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IRS Dirty Dozen (2022)

General Business Tax Credit Compliance 

Taxpayers to Watch Out for Net Operating Loss and Business Loss Limitations Starting in 2021 

IRS Reminds Business Owners to Correctly Identify Workers as Employees or Independent Contractors 

Information About Making 2021 Estimated Tax Payments

Tax Information for Homeowners 

Businesses Can Temporarily Deduct 100% Beginning January 1, 2021 

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 

Federal Income Tax Filing Deadline for Individuals for the 2020 Tax Year Is Extended to May 17, 2021

Partnership Form’s 1065 Schedule K-1 Now Requires Reporting on Tax Basis Only 

IRS Issued Final and Proposed Regulations on Income Subject to a High Rate of Foreign Tax 

Self-Charged Interest through Passthrough Entities 

New Regulations for Determining Economic Nexus in Texas 

Final Regulations Eliminate the Potential Harms to Post-2025 Estates

IRS Published Tax Inflation Adjustment for Tax Year 2020

Treasury Guidance and Proposed Regulations on the Repeal of Section 958(B)(4) 

Section 267A Deduction Disallowance 

2019 Post-Season Filing Update 

The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act: An Increase in Federal Payments for R&D Activity 

2018 Tax Law Change on Meals & Entertainment Deductions 

Check Your FBAR Reporting Obligation to Avoid Significant Penalty 

2018 Reminder for Individual Taxpayers: Time to Check Your Withholding Amount 

2018 Post-Season Filing Update 

2017 Tax Reform Series: Transition for U.S. Shareholders of Foreign Corporations 

IRS Issues New Tax Withholding Tables 

FASB Issues Four Staff Q&A Documents on Implementation Issues Related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 

President Signs Sweeping Tax Overhaul Into Law 

Tax Code Overhaul, Regs and Court Decisions Make 2017 Stand-Out Year 

House Passes Tax Bill; Senate GOP Unveils Plan 

2017 Year-End Tax Planning: Tax Reform, IRS, Court Decisions and More Add to Uncertainties at Year-End

 

Articles

IRS Dirty Dozen (2022)

Summary - The Internal Revenue Service wrapped up its “Dirty Dozen” warning list on June 10, 2022. "Dirty Dozen" is a list of various common tax scams that taxpayers may encounter.

The "Dirty Dozen" list is described as follows:

1.      Use of Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust (CRAT) to Eliminate Taxable Gain.

Taxpayers inappropriately claim the transfer of appreciated assets to a CRAT which gives the assets a step-up in basis to fair market value as if they had been sold to the trust. The CRAT them sells the property and does not recognize gain.

2.      Maltese (or Other Foreign) Pension Arrangements Misusing Treaty.

Taxpayers attempt to avoid U.S. tax by making contributions to certain foreign individual retirement arrangements in Malta (or possibly other foreign countries)

3.      Puerto Rican and Other Foreign Captive Insurance.

U.S owners of closely held entities participate in a purported insurance arrangement with a Puerto Rican or other foreign corporation with cell arrangements or segregated asset plans.

4.      Monetized Installment Sales

These transactions involve the inappropriate use of the installment sale rules by a seller who, in the year of a sale of property, effectively receives the sales proceeds through purported loans. Taxpayers who have engaged in any of these transactions should carefully review the underlying legal requirements and consult an advisor before claiming any tax benefits.

5.       Economic Impact Payment and tax refund scams

Taxpayers should be on the lookout for any text messages, random incoming phone calls or emails inquiring about bank account information, requesting recipients to click a link or verify data. The IRS won’t initiate contact by phone, email, text or social media asking for sensitive information, such as social security numbers or other personal financial information.

6.       Unemployment fraud leading to inaccurate taxpayer 1099-Gs

Scammers have taken advantage of the pandemic by filing fraudulent claims for unemployment compensation using stolen personal information of individuals who have not filed claims. Taxpayers should be on the lookout for a Form 1099-G reporting unemployment compensation they did not receive.

7.       Fake employment offers posted on social media
There have been many reports of fake job postings on social media and these posts entice people to provide their personal financial information.

8.       Fake charities that steal your money

These have always been a problem and donors should take time to do their research. Potential donors should ask the fundraisers for the charity’s exact name, web address and mailing address so this information can be confirmed later.

9.       Identity theft

These scams remain a common threat to taxpayers and tax professionals who don’t adequately protect their personal information. People frequently don’t know they are a victim of identity theft until they are notified by the IRS of a possible issue with their tax return or their return is rejected because their SSN appears on a return already filed.

a.       Text message scams

b.      Email phishing scams

c.       Phone scams

10.   Bogus tax avoidance strategies

These schemes typically target high-net-worth individuals who are looking for ways to avoid paying taxes. The IRS warns anyone thinking about using one of these schemes that the agency continues to improve work in these areas thanks to evolving data analytic tools and enhanced document matching.

a.       Concealing Assets in Offshore Accounts and Improper Reporting of Digital Assets

b.       High-income individuals who don't file tax returns

c.       Abusive Syndicated Conservation Easements

d.       Abusive Micro-Captive Insurance Arrangements

11.  Dangerous spear phishing attacks

Spear phishing is an email scam that attempts to steal a tax professional's software preparation credentials. These thieves try to steal client data and tax preparers' identities in an attempt to file fraudulent tax returns for refunds.

12.   Offer in Compromise mills

Taxpayers should be caution to anyone claiming they can settle tax debt for pennies on the dollar. OIC mills are one example of unscrupulous tax preparers. Taxpayers should be wary of unscrupulous "ghost" preparers and aggressive promises of manufacturing a bigger refund.

More information on 2022 “Dirty Dozen” list can be found on the IRS website.

If you have any additional question, please feel free to contact us at nzhao@malonebailey.com.

General Business Tax Credit Compliance

Summary - For most business owners, General Business Tax Credit (GBTC) offers great benefits by reducing their tax liabilities dollar by dollar. However, GBTC, comprised of over 30 individual business tax credits, is one of the least understood credits available to business owners. In this article, we highlight some the most frequently used credits under GBTC that may be helpful to your business.

Work Opportunity Credit
Employers may take a work opportunity credit for wages paid to employee who is certified as a member of ten targeted groups and begin work before January 1, 2026. The targeted groups for this credit are listed on the IRS website.

The amount of credit is calculated as 40% of up to $6,000 of wages paid to, or incurred on behalf of, an individual who:
Is in their first year of employment
Performs at least 400 hours of services of the employer

Therefore, the maximum tax credit is $2,500 per person. There is also a 25% rate applies to wages for individuals who works fewer than 400 hours but over 120 hours.

