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November 2021

Second Circuit Affirms SALT Cap Constitutionality

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment that the cap on the federal income tax deduction for money paid in state and local taxes (SALT) is constitutional. Four states brought a claim against the government alleging that the $10,000 cap on the federal income tax deduction for money paid in state and local taxes, […]

IRS Highlights Work Opportunity Tax Credit to Help Employers Hire Workers

The IRS has reminded employers to check the Work Opportunity Tax Credit available for hiring long-term unemployment recipients and other groups of workers facing significant barriers to employment.

Cash contributions made either to supporting organizations or to establish or maintain a donor advised fund do not qualify. Also, cash contributions carried forward from prior years do not qualify, nor do cash […]

IRS Highlights Deductions for Cash Donations by Non-Itemizers

The IRS highlighted how expanded tax benefits help both individuals and businesses give to charity before the end of this year. The law now permits these taxpayers to claim a limited deduction on their 2021 federal income tax returns for cash contributions made to certain qualifying charitable organizations. These taxpayers, including married individuals filing separate returns, can claim a deduction […]

COBRA Extension Guidance Clarified

The IRS issued a notice clarifying the application of certain extensions granted under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) for the election of COBRA coverage and payment of COBRA premiums due to the COVID-19 emergency. The IRS also addressed the interaction of COBRA continuation coverage under the Emergency Relief Notices with the COBRA premium assistance available for […]

Areas Eligible for Extension of Replacement Period for Livestock Sold Because of Drought

The IRS identified drought-stricken areas where tax relief is available to taxpayers that sold or exchanged livestock because of drought. The relief extends the deadlines for taxpayers to replace the livestock and avoid reporting gain on the sales. These extensions apply until the drought-stricken area has a drought-free year.

When Sales of Livestock are Involuntary ConversionsSales of livestock due to drought […]

Ex-Spouse Health Insurance Premiums Deductible as Alimony

An individual was allowed to deduct the amount of premiums paid to provide health insurance coverage for his ex-spouse as alimony. The taxpayer had agreed to pay his then spouse’s health insurance premiums, incident to a separation agreement pending divorce, through a cafeteria plan provided by the taxpayer’s employer. Subsequently, the taxpayer had excluded the amount equal to the health […]

IRS Highlights Tax Withholding Estimator

The IRS has reminded taxpayers that the last quarter of 2021 is a good time to check withholding. The IRS’s convenient Tax Withholding Estimator (https://www.irs.gov/individuals/tax-withholding-estimator), will help taxpayers determine if they have too much withheld and how to make an adjustment to put more cash into their own pocket now. About 70 percent of taxpayers over withhold their taxes every year, […]

LLC Tax-Exempt Determination Letter Requirements Released

The IRS released standards that a limited liability company (LLC) must satisfy to receive a determination letter recognizing it as tax-exempt under Code Secs. 501(a)(1) and 501(c)(3). This does not affect the status of organizations currently recognized under Code Sec. 501(c)(3).

Required ProvisionsThe IRS would issue said letter only if an LLC’s articles of organization and its operating agreement each include:

provisions requiring that each member […]

Final Regulations Update Section 301 Regulations to Reflect Statutory Changes

Final regulations under Code Sec. 301 update the existing regulations under this provision to reflect statutory changes made by the Technical and Miscellaneous Revenue Act of 1988 ( P.L. 100-647) (the 1988 Act). These changes generally provide that the amount of a Section 301 distribution of property made by a corporation to its shareholder is the fair market value of the distributed property. The final Section […]

Final Regulations Reflect CARES Act Impact on FDII, GILTI, and FTC Transition Carryback Rules

The Treasury and IRS have issued final regulations addressing the calculation of qualified business asset investment for qualified improvement property, under the alternative depreciation system (ADS), for purposes of the Code Sec. 250 deduction (for foreign-derived intangible income and Code Sec. 951A global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI)) and for purposes of determining GILTI.

The regulations also contain transition rules relating to the impact of loss […]

Social Security Wage Cap and Benefit Amounts Increase for 2022

For 2022, the Social Security wage cap will be $147,000, and Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will increase by 5.9 percent. These changes reflect cost-of-living adjustments to account for inflation.

Wage Cap for Social Security TaxThe Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax on wages is 7.65 percent each for the employee and the employer. FICA tax has two […]

October 2021

2021-2022 Special Per Diem Rates Released

The IRS has released the 2021-2022 special per diem rates. Taxpayers use the per diem rates to substantiate certain expenses incurred while traveling away from home. These special per diem rates include:

the special transportation industry meal and incidental expenses (M&IE) rates;the rate for the incidental expenses only deduction; andthe rates and list of high-cost localities for purposes of the high-low […]

Qualified Sick and Family Leave Wages Reporting Guidance Issued

The IRS and the Treasury Department have issued guidance to employers about reporting the amount of qualified sick and family leave wages paid to employees for leave taken in 2021 on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Further, the notice provides guidance under recent legislation, including: the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) ( P.L. 116-127), as amended by the COVID-Related Tax […]

IRS Reminder for Classification of Workers as Employees or Independent Contractors

The IRS has emphasized the importance of correctly determining whether the individuals providing services to businesses were employees or independent contractors. Generally, an employee performs services that businesses control. Independent contractors offer their services to the public. Businesses have a right to control the details of the services performed.

