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Final regulations dealing with the 100 percent bonus depreciation allowance for qualified property acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017, allow property which is constructed under a pre-September 28, 2017 binding contract to qualify for the 100 percent rate. The final regulations adopt proposed regulations ( REG-104397-18) with certain modifications, including a revised constructed property rule. In addition, the IRS has issued a new set of proposed regulations dealing with issues it is not ready to finalize.



The IRS has issued final regulations that amend the rules relating to hardship distributions from Code Sec. 401(k) plans. The final regulations are substantially similar to the proposed regulations. Further, plans that complied with the proposed regulations satisfy the final regulations as well. The regulations are effective on September 23, 2019.


For a taxpayer using an accrual method of accounting, the all events test is not met for item of gross income any later than when is included in revenue on an applicable financial statement (AFS) or other financial statement specified by the Treasury Secretary. How the AFS income inclusion rule applies to accrual method taxpayers with an AFS is described and clarified by Proposed Reg. §1.451-3.



Taxpayers may use the automatic consent procedures to change accounting methods to comply with the recent proposed regulations described above. Rev. Proc. 2018-31, I.R.B. 2018-22, 637, is modified.


Amendments to have been proposed to update the information reporting regulations under Code Sec. 6033, which generally apply to organizations exempt from tax under Code Sec. 501(a). The proposed regulations reflect statutory amendments and certain grants of reporting relief announced through guidance that has been made since the current regulations were adopted. The amendments and grants of relief apply particularly with respect to tax-exempt organizations required to file an annual Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, or a Form 990-EZ information return.


Tax reform discussions continue on Capitol Hill with legislation expected to be released very soon. GOP lawmakers in the House and Senate appear to be aiming for a comprehensive overhaul of the Tax Code. President Trump and Republicans in Congress have set out an ambitious schedule of passing a tax reform bill before year-end. 


Holiday gifts made to customers are generally deductible as ordinary and necessary business expenses as long as the taxpayer can demonstrate that such gifts maintain or improve customer goodwill. Such gifts must bear a direct relationship to the taxpayer's business and must be made with a reasonable expectation of a financial return commensurate with the amount of the gift. However, the $25 annual limitation per recipient on deductibility is applicable to holiday gifts, unless a statutory exceptions applies.


For purposes of federal tax, employers must withhold and pay FICA taxes (7.65%) if they paid a household employee cash wages of at least $2,000 in 2016 or in 2017 ($2,100 in 2018). Employers must pay FUTA tax (6%) if they paid total cash wages of at least $1,000 in a calendar quarter to household employees. A homeowner may be an “employer” to a housekeeper; or, if enough evidence is shown, merely a recipient of services by an independent contractor or self-employed individual.


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.