Michael R. Repoli, CPA,EA
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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.


Eleventh-hour votes in Congress in December renewed a package of tax extenders for 2014, created new savings accounts for individuals with disabilities, cut the IRS’ budget, and more. At the same time, the votes helped to set the stage for the 114th Congress that convenes this month. Republicans have majorities in the House and Senate and have indicated that taxes are one of the top items on their agenda for 2015.


The IRS is expected to shortly open the 2015 filing season and both the agency and taxpayers are preparing for some turbulence. The IRS is going into the filing season with a reduced budget, which could translate into fewer audits. Legislation passed by Congress in late 2014 could delay the start of the filing season, although to date, the IRS has not announced a delay. Taxpayers and the IRS are on alert for identity theft, a pervasive problem during filing season. Additionally, new requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act kick-in.


Beginning January 1, 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) required individuals to carry minimum essential health coverage or make a shared responsibility payment, unless exempt. Individuals will report on their 2014 federal income tax return if they had minimum essential health coverage for all or part of the year. Individuals who file Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, will indicate on Line 61 if they were covered by minimum essential health coverage for 2014, if they are exempt from the requirement to carry minimum essential health coverage or if they are making an individual shared responsibility payment.


The IRS has announced an increase in the optional business standard mileage reimbursement rate for 2015. The business standard mileage rate increased by one and a half cents, to 57.5 cents (up from 56 cents for 2014). The 2015 standard mileage rate for medical and moving expenses decreased slightly to 23 cents (down from 23.5 cents for 2014). The charitable mileage rate, however, is set by statute at a flat 14 cents per mile without inflation adjustment each year. The revised rates apply to deductible transportation expenses paid or incurred for business or medical/moving expenditures, or qualified charitable miles driven, on or after January 1, 2015.


The upcoming filing season is expected to be challenging for taxpayers and the IRS as new requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act kick-in. Taxpayers, for the first time, must make a shared responsibility payment if they fail to carry minimum essential health care coverage or qualify for an exemption. At the same time, there is growing uncertainty over one of the key elements of the Affordable Care Act: the Code Sec. 36B premium assistance tax credit as litigation makes its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.


Under Code Sec. 6020, the IRS has the authority to prepare and file a substitute tax return for a taxpayer who fails to file a timely return. If a taxpayer does not file a return or cooperate with the IRS on a substitute return, the IRS can prepare and sign a substitute return based on the information it has.


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