Paid Family and Medical Leave Credit
This credit is available for employers who provide paid leave to qualifying employees under Family and Medical Leave Act between in tax year 2018 through 2025.

The credit is equal to the applicable percentage of the amount of wages paid to qualifying employees while on family and medical leave. The applicable percentage is 12.5% increased by 0.25 percentage points for each percentage point by which the rate of payment exceeds 50%, up to a maximum applicable percentage of 25%.

Note that if the paid leave is made by state or local government or is required by state or local laws, it will not be included in qualified wages.

Research Credit
The research credit is calculated on Form 6765, Credit for Increasing Research Activities under section 280C. The eligibility of Research Tax Credit is much broader than we think. Companies and organizations that develop new or improved products, formulas, software, techniques, inventions, processes, etc. qualify for the Research Tax Credit.

The research credit is generally allowed for expenses paid or incurred for qualified research, which means: 
The research for which expenses may be treated as section 174 expenses.
This research must be undertaken for discovering information that is technological in nature, and its application must be intended for use in developing a new or improved business component of the taxpayer.
In addition, substantially all of the activities of the research must be elements of a process of experimentation relating to a new or improved function, performance, reliability, or quality.
All of the research activities must be applied separately with respect to each business component of the taxpayer. 
 
Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
The Affordable Care Act provides credit for qualifying small employers that provide insured health coverage to their employees. To be eligible, the employer must meet the following criteria:

  • The employer has less than 25 full-time equivalent employees, calculated by adding up the total employee service hours and divide that amount by 2080
  • The average salary is less than $50,000 per year
  • The employer contribution is at least 50% of full-time employees’ premium cost
  • The employer offers coverage to all full-time employees and the coverage is purchased through

Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace.
Although taxpayers cannot use GBTC when the credits exceed tax liabilities in a tax period, the IRS allows the taxpayer to carry the unused credits back one year and forward 20 years until exhausted. More information on GBTC can be found on the IRS website.

Sick and Family Leave Credits
Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the "ARP"), employers with fewer than 500 employees ("Eligible Employers") for qualified sick and family leave wages ("qualified leave wages") paid with respect to leave taken by employees beginning on April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021, as well as the equivalent credits available for certain self-employed individuals. Employees may receive up to ten days of paid sick leave and up to 12 weeks of paid family leave.

This credit is different from the above-mentioned Paid Family and Medical Leave Credit.
To be able to claim the credit, the Eligible Employer pays the employee qualified family leave wages in an amount equal to at least 2/3 the employee's regular rate of pay (as determined under section 7(e) of the FLSA), multiplied by the number of hours the employee otherwise would have been scheduled to work, not to exceed $200 per day and $12,000 in the aggregate for leave taken by employees beginning on April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021.

If you have any additional question, please feel free to contact Nicole Zhao, Tax Partner, at nzhao@malonebailey.com.

Taxpayers to Watch Out for Net Operating Loss and Business Loss Limitations Starting in 2021

Written by Chuqiao Peng, Tax Senior, MaloneBailey, LLP

Starting in 2021, taxpayers may not be able to fully offset their taxable income using their net operating Loss (NOL) carryover and excess business losses due to the expiration of several favorable tax rules under the CAREs Act. Thus, it is critical for taxpayers to understand their 2021 estimated tax liabilities under the new rules by the 2021 Q4 estimated tax deadline.

Changes on NOL Limitations
A NOL occurs when a corporation or individual has more allowable tax deductions than gross income within a tax period. The NOL can be carried forward to future tax years to reduce the taxpayer’s future tax burden. Before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) enacted in 2017, NOLs were fully deductible and could be carried back for 2 years and carried forward for 20 years. The TCJA made significant changes to the NOL rules by:

1. Limiting the deductions of NOL generated after December 31,2017 to 80% of taxable income;
2. Disallowing NOL carrybacks; and,
3. Allowing NOL carryforward indefinitely.

The CARES Act signed into law on March 27, 2020 temporarily suspends the 80% of taxable income limitation and provides a special 5-year carryback for taxable years beginning in 2018, 2019 and 2020 with exceptions applied to certain farming losses and NOLs of insurance companies other than a life insurance company.

In 2021, the unfavorable NOL limitation was back in effect. The amount of an NOL deduction is now equal to the aggregate amount of the NOLs arising in tax years beginning before January 1, 2018, carried to current tax year, plus the lesser of (1) the aggregate amount of NOLs arising in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, carried to such tax year; or (2) 80% of the excess of taxable income computed without regard to the NOL deduction and the Secs. 199A (qualified business income) and 250 (foreign-derived intangible income and global intangible low-taxed income) deductions.


For example, Corporation A has NOL carryforward of $10k in 2017, $20k in 2018, $50k in 2019 and 20k in 2020, respectively. A has waived the carrybacks on all NOLs. In 2021, A has taxable income of 30k.
Since the 80% of taxable income limit is back after December 31, 2020, A can first apply all 2017 NOL carryforward and reduce the taxable income by $10k. Next, A can deduct the lesser of (1) the total NOLs incurred after December 31, 2017, or $90k ($20k+$50k+$20k); or (2) 80% of the taxable income, which is $24k ($30k * 80%). Since the $24k is less than the 90K, the maximum NOL deduction in 2021 is $34k ($10k from 2017 and $24k from 80% of taxable income).
 
Changes on Excess Business Loss Limitation
An excess business loss is the amount by which the total deductions attributable to all of your trade or business exceed your total gross income and gains attributable to those trades or businesses. It is generally used by individual taxpayers to offset their nonbusiness income. Before the TCJA, an individual taxpayer’s business losses could usually be fully deducted in the tax year they arose.

However, the TCJA placed a $250k limitation (or $500k in the case of a joint return) on excess business loss that can be used to offset nonbusiness income for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017 and ending before January 1, 2026. Both amounts of limitations are subject to annual inflation. Under this rule, any disallowed excess business losses were carried over as an NOL.

The CAREs Act repealed such limitation for tax years 2018, 2019 and 2020. But starting in 2021, the limitation on excess business loss is back in effect. After annually adjusted inflation, the amount of limitation is $262k (or $524k for joint returns) for 2021. Noted that the CARES Act also made several adjustments to the computation of the excess business loss that will apply beginning in 2021, such as treating wage income as nonbusiness income.