The classification depends on the:

company’s behavioral Control on what the worker does […]

September 2021

2021 Luxury Auto Depreciation Caps and Lease Inclusion Amounts Issued

The IRS has issued the luxury car depreciation limits for business vehicles placed in service in 2021 and the lease inclusion amounts for business vehicles first leased in 2021.

Luxury Passenger Car Depreciation CapsThe luxury car depreciation caps for a passenger car placed in service in 2021 limit annual depreciation deductions to:

$10,200 for the first year without bonus depreciation$18,200 for the […]

Guidance for Claiming Employee Retention Credit in Third and Fourth Quarters of 2021

The IRS has issued guidance for employers claiming the employee retention credit under Code Sec. 3134, enacted by section 9651 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP), P.L. 117-2, which provides a credit for wages paid after June 30, 2021, and before January 1, 2022. The guidance amplifies previous notices which addressed the employee retention credit under section 2301 of […]

Gross Receipts Safe Harbor for Employers Claiming Employee Retention Credit

The Treasury and IRS have provided an optional safe harbor allowing employers to exclude the following amounts from their gross receipts solely for determining eligibility for the employee retention credit:

the amount of the forgiveness of a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan;the amount of any Shuttered Venue Operators Grants under the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act; […]

PPP Direct Forgiveness Portal Created, Loan Questionnaire Discontinuance Explained

The U.S. Small Business Administration ( SBA) is launching a streamlined application portal to allow certain borrowers to apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan forgiveness directly through the SBA. The SBA also is explaining why it discontinued use of Loan Necessity Questionnaires for PPP borrowers.

PPP Direct Forgiveness PortalThe SBA announced that it is launching a streamlined application portal to allow borrowers with […]

IRS Releases Information on CTC; Update Portal for Payments

The IRS stated that families should use the Child Tax Credit (CTC) Update Portal to confirm their eligibility for the payments. If eligible, the tool also indicates whether taxpayers are enrolled to receive their payments by direct deposit. More information can be found at https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/advance-child-tax-credit-payments-in-2021.

Direct DepositFor taxpayers currently using direct deposit, the tool will list the full bank routing number and the last […]

Guidance Provided on Premium Assistance for COBRA Continuation Coverage

The IRS provided additional guidance on the application of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) (P.L. 117-2) relating to temporary premium assistance for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) continuation coverage. This notice supplements Notice 2021-31, I.R.B. 2021-23, and addresses additional issues.

EligibilityThe IRS noted that if the original qualifying event was a reduction in hours or an […]

Foreign Tax Credit Did Not Apply Against Net Investment Income Tax

The foreign tax credit did not apply against the net investment income tax (NIIT). The structure of the Internal Revenue Code made the credit inapplicable to the NIIT, and tax treaties did not override that fact.

Under Code, Foreign Tax Credit Did Not Apply to NIITThe foreign tax credit is in chapter 1, subtitle A of the Code, and it expressly […]

Transition Relief Guidance for Employers Claiming the WOTC

The IRS issued transition relief for certain employers claiming the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) under Code Sec. 51. This would apply for certain employees beginning work after December 31, 2020, in response to legislation permitting the designation of an Empowerment Zone under Code Sec. 1393(b) to be extended from December 31, 2020, through December 31, 2025. Specifically, section IV of this notice […]

August 2021

Penalty Relief for Certain Pass-through Forms

Partnerships, S corporations, and U.S. persons with interests in foreign partnerships may rely on transition relief from penalties for tax years beginning in 2021 with respect to new Schedules K-2 and K-3. These schedules may be required for:

Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income,Form 1120-S, U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation, andForm 8865, Return of U.S. Persons With […]

No Surprise Billing Act Interim and Proposed Regulations

The Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (the Departments), have issued interim final rules and identical proposed regulations to implement provisions of the No Surprises Act. On December 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA), which included the No Surprises Act, was signed into law. The No Surprises Act provides federal protections against surprise billing […]

IRS Provides Answers to Question Pertaining to Treasury Grants and Related Taxes

The IRS has provided answers to questions that certain transportation companies may have regarding Treasury grants and related taxes, https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/coronavirus-economic-relief-for-transportation-services-certs-frequently-asked-questions. These companies must largely prioritize the use of the grants for payroll costs, though grants may be used for operating expenses, including the acquisition of services and any equipment needed to protect workers and customers from COVID-19. In addition, the funds […]

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