Newsletters

Tax Alerts
December 01, 2020
Tax Briefing(s)

The IRS has released the annual inflation adjustments for 2021 for the income tax rate tables, and for over 50 other tax provisions. The IRS makes these cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) each year to reflect inflation.


The IRS has released the 2021 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for pension plan dollar limitations and other retirement-related provisions.


The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in California v. Texas, the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA expanded insurance coverage, and includes popular provisions such as required coverage of preexisting medical conditions.


The IRS has provided guidance to taxpayers that want to apply either Reg. §1.168(k)-2 and Reg. §1.1502-68, or want to rely on proposed regulations under NPRM REG-106808-19.


The IRS has issued final regulations to update the life expectancy and distribution period tables under the required minimum distribution (RMD) rules. The tables reflect the general increase in life expectancy. The tables would apply for distribution calendar years beginning on or after January 1, 2022, with transition relief.


The IRS has released guidance on its website for employers and employees regarding deferral of employee Social Security tax under Notice 2020-65, I.R.B. 2020-38, 567.


The IRS intends to issue proposed regulations to clarify that state and local income taxes imposed on and paid by a partnership or an S corporation are deductible by the partnership or S corporation in computing non-separately stated taxable income for the year of the payment. The proposed regulations are intended to provide certainty to individual partners and S corporation shareholders in calculating their state and local tax (SALT) deduction limitations.


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.