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The IRS has corrected Notice 2019-20, which provided a waiver of penalties under Code Secs. 6722(failure to furnish correct payee statements) and 6698 (failure to file partnership return) for certain partnerships that file and furnish Schedules K-1 to Form 1065 without reporting negative tax basis capital account information. The updated Notice extends the penalty waiver to Code Secs. 6038(b)and (c) and any other section of the Code, for partnerships that fail to file and furnish Schedules K-1 or any other form or statement to Form 8865, Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Partnerships, for any penalty that arises solely as a result of failing to include negative tax basis capital account information.


The upper-tier controlled foreign corporation (CFC) partners of a domestic partnership were required to include in gross income their distributive share of income inclusions under subpart F from lower-tier CFCs, and increase earnings and profits (E&P) by the same amount. Regulations under Code Sec. 964provided preliminary steps for conforming a foreign corporation’s profit and loss statement to that of a domestic corporation. The general rules of Code Sec. 312 that governed earnings and profits computations of domestic corporations then applied.


The IRS has issued proposed regulations on the information reporting requirements under Code Secs. 101(a)(3) and 6050Y, added by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ( P.L. 115-97). The regulations are to apply to reportable life insurance policy sales made, and reportable death benefits paid, after December 31, 2017. Transition relief applies until these regulations are finalized.


Nina E. Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA), has announced her decision to retire this summer from the esteemed NTA position at the IRS. Olson has served as taxpayers’ "voice" within the IRS and before Congress for the last 18 years.


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.