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Tax Blawg

Tax Talk Blog for Tax Pros

Welcome to TaxBlawg, a blog 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.

Tax practitioners have previously lacked 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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As we enter the final stretch of 