For example, Tom is a single taxpayer who has $500k of gross income and $850k of deductions from a nonpassive retail business in 2021, resulting in $350k excess business loss. However, because of the $262k limitation on excess business loss on single taxpayer, Tom can only use $262K excess business loss to offset his other nonbusiness income (such as salary) and must treat $88k ($850k-$500k-$262k) as NOL carryforward to 2022.

Considering the changes on NOL and business loss limitations starting 2021, we suggest that taxpayers calculate 2021 estimated tax before the Q4 estimated tax due date of December 15, 2021 for C corporations and January 18, 2022 for individuals.

If you need any assistance in calculating your 2021 income tax, please feel free to contact Nicole Zhao, Tax Partner.

IRS Reminds Business Owners to Correctly Identify Workers as Employees or Independent Contractors
Written by Chuqiao Peng, Tax Senior, MaloneBailey, LLP

For small business owners, having a good understanding of the differences between workers identified as employees and independent contractors is critically important. The IRS recently featured tips on how to correctly determine whether the individuals providing services are employees or independent contractors and offered three categories to examine:

Generally, an employer must withhold and pay income taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes, as well as unemployment taxes for its workers identified as employees. If workers are misclassified as independent contractors, the employer’s share of payroll taxes will not be paid, and the employee’s share will not be withheld, resulting in employment taxes underpaid. If a business misclassified an employee without a reasonable basis, the business can be liable for the employment taxes for that individual.

IRS further points out that workers can use Form 8991, Uncollected Social Security and Medicare Tax on Wages, to figure and report their share of uncollected Social Security and Medicare taxes due on their compensation if they believe they are misclassified as independent contractors.

More information about the differences between workers identified as employees or independent contractors is available on IRS website.

If you would like additional information, please feel free to contact Nicole Zhao, Tax Partner, at nzhao@malonebailey.com.

Information About Making 2021 Estimated Tax Payments
Written by Chuqiao Peng, Tax Senior, MaloneBailey, LLP

As we approach the final two deadlines for paying 2021 estimated tax payments on September 15, 2021 and January 15, 2022, it’s a good time to learn more about estimated tax. Generally, individual taxpayers generally need to make estimated tax payments if they expect to owe $1,000 or more when the file their 2021 tax return after adjusting for any withholding tax while as corporations generally must make estimated payments if they expect to owe $500 or more on their 2021 tax return.

For individual taxpayers, there is some additional information to consider to determine your 2021 estimated tax:
Tuition and fees deduction is not available in 2021; Instead, the income limitation on the lifetime learning credit has been increased.
Standard deduction amount has increased as listed below for each filing status:

  • Married filing jointly or qualifying widow: $25,100
  • Head of household: $18,800
  • Single or married filing separately: $12,550
  • The maximum amount of earned income (wages and net earnings from self-employment) subject to the social security tax is $142,800
  • The maximum adoption credit or exclusion for employer-provided adoption benefits has increased to $14,440. Taxpayers with less than $256,660 adjusted gross income will be eligible to claim.

To avoid underpayment penalty for 2021, the safe harbor for individuals is to pay 100% of the tax shown on 2020 tax return. For higher income individuals with more than $150k adjusted gross income in 2020 (or more than $75k, if you were married and filing a separate return), the required payment is 110% of the tax shown on 2020. Noted if your total tax was $0 in 2020, you cannot use $0 as your safe harbor for 2021 estimated payment.

For corporation taxpayers, IRS has provided Form 1120-W, estimated tax worksheet, at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1120w.pdf to help corporations figure out their tax liabilities. The corporation must make installment payments of estimated tax if it expects its total tax for the year (less applicable credits) to be $500 or more. The installments are due by the 15th days of the 4th, 6th, 9th, and 12th month of the year.

Generally, a corporation is subject to underpayment penalty if its tax liabilities is $500 or more, and it did not timely pay at least the smaller of:

  • Its tax liability for the current year, or
  • Its prior year’s tax (may not apply if the corporation has $0 tax in prior year)

If you would like additional information, please click here or contact our, Nicole Zhao, Tax Partner.

Tax Information for Homeowners
Written by Chuqiao Peng, Tax Senior, MaloneBailey, LLP

The first half of 2021 has given rise to a real estate market boom and it continues on its upward trend. Below is a recap of tax information for homeowners that might prove helpful if you currently own a house or are considering buying or selling one.

Nondeductible payments:

  • Insurance (Other than mortgage insurance premiums), including fire and comprehensive coverage and title insurance
  • Wages paid for domestic help
  • Depreciation
  • Cost of utilities
  • Forfeited deposits, down payments, or earnest money, etc.

Deductible costs of owning a home:

  • State and local real estate taxes
  • Interest that qualifies as home mortgage interest and mortgage insurance premiums.

The information below is written by the IRS and available at https://www.irs.gov/publications/p530:

Deductible Mortgage Interest
To be deductible, the interest you pay must be on a loan secured by your main home or second home, regardless of how the loan is labeled.

Prepaid Interest. If you pay interest in advance for a period that goes beyond the end of the tax year, you must spread this interest over the tax years to which it applies. Generally, you can deduct in each year only the interest that qualifies as home mortgage interest for that year.

Late payment charge on mortgage payment. You can deduct as home mortgage interest a late payment charge if it wasn't for a specific service in connection with your mortgage loan.

Mortgage prepayment penalty. If you pay off your home mortgage early, you may have to pay a penalty. You can deduct that penalty as home mortgage interest, provided the penalty isn't for a specific service performed or cost incurred in connection with your mortgage loan.

Points. Usually, you can deduct the full amount of points in the year you purchase your own home. Such deduction, however, might be limited under certain circumstances. If you are not eligible to deduct the full amount of point in the year paid, they would be treated as prepaid interest and must be deducted over the life (term) of the mortgage.

Mortgage Insurance Premiums
You may be able to take an itemized deduction on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 8d, for premiums you pay or accrue during the tax year for qualified mortgage insurance in connection with home acquisition debt on your qualified home, defined as your main home or second home.

If you would like additional information, please click here or contact our, Nicole Zhao, Tax Partner.

Businesses Can Temporarily Deduct 100% Beginning January 1, 2021

Written by the IRS and available at: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/treasury-irs-provide-guidance-on-tax-relief-for-deductions-for-food-or-beverages-from-restaurants

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today issuedNotice 2021-25 providing guidance under the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Relief Act of 2020. The Act added a temporary exception to the 50% limit on the amount that businesses may deduct for food or beverages. The temporary exception allows a 100% deduction for food or beverages from restaurants.

