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Tax Blawg

Tax Talk for Tax Pros

Introduction

Welcome to TaxBlawg, a resource from Chamberlain Hrdlicka for news and analysis of current legal issues facing tax practitioners. Although blawg.com identifies nearly 1,400 active “blawgs,” including 20+ blawgs related to taxation and estate planning, the needs of tax professionals have received surprisingly little attention.

The Wall Street Journal's Tax Blog gives “tips and advice for filers,” and Paul Caron’s legendary TaxProf Blog is an excellent clearinghouse for academic and policy-oriented news. Yet, tax practitioners still lack a dedicated resource to call their own. For those intrepid souls, we offer TaxBlawg, a forum of tax talk for tax pros.

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Have you ever played darts?  Where the dart hits the board is very important to your score, but some rookies are happy if their dart hits the board at all.  That would be a fair characterization of The Inspector General for Tax Administration’s (“TIGTA”) January 21, 2020 report entitled “IRS Should Better Identify Noncompliant Exempt Orgs.”

In this report, TIGTA is very much like a rookie darts player, who declares himself a winner because his first dart hit the board.  In this regard, the Report is accurate about one thing:  the IRS does have problems identifying non-compliant ...

I.

Small Businesses with a Biweekly Payroll Schedule can Elect to use an Alternative Payroll Covered Period

SBA Form 3508, Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application, provides an optional alternative payroll covered period for small businesses with a biweekly (every other week) or more frequent payroll schedule. A small business may elect the alternative covered period only if it uses a biweekly or more frequent payroll schedule; those with monthly payroll schedules cannot make the election. If a small business makes the election, the eight-week period, for ...

As the nation responds to COVID-19 and a world pandemic, IRC §139 may be one more tool in an employer’s toolkit to help their employees with fighting this silent war.

Under the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) §139(a), “qualifying disaster relief payment" from an employer to an employee are excluded from gross income, the opposite of normal tax law. 

IRC §139 applies after the President of the United States declares a disaster. On March 13, 2020, President Trump made an emergency declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Act, evoking the protections of §139.

Importantly, an ...

People are always asking how long the IRS can wait from the time you file your return to conduct an audit of your income and expenses.  The simple, most definitive answer is "it all depends," so let's take a look at the rules.

The time in which the IRS must conduct its audit is governed by what's known as a "statute of limitations."  That statute doesn't begin to run until you actually file a return.  Once you file a return, the IRS has three years from the time the return was filed (or, April 15th of the year in which you file, if it is filed early) to conduct and complete an audit.  That means that the IRS has to select your return for examination, conduct whatever level of audit it is going to perform, and either get an agreement from you to an additional amount of tax or a refund, secure an extension of limitations period from you, or issue you a document known as a "Notice of Deficiency" (indicating what it has determined your correct tax liability to be and giving you ninety days to go the United States Tax Court). 

If it fails to complete one of these actions within three years, in most situations the proverbial “ballgame” is over and it will be too late for the IRS to assert an additional tax liability for that year.  The filing of an amended return does not extend the period in which an audit must take place.  As you might expect, however, there are exceptions. 

Categories: Tax Procedure

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised several interesting issues for employers and employees under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This client alert will address the challenges employers are facing due to the pandemic and their effect on ACA compliance, as well as potential exposure to employer mandate penalties.

General overview of the ACA rules and ESRPs

The ACA added Section 4980H to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), which applies to applicable large employers (ALEs). An employer is an ALE for a calendar year if, on average, it employed at least 50 full-time employees during the previous ...

Categories: COVID-19

As the legal and tax landscape continue to be shaped by COVID-19, the Chamberlain Tax Planning & Business Transactions Team is diligently reviewing and analyzing the newest legislation and guidance. We have prepared the below summary of certain FAQs recently issued by the IRS regarding the tax credits available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ("FFCRA") and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the "CARES Act"). Given the expedited nature in which this new legislation was passed, new guidance may continue to be issued in the future, which may ...

Categories: COVID-19, Tax Relief

COVID-19 is a public health crisis that has already had a profound impact on the U.S. economy. Businesses and individuals are struggling to adapt to restrictions imposed by federal, state and local governments in an attempt to "flatten the curve" and limit the consequences on public health. Several major laws were recently enacted to help partially offset the economic effects of this crisis and hopefully put businesses and the economy in a position to hit-the-ground running once this time has passed.

The Chamberlain Tax Planning & Business Transactions Team has prepared this ...

Houston Marriott Westchase, 2900 Briarpark Dr., Houston, Texas 77042

Chamberlain's West Houston Tax Forum at Marriott Westchase from 7:15-9:00 a.m. will take place on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

Speakers: Nima Farzaneh

Topic: 2019 Tax Return Preparation Issues:

This presentation concerns how changes to the tax law, cases and rulings may affect tax returns for 2019.

The Houstonian - 111 North Post Oak Lane

Chamberlain Hrdlicka's West Loop (Galleria) Tax Forum at the Houstonian from 7:15-9:00 a.m. will take place on Thursday, February 27, 2020.

Speakers: Nima Farzaneh

Topic: 2019 Tax Return Preparation Issues: This presentation concerns how changes to the tax law, cases and rulings may affect tax returns for 2019.

Speakers: Sebastien Chain, James McNeel, Justice David M. Medina (Texas Supreme Court, Retired), Leo Unzeitig, Jaime Vasquez, Juan F. Vasquez, Jr.

Where: Laredo Country Club, 1415 Country Club Drive, Laredo, Texas 78045

When: Thursday, February 13, 2020
Registration: 8:30 to 9:00 a.m.
Seminar: 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Lunch is included)

Workshops:

9:00 to 9:50 a.m. - Trust, Estate & Guardianship Litigation 2020 Update; presented by James McNeel
Summary: A survey of recent cases and issues currently being litigated to be considered in advising clients on how to ...