keeping the pressure on high income taxpayers who do not file their taxes as well as other high wealth taxpayers who may otherwise be hiding their earnings to avoid paying taxes.

And while agents are actively pursuing these people, Darren Guillot, Commissioner of the IRS Small Business/Self-Employed – Collection division said the goal is to avoid as much as possible escalating a case to enforcement proceedings.

His message on November 15 to attendees of the AICPA & CIMA National and Sophisticated Tax Planning Conferences in Washington, D.C., was a simple one: "Just tell the truth. We want to get you in compliance. We want you to file on time and pay what you owe. Every case is not criminal. We don’t want any case to be criminal, or enforcement or a seizure."


Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig praised the work of agency employees throughout the COVID-19 pandemic but stated that there simply are not enough of them as the agency is slowly working through the backlog the pandemic caused.

Rettig used that as the foundation to call for not only more funding for the agency, but to encourage people to apply for open positions within the agency, especially as it is facing significant employee shortages in the coming years.


President Trump signed into law the first two phases of the House’s coronavirus economic response package. Meanwhile, the Senate has been developing and negotiating "much bolder" phase three legislation.


"At President Trump’s direction, we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a March 20 tweet. "All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties."


The Treasury Department and IRS have extended the due date for the payment of federal income taxes otherwise due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, as a result of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. The extension is available to all taxpayers, and is automatic. Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or contact the IRS to qualify for the extension. The relief only applies to the payment of federal income taxes. Penalties and interest on any remaining unpaid balance will begin to accrue on July 16, 2020.


The IRS has provided emergency relief for health savings accounts (HSAs) and COVID-19 health plans costs. Under this relief, health plans that otherwise qualify as high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) will not lose that status merely because they cover the cost of testing for or treatment of COVID-19 before plan deductibles have been met. In addition, any vaccination costs will count as preventive care and can be paid for by an HDHP.


The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has requested additional guidance on tax reform’s Code Sec. 199A qualified business income (QBI) deduction.


The IRS has issued guidance that:

  • exempts certain U.S. citizens and residents from Code Sec. 6048 information reporting requirements for their transactions with, and ownership of, certain tax-favored foreign retirement trusts and foreign nonretirement savings trusts; and
  • establishes procedures for these individuals to request abatement or refund of penalties assessed or paid under Code Sec. 6677 for failing to comply with the information reporting requirements.

On February 11, the White House released President Donald Trump’s fiscal year (FY) 2021 budget proposal, which outlines his administration’s priorities for extending certain tax cuts and increasing IRS funding. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testified before the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) on February 12 regarding the FY 2021 budget proposal.


House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, "Moving Forward Framework"; House Ways and Means Committee, January 29 hearing witnesses’ testimony


House Democratic and Republican tax writers debated the effects of tax reform’s corporate income tax cut during a February 11 hearing convened by Democrats. Democratic lawmakers have consistently called for an increase in the corporate tax rate since it was lowered from 35 percent to 21 percent in 2017 by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) ( P.L. 115-97).


Taxpayers claiming the low-income housing credit should apply the "average income" minimum set aside test by reference to the "very low-income" limits calculated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for purposes of determining eligibility under the HUD Section 8 program. HUD determinations for very low-income housing families are currently used to calculate the low-income housing credit income limits under the alternate "20-50" and "40-60" minimum set-aside tests.


The IRS has provided guidance on qualifying for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is a refundable tax credit that is intended to be a financial boost for families with low to moderate incomes.


The IRS has proposed regulations with guidance for employers on withholding federal income tax from employee’s wages.


On December 20, President Donald Trump signed the bipartisan, year-end government spending and tax package, just hours before federal funding was set to expire. Trump's signature on the over 2,000-page spending package avoided a government shutdown.


The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) ( P.L. 111-148) individual mandate is unconstitutional because it can no longer be read as a tax, and there is no other constitutional provision that justifies this exercise of congressional power. However, the central question of whether the rest of the ACA remains valid after Congress removed the penalty for not having health insurance remained unanswered. Instead, the case was sent back to the district court to reconsider how much of the ACA could survive without the individual mandate penalty.


Proposed qualified opportunity zone regulations issued on October 29, 2018 ( REG-115420-18) and May 1, 2019 ( REG-120186-18) under Code Sec. 1400Z-2 have been finalized with modifications. The regulations. which were issued in a 550 page document, are comprehensive.


The IRS has issued final regulations that provide guidance on transfers of appreciated property by U.S. persons to partnerships with foreign partners related to the transferor. Specifically, the regulations override the general nonrecognition rule under Code Sec. 721(a) unless the partnership adopts the remedial allocation method and certain other requirements are satisfied. The regulations affect U.S. partners in domestic or foreign partnerships.


Proposed qualified opportunity zone regulations issued on October 29, 2018 ( REG-115420-18) and May 1, 2019 ( REG-120186-18) under Code Sec. 1400Z-2 have been finalized with modifications. The regulations. which were issued in a 550 page document, are comprehensive.


The Treasury and IRS have issued final regulations on the due diligence and reporting rules for persons making certain U.S. source payments to foreign persons. Guidance is also provided on reporting by foreign financial institutions on U.S. accounts. The regulations are effective on the date the regulations are published in the Federal Register.


The IRS has released new proposed rules related to charitable contributions made to get around the $10,000/$5,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions. The proposed regulations:


The IRS has issued highly anticipated final regulations on the significant changes made to the foreign tax credit rules by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) ( P.L. 115-97). The final regulations retain the basic approach and structure of the 2018 proposed regulations ( NPRM REG-105600-18). The final regulations also eliminate deadwood, reflect statutory amendments made prior to TCJA, and update expense allocation rules not updated since 1988.


The IRS has released guidance that provides that the requirement to report partners’ shares of partnership capital on the tax basis method will not be effective for 2019 partnership tax years, but will first apply to 2020 partnership tax years.


The IRS has released final regulations that present guidance on how certain organizations that provide employee benefits must calculate unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) under Code Sec. 512(a).


The IRS has issued Reg. §20.2010-1(c) to address the effect of the temporary increase in the basic exclusion amount (BEA) used in computing estate and gift taxes. In addition, Reg. §20.2010-1(e)(3) is amended to reflect the increased BEA for years 2018-2025 ($10 million, as adjusted for inflation). Further, the IRS has confirmed that taxpayers taking advantage of the increased BEA in effect from 2018 to 2025 will not be adversely affected after 2025 when the exclusion amount is set to decrease to pre-2018 levels.


The IRS has released cryptocurrency guidance and frequently asked questions (FAQs) on virtual currency.