Beginning January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2022, businesses can claim 100% of their food or beverage expenses paid to restaurants as long as the business owner (or an employee of the business) is present when food or beverages are provided and the expense is not lavish or extravagant under the circumstances.

Where can businesses get food and beverages and claim 100%?
Under the temporary provision, restaurants include businesses that prepare and sell food or beverages to retail customers for immediate on-premises and/or off-premises consumption. However, restaurants do not include businesses that primarily sell pre-packaged goods not for immediate consumption, such as grocery stores and convenience stores.

Additionally, an employer may not treat certain employer-operated eating facilities as restaurants, even if these facilities are operated by a third party under contract with the employer.

More information for businesses seeking coronavirus related tax relief can be found at IRS.gov.

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American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

Written by Tabith Ford, Tax Senior, MaloneBailey, LLP

Summary – President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which provides $1.9 trillion to the American economy. The Act also includes unemployment relief, aid to the states, assistance to schools, tax provisions and a third round of stimulus checks.

Individuals

  • Child Tax Credit - Not only will individuals receive a $1,400 stimulus check if certain income limitations are met, congress has also enhanced the child tax credit.
    • Now 3,000 per child and fully refundable, whereas before it was $2,000 per child with only $1,400 as refundable.
    • The excess amount of the credit over the present-law of $2,000 is phased out by $50 for every $1,000 of modified adjusted gross income in excess of the threshold amount ($150,000 for joint filers, $112,500 for head of household, and $75,000 for single filers)
  • Unemployment Relief – Makes the first $10,200 of unemployment relief in 2020 exempt from tax for households with less than 150,000 of income.
  • Exclusion of forgiven student loans – Previously, only certain conditions would allow student loan debt to be forgiven. Under the act, the exclusion will apply to any discharge of student loans for any reason during the period, for loans discharged after 2020 and before 2026.

Employers

  • Paid Sick and Family Leave Credits 
    • Applicable period extended from December 31, 2020 to September 30, 2021.
      Increased the limit on applicable wages for which family leave credit can be claimed from $10,000 to $12,000, effective after March 31, 2021.
  • Employee Retention Credit
    • Extended through the end of 2021.
  • Small Business Administration grants – The act specifies that Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Restaurant Revitalization Grants received from the small business administration will not be subject to income tax, and the exclusion will not result in the denial of a deduction reduction of tax attributions, or denial of increase in basis. 

If you would like additional information, please click here or please feel free to contact our Senior Tax Manager, Nicole Zhao.

IRS Announces Federal Income Tax Filing Deadline for Individuals for the 2020 Tax Year Is Extended to May 17, 2021

Written by Tabitha Ford, Tax Senior, MaloneBailey, LLP

Summary – The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service recognizes the difficulty these unusual circumstances have on navigating through tax season this year and have extended the due date for individuals from April 15th to May 17th.  Individuals can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15th to May 17th, without penalties and interest.

There is no form needed to be filed to qualify for the automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. If individuals need longer than May 17th to file their tax return, they can request an extension to October 15th, by using the standard form 4868 to extend.

The relief does not include quarter 1 estimated tax payments for 2021. These payments will still be due on April 15th. Additionally, this postponement only applies to the individual federal income returns and tax payments, not state tax payments or deposits.  State filing and payment deadlines vary and are not always the same as the federal deadline.  

Those affected by the winter storm for Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas:

For individuals and businesses residing in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, the IRS announced disaster relief earlier this year for these states to postpone their deadlines until June 15, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns, as well as make payments. The may 17th extension does not affect the June deadline. This also means that IRA contributions can be made until June 15th as well.

The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area; therefore, taxpayers do not need to notify the IRS to get the relief.  For those that have an address located outside of this disaster area, but were still affected due to the records or tax preparers being located in the area, you may still be able to qualify for the relief by contacting the IRS at 866-562-5227.

If you would like more information regarding the filing deadlines or assistance preparing your 2020 tax returns, please contact our Senior Tax Manager, Nicole Zhao.

For more information, visit the IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-day-for-individuals-extended-to-may-17-treasury-irs-extend-filing-and-payment-deadline

Partnership Form’s 1065 Schedule K-1 Now Requires Reporting on Tax Basis Only

Written by Tabitha Ford, Tax Senior, MaloneBailey, LLP

Summary - The IRS released an early draft of the instructions to Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income, for tax year 2020 (filing season 2021) that include revised instructions for partnerships, which are now required to report only tax basis capital accounts to partners on Schedule K-1 (Form 1065). The balance sheet will still be reported as the basis method used by the partnership and any differences will remain as reconciled to tax basis using Schedule M-1 and Schedule M-2 of Form 1065.

To be prepared for these changes and avoid any delay’s in filing due to the additional reporting requirement, partners and partnership representatives should understand the following :

  • For the 2019 tax year, did the partnership file using a tax basis, GAAP basis, or any other type of basis?
  • If the 2019 tax year return was filed using anything other than the tax basis method:
    • Did the partnership maintain capital accounts in it’s books and records using the tax basis method?
    • If so, the tax basis method must be used as the beginning capital account for tax year 2020 and to track partner’s capital going forward.
    • If tax basis was not previously maintained in the partnerships records, the partner’s beginning capital should be reconfigured using either the tax basis method, modified outside basis method, modified previously taxed capital method, or section 704(b) method, for tax year 2020 only. (see below Beginning Capital Revision Methods)
      • All other lines should be reported using the tax basis method.
  • If the partners capital was adjusted under section 734(b) previously, the accumulated adjustments should be removed from beginning capital and reflected as an other increase / decrease item for tax year 2020.

Beginning Capital Revision Methods:

  • Tax Basis Method – Does not include adjustments for partner’s share of liabilities.
  • Modified Outside Basis Method – The partner’s adjusted tax basis in it’s partnership interest less the partner’s share of liabilities and any 743(b) adjustments.
  • Modified Previously Taxed Capital Method –
    • Amount of cash the partner would receive if you liquidated after selling all of your assets in a fully taxable transaction for cash equal to the fair market value of the assets; increased by
    • The amount of tax loss determined without taking into account any 743(b) adjustments and decreased by
    • The amount of tax gain determined without taking into account any 743(b) adjustments
  • 704(b) Method
    • The partner’s section 7104(b) capital account
    • Plus/ Less: partner’s share of section 704(c) built-in loss or gain

If you would like to ensure any partnerships you own or manage is prepared for the revisions to the Schedule K-1 capital account reporting, please feel free to contact our Senior Tax Manager, Nicole Zhao.

IRS Issued Final and Proposed Regulations on Income Subject to a High Rate of Foreign Tax

Authored by Tabitha Ford, Tax Senior, MaloneBailey, LLP

Summary - The Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service on July 20th issued a final regulation regarding the treatment of income earned by certain foreign corporations that is subject to a high rate of foreign tax, such as global intangible low-taxed income and subpart F income provisions. These changes relate to the changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was enacted in 2017. The final regulations allow taxpayers to exclude certain high-taxed income of a controlled foreign corporation from their Global Intangible Low Taxed Income (GILTI) computation on an elective basis. They also issued a proposed regulation regarding the high-tax exception with the GILTI high-tax exclusion, which proposes to generally conform the rules implementing subpart F high-tax exception to the rules implementing the GILT high-tax exclusion set forth in the final regulations mentioned above. Updates on the TCJA can be found on the Tax Reform page of IRS.gov.

An overview of the most significant changes found in the final and proposed regulations are as follows:

  • Calculation of the effective foreign tax rate
    • Effective foreign tax rate – The 2019 proposed regulations apply the GILTI high-tax exclusion by comparing the effective foreign tax rate with 90 percent of the rate that would apply if the income were subject to the maximum rate of tax, which is in agreement with the final regulations; However, the proposed regulations are based on a QBU-by-QBU basis, whereas the final regulations adopt a “tested unit” standard that replaces the QBU standard. Generally, the final regulations provide that the effective rate at which taxes are imposed for a taxable year is the U.S. dollar amount of foreign income taxes paid or accrued with respect to a tentative net tested income item, 2 over the sum of the U.S. dollar amount of the tentative net tested income item and the amount of foreign income taxes paid or accrued with respect to the tentative net tested income item. A tentative net tested income item is generally determined by taking into account certain items of gross income attributable to a QBU, less deductions (also determined under federal income tax principles) allocated and apportioned to such gross income.
  • Tested unit - Unlike the QBU standard that serves as a proxy for being subject to foreign tax, the tested unit approach generally applies to the extent an entity, or the activities of an entity, are actually subject to tax, as either a tax resident or a permanent establishment (or similar taxable presence), under the tax law of a foreign country.
      • 3 Categories of a tested unit:
      • Includes a CFC. (consistent with proposed)
      • Generally includes an interest in a pass-through entity held, directly or indirectly, by a CFC. 2 Requirements are necessary to be met in order to for the interest to be considered a tested unit.
      • Includes a branch, or a portion of a branch, the activities of which are carried on directly or indirectly by a CFC, provided that either
          • The branch gives rise to a taxable presence in the country in which the branch is located, or
          • The branch gives rise to a taxable presence under the owner’s tax law, and the owner’s tax law provides an exclusion, exemption, or other similar relief.
  • Rules regarding the election
    • Consistency - The 2019 proposed regulations generally provide that if a CFC is a member of a controlling domestic shareholder group (“CFC group”), 5 a GILTI high-tax exclusion election (or revocation) is either made with respect to each member of the CFC group or is not made for any member of the CFC group. The GILTI high-tax exclusion election and the subpart F high-tax exception election should apply consistently and, as noted in part I of this Summary of Comments and Explanation of Revisions, have determined that the subpart F high-tax exception should be conformed to the GILTI high-tax exclusion, as discussed in the preamble to the 2020 proposed regulations.
    • Duration – Effective for the CFC inclusion year for which it is made and all subsequent CFC inclusion years, unless the election is revoked.
      • Because the final regulations adopt a tested unit-by-tested unit approach and retain the consistency requirement in the proposed regs, the 60-month restriction is not necessary to prevent abuse. Accordingly, the final regs do not include this restriction.
  • Determination of Tax - the amount of foreign income taxes paid or accrued by a CFC with respect to a tentative tested income item is the U.S. dollar amount of the controlled foreign corporation’s current year taxes that are allocated and apportioned to the related tentative gross tested income.
  • Effective Dates - Consistent with the applicability date in the 2019 proposed regulations, the final regulations provide that the GILTI high-tax exclusion applies to taxable years of foreign corporations beginning on or after July 23, 2020, and to taxable years of U.S. shareholders in which or with which such taxable years of foreign corporations end.

The foreign tax laws are complex and require professional guidance. If you have questions or would like guidance navigating these laws, please feel free to contact our Senior Tax Manager, Nicole Zhao.

Self-Charged Interest through Passthrough Entities

Summary – Generally, portfolio income such as interest, dividends, annuities, and royalties are required to be taxed as ordinary income and cannot be used to offset passive losses, even if the income was derived from passthrough entities. Under sec. 469, passive losses can only be used to reduce passive income and not income from other sources such as portfolio interest; however, Sec. 1.469-7 provides an exception for this treatment of interest income if the lending activity is between a taxpayer and a passthrough entity in which the taxpayer owns a direct or indirect interest.

This regulation applies to interest income and expense that are recognized in the same tax year under one of three situations:

  • The taxpayer lends money to a passthrough entity (Partnership or S-Corp) in which it owns directly or indirectly a percentage of ownership
  • The passthrough entity makes a loan to a person that owns directly or indirectly an interest in the passthrough entity.
  • A loan is made between two passthrough entities where each of the entities’ owners have the same proportionate ownership interest in each entity.

Interest income sourced from any of the 3 situations listed above, as well as the associated interest expense, is known as self-charged interest income and expense. The exception allows the self-charged interest and expense to be recharacterized as passive activity income and deductions items. This treatment is generally favorable to the taxpayer; however, the passthrough entity has the ability to elect out of the recharacterization. For more information, click here.

Written by Tabitha Ford.

New Regulations for Determining Economic Nexus in Texas

Summary – Historically, states have used physical presence standards to determine state franchise and sales tax nexus. Significant growth in interstate e-commerce over the years led to the Supreme court case South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., which established other determining factors such as gross sales revenue and transaction volume to be more appropriate factors for use in determining state nexus for remote sellers.

Most states have amended their laws to establish economic nexus based on the Wayfair decision changes in state tax codes and regulations should be carefully reviewed when planning for your upcoming tax returns. The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts recently amended the Texas Administrative Code rule §3.286 on January 1, 2019 for sales and use tax, which is enforced after October 1, 2019. A separate amendment was finalized on December 20,2019 for franchise tax nexus to the Texas Amin. Code § 3.586, which will begins with the federal income tax year of 2019 or later.

Texas established a safe harbor with a threshold of $500,000 of Texas gross revenue as the economic nexus standard for both sales and franchise tax. If Texas gross revenue for remote sellers of tangible personal property exceeds this threshold, a permit must be obtained and sales tax should be collected. Similarly, a taxable entity doing business in the state with Texas gross receipts exceeding the threshold is subject to Texas franchise tax, even if the entity has no physical presence in the state. A taxable entity is considered to be “doing business” in Texas the earliest of the following (1) the date the entity establishes physical presence in Texas; (2) the date a use tax permit has been obtained; or (3) the first day the entity’s Texas Gross receipts exceed $500,000 for the federal income tax accounting period.

Should you have any questions regarding your entity filing requirements, please contact our Senior Tax Manager, Nicole Zhao at nzhao@malonebailey.com.

Final Regulations Eliminate the Potential Harms to Post-2025 Estates

Summary - The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA, or “2017 Tax Reform”) increased the tax-free threshold to $11.4 million for gifts made or decedents dying between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2025. However, the mechanism on the estate and gifts tax return is not as straight forward as stated above.

When taxpayers file estate and gift tax returns, they are required to first calculate the estate and gift tax on all taxable transfers of money, property and other assets. Then, a nonrefundable credit (shared between gifts and estates) will be applied to reduce the net tax. This credit is calculated based on an applicable exclusion amount, which is $11.4 million for 2019. In 2026, this exclusion amount will revert to $5 million level.

The statutory sunset of higher exclusion creates a concern: For example, a taxpayer makes a gift of $11.4 million in 2019, and uses up all of his credits of $4,505,800. If he passes away in 2027, at which time the maximum exclusion amount is $5,490,000 and the credit is $2,141, 800, does he need to pay 40% marginal estate tax on the $5,910,000 taxable estates (life-time total gifts minus allowable exclusion at the time of death)? Based on the language of the code section, it seems that this taxpayer will retroactively lose his full benefits of making large gifts by 2026.

The good news is that the final regulation provides a special rule which allows the estate to compute its tax credit using the higher of the exclusion amount applicable to gifts made during life or the exclusion amount applicable on the date of death. Accordingly, in the above example, the exclusion remains $11.4 million on the taxpayer’s 2027 estate tax return.

Click here for more information.

Should you have any questions on the R&D tax credit, please contact Nicole Zhao  at nzhao@malonebailey.com.

IRS Published Tax Inflation Adjustment for Tax Year 2020

Summary - The IRS has announced the tax year 2020 annual inflation adjustments. Key changes include:

  • The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government's Thrift Savings Plan is increased from $19,000 to $19,500.
  • The catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 and over who participate in these plans is increased from $6,000 to $6,500.
  • The limitation regarding SIMPLE retirement accounts for 2020 is increased to $13,500, up from $13,000 for 2019.
  • The standard deduction for married filing jointly rises to $24,800 for tax year 2020, up $400 from the prior year. For single taxpayers and married individuals filing separately, the standard deduction rises to $12,400 in for 2020, up $200, and for heads of households, the standard deduction will be $18,650 for tax year 2020, up $300.
  • For tax year 2020, participants who have self-only coverage in a Medical Savings Account, the plan must have an annual deductible that is not less than $2,350, the same as for tax year 2019; but not more than $3,550, an increase of $50 from tax year 2019. For self-only coverage, the maximum out-of-pocket expense amount is $4,750, up $100 from 2019. For tax year 2020, participants with family coverage, the floor for the annual deductible is $4,750, up from $4,650 in 2019; however, the deductible cannot be more than $7,100, up $100 from the limit for tax year 2019. For family coverage, the out-of-pocket expense limit is $8,650 for tax year 2020, an increase of $100 from tax year 2019.
  • For tax year 2020, the foreign earned income exclusion is $107,600 up from $105,900 for tax year 2019.
  • Estates of decedents who die during 2020 have a basic exclusion amount of $11,580,000, up from a total of $11,400,000 for estates of decedents who died in 2019.
  • The annual exclusion for gifts is $15,000 for calendar year 2020, as it was for calendar year 2019.

For a complete list of adjustments, please click here and here.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Nicole Zhao at nzhao@malonebailey.com.

Treasury Guidance and Proposed Regulations on the Repeal of Section 958(B)(4)

Summary - Rev. Proc. 2019-40 was issued on October 1, 2019 by the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service and it provides guidance related to the repeal of Section 958(b)(4) to certain U.S. persons that own stock in certain foreign corporations.

On October 2, 2019, the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service proposed regulations pertaining to the repeal of Section 958(b)(4), which affect U.S. persons that have ownership interests in or that make or receive payments to or from certain foreign corporations.

For more information, please click here.

Section 267A Deduction Disallowance

If you have reviewed your 2018 corporation or partnership tax return, you should have seen the following question:

During the tax year, did the corporation (or partnership) pay or accrue any interest or royalty for which the deduction is not allowed under section 267A?

Upon reviewing this question, it's likely that the first thing that comes to mind is: what is Section 267A?

Section 267A is a new code section that was introduced as law as part of the 2017 Tax Reform. It disallows the deduction for any disqualified related party amount paid or accrued under certain circumstances. When a U.S. taxpayer pays or accrues any interest or royalty to a foreign related party, if, under the law of that foreign country, such amount is not considered as an income of the related party, or if such related party is allowed a deduction with respect to such amount, then such interest or royalty is a disqualified related party amount and cannot be deducted on the U.S. taxpayer’s tax return. The reason for this disallowance of deduction is the tax mismatching in a group’s worldwide structure.

For example, A is a U.S. corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary of B, a corporation incorporated in foreign country X. Under the law of country X, A is a disregarded entity of B. A borrows money from B and pays an interest payment of $50,000 in 2018. Under the law of country X, the intercompany loan and interest are disregarded; the above $50,000 interest paid to B is not treated as an income of B. According to Section 267A, A is not allowed to deduct such payment on its U.S. income tax return.

There are other code sections, such as Section 267, which might limit the deduction of expenses incurred in intercompany transactions.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Nicole Zhao at nzhao@malonebailey.com.

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2019 Post-Season Filing Update

Summary - Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting has published its post-season tax briefing which highlights major tax law developments, including the introduction of Safe Harbor on the 100% bonus depreciation caps on luxury cars, and proposed regulations for deduction on FDII and GILTI. 
 
To view the complete tax briefing, please click here.
 
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The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act: An Increase in Federal Payments for R&D Activity NEW!

Summary - Tax reform not only introduced the reduced 21% flat tax rate for C corporation, but also increased the Research Tax Credit by 14%. DST Advisory Group has shared with us an article with us on the changes. To learn more, please click here.
 
To be eligible for the R&D tax credit, you do not have to be in a “high tech” business; instead, conducting activities such as designing, developing or improving a “business component” allows you to utilize this tax incentive.
 
Should you have any questions on the R&D tax credit, please contact Nicole Zhao.
 
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2018 Tax Law Change on Meals & Entertainment Deductions

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts (TCJA) have changed the business expense deductions for meals and entertainment. Recently, the IRS issued guidance on this matter.

Generally speaking, entertainment, amusement and recreation expenses are not deductible. For business meal expenses, taxpayer may take 50% deduction if:

  1. The expense is an ordinary and necessary expense under § 162(a) paid or incurred during the taxable year in carrying on any trade or business;
  2. The expense is not lavish or extravagant under the circumstances;
  3. The taxpayer, or an employee of the taxpayer, is present at the furnishing of the food or beverages;
  4. The food and beverages are provided to a current or potential business customer, client, consultant, or similar business contact; and
  5. In the case of food and beverages provided during or at an entertainment activity, the food and beverages are purchased separately from the entertainment, or the cost of the food and beverages is stated separately from the cost of the entertainment on one or more bills, invoices, or receipts. The entertainment disallowance rule may not be circumvented through inflating the amount charged for food and beverages.

What Do You Need to Do?

To maximize your tax deductions on business meal expenses, and to sustain your tax position during a potential IRS audit, we suggest accommodating the tax law changes by modifying your chart of accounts. You may set up the following accounts:

  • Meals – 50% deductible
  • Meals for convenience of employer – 50% nondeductible
  • Meals & Entertainment – 100% deductible
  • Meals & Entertainment – 100% nondeductible

For your convenience, we have created a chart to help you navigate some of the changes:

Expenses

Old Law

New Law

Meals with business clients

50% deductible

50% deductible

Travel meals

50% deductible

50% deductible

Meals provided for the convenience of employer

100% deductible

50% deductible (sunset in 2025)

Office coffee and snacks

100% deductible

Pending for further clarification

Business meeting meals

50% deductible

50% deductible

Expenses for attendance at a business meeting or convention of a section 501(c)(6) business league, chamber of commerce, real estate boards, and boards of trade

50% deductible

50% deductible

Meals & Entertainment that is reported on W-2 or Form 1099

100% deductible

100% deductible

Meals & Entertainment reimbursed by client

100% deductible if taxpayer provides details

100% deductible if taxpayer provides details

Office parties and outings

100% deductible

100% deductible

Entertaining a client

50% deductible

100% nondeductible

Food and beverage are 50% deductible if separately stated from the cost of the entertainment on one or more bills, invoices or receipts

 

Please also click here for the IRS Notice 2018-76. This serves as current guidance until the proposed regulations are issued.

Should you have any questions, please contact Nicole Zhao for more information. 

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Check Your FBAR Reporting Obligation to Avoid Significant Penalty

Recently, the Supreme Court refused to review a Ninth Circuit's decision on an FBAR violation from 2006, which resulted in a $1.2 million penalty on the taxpayer. U.S. v. Bussell, 120 AFTR 2d 2017-6379
 
Law:
 
Each U.S. person (business or individual) who has a financial interest in or signature authority over any foreign financial accounts with aggregate value over $10,000 at any time during the calendar year must file FBAR.
 
A non-willful violation penalty is $10,000, while a willful violation penalty can be up to the greater of $100,000 or 50% of the balance in the foreign bank account at the time of the violation. In addition, a willful criminal FBAR violation can lead to the maximum penalty of 5 year sentence and a $250,000 fine. Each unreported bank account is counted as one violation and thus the total penalty can be times of the above amounts.
 
While the taxpayer in the above case admitted that she willfully failed to disclose her foreign bank accounts, she argued that the $1,221,806 penalty imposed by the IRS violates the Excessive Fines Clause of the Constitution. She also asserted that the IRS illegitimately obtained her Swiss account information from the Swiss government, as the U.S. and Switzerland Treaty only allows receipt of information from the Swiss government pertaining to tax violations. The district court reduced the penalty to $1,120,513, which represented the maximum amount  permitted under the applicable civil laws. But the district court concluded that this case was clearly a tax collection case. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's decision. And on April 30, 2018, the Supreme Court refused to review the Ninth Circuit's decision.
 
Recent FBAR Development:
 
Since 2012, in order to encourage compliance, the IRS has introduced some programs and procedures to reduce the heavy penalty from FBAR violations. These include the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures and Delinquent International Information Return Submission Procedures. Specifically, the Delinquent FBAR Submission Procedures may help taxpayers avoid the FBAR penalties under certain circumstances.
 
Take Away: Taxpayers (individual and business) should evaluate their FBAR filing obligation and take actions while the IRS compliance incentives are still available.
 
For answers to your FBAR disclosure questions, please contact Nicole Zhao.
 

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2018 Reminder for Individual Taxpayers: Time to Check Your Withholding Amount

On the day you started a new job, you filled out a Form W-4, and HR took care of the payroll withholding for you. When you filed your individual income tax return, you had a couple hundred dollars of refund, year after year. Sweet! You had your 10-year anniversary with this company, and you had never thought about changing the withholding.
 
Then, beginning in mid-December 2017, the words "Tax Reform" overwhelmingly show up on various social medias. You heard discussions about winners and losers from these tax law changes, and you started to wonder whether you are a winner, a loser or both.
 
Now, you can use the Withholding Calculator (created by the IRS) to evaluate your need to update your paycheck withholding. Submit a new Form W-4 to your HR and they will take care of it.
 
Below is a list of changes that may have significant impact on your income tax. If you had any of these in your 2017 tax return, we recommend that you use the Withholding Calculator to get an estimate of your 2018 tax position.
  • Limited itemized deduction of state and local taxes
  • Limited itemized deduction of home mortgage interest
  • Disallowed alimony deduction
  • Increase standard deduction
  • Eliminated personal exemptions
  • Changed tax rates and brackets
  • Increase Child Tax Credit
In addition to the above law changes, life changes and some types of incomes always require a taxpayer to change the paycheck withhold and/or make quarterly estimated tax payments:
  • Change of filing status
  • Change from being employed to self-employed, or vice versa
  • Receipts of dividend, interest or capital gain
  • Owning a partnership interest or being an S Corp shareholder, even no partnership distribution or S Corp dividend is received
  • Receipts of other income that withholding is not done by the payer
If you ever have questions on your 2018 income tax, please don't hesitate to give us a call.
 
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2018 Post-Season Filing Update

Summary - Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting has published its tax briefing which highlights key developments during the filing season that will impact taxpayers of all types for the rest of 2018. The IRS will now focus on guidance for implementing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act while Congress will shift its focus to technical corrections of the first phase of tax reform and a second phase of tax reform.
 
 
To view the complete tax briefing, click here.
 
© 2018 CCH Incorporated and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
 
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2017 Tax Reform Series: Transition for U.S. Shareholders of Foreign Corporations

Summary - A U.S. shareholder in a foreign corporation is potentially liable for the Transition Tax, added by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act under Code Sec. 965.
 
Mandatory One-Time Tax on Accumulated Offshore Earnings
The transition tax is a mandatory one-time tax on the untaxed post-1986 foreign earnings of certain foreign corporations of U.S. shareholders. The tax is determined by reference to the foreign corporation’s post-1986 foreign earnings for its last tax year, beginning before January 1, 2018. Accordingly, for calendar year foreign corporations with tax years ending on December 31, 2017, the tax could be due and payable with the taxpayer’s 2017 return. This is because the foreign corporation’s tax year ends during a fiscal taxpayer’s 2017 tax year or with a calendar year taxpayer’s 2017 tax year. For fiscal year foreign corporations, the last tax year beginning before January 1, 2018 (e.g., December 1, 2017) will end during or with a taxpayer’s 2018 tax year and the return is due with the 2018 return.
 
We can examine your foreign stockholdings to determine if the tax applies to you. The rules for computing the transition tax are complex and guidance issued by the Treasury and IRS provide additional rules for computing the correct transition tax. To ensure that the tax is correctly computed, we will need to gather additional information based on this guidance. We can also discuss various elections that may be made to pay the tax in installments or defer the tax.
 
For more information, click here.
 
© 2018 CCH Incorporated and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
 
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IRS Issues New Tax Withholding Tables

Summary - On January 11, 2018, the IRS issued new income tax withholding tables. These tables show new tax rates as well as other changes for individuals implemented by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97), which was enacted December 22, 2017. Employers must implement the updated withholding rules  by February 15, 2018.
 
The new tables reflect the increase in the standard deduction, the repeals of personal exemptions and new tax rates and brackets. They are designed to produce the correct amount of tax withholding and are also intended to avoid over- and under- withholding of tax.
 
To explain these new tables to taxpayers, the IRS posted a Frequently Asked Questions page to its website. 
 
 
For more information, click here.
 

FASB Issues Four Staff Q&A Documents on Implementation Issues Related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Summary - The FASB staff issued four Staff Q&A documents that address issues related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on January 22, 2018. The Q&As address the following topics:

  • Whether to discount the tax liability on the deemed repatriation
  • Whether to discount alternative minimum tax credits that become refundable
  • Accounting for the base erosion anti-abuse tax
  • Accounting for global intangible low-taxed income

For full explanations of the above Q&As, please visit the FASB website here.

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President Signs Sweeping Tax Overhaul Into Law

Summary - President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97) on December 22. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provides the most sweeping change to the U.S. tax code in decades. This historic bill calls for lowering the individual and corporate tax rates, repealing countless tax credits and deductions, enhancing the child tax credit, boosting business expensing and more. For highlights of the tax bill, see Wolters Kluwer's latest Tax Briefing, President Signs Sweeping Tax Overhaul Into Law.
 
© 2018 CCH Incorporated and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
 

Tax Code Overhaul, Regs and Court Decisions Make 2017 Stand-Out Year

Summary - 2017 was an eventful year in federal tax. Throughout the year, the Trump administration began to make good on campaign promises to reduce the reach and breadth of government regulations. It also saw some significant developments from the IRS relating to the gig economy and virtual currency. 2017 was also notable for developments that didn't happen, most significantly was the failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The year was capped with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the most significant overhaul of the Internal Revenue Code in more than 30 years.

For highlights of these 2017 tax developments, with special emphasis on those that impact 2018 planning and compliance, see Wolters Kluwer's latest Tax Briefing, 2017 Tax Year-In-Review.
 
© 2018 CCH Incorporated and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
 

House Passes Tax Bill; Senate GOP Unveils Plan

Summary - The House, on November 16, 2017, approved its sweeping tax reform package - the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (HR 1) - by a vote of 227-205, moving the GOP one-step closer to achieving a signature legislative victory. The Senate is now in the process of preparing its own tax reform package which, if passed, would then need to be reconciled with the House bill before a final bill can be sent to the White House. 
 
 
Both the House GOP bill and Senate GOP plan would impact virtually every individual and business on a level not seen in over 30 years. As with any tax bill, however, there would be "winners" and 'losers " Both versions call for lowering the individual and corporate tax rates, repealing countless tax credits and deductions, eliminating the alternative minimum tax (AMT), enhancing the child tax credit, boosting business expensing, and more. 
 
 
 
 
The White House has signaled its support for the House GOP bill. Possible roadblocks to ultimately getting a bill to the President's desk before year end are unified opposition from Democrats, intense lobbying efforts to preserve tax breaks slated for elimination, and the significant differences in the House and Senate proposals. 

For a comparison of the House and Senate bills, see Wolters Kluwer's latest Tax Briefing, House Passes Tax Bill; Senate GOP Unveils Plan.
 
© 2017 CCH Incorporated and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
 

2017 Year-End Tax Planning: Tax Reform, IRS, Court Decisions and More Add to Uncertainties at Year-End

Summary - Year-end 2017 presents a unique set of challenges for taxpayers. At the top of the list are the uncertainties created by the possibilities within proposed tax reform legislation - what changes might be made, and whether those changes would be retroactive for 2017. Also presenting a unique challenge before year-end is the Trump administration’s initiative to "streamline" rules and regulations. Meanwhile, the usual flood of court decisions and IRS guidance has continued, also presenting new opportunities-and pitfalls-that require year-end action. Equally important to 2017 year-end tax planning, as for any year, is a look at each particular taxpayer’s circumstances, past, present and future, to capitalize on targeted tax rules or mitigate against their application.

For highlights of various considerations especially particular to tax planning at year-end 2017, see Wolters Kluwer’s latest Tax Briefing, 2017 Year-End Tax Planning.
 
 
© 2017 CCH Incorporated and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Used with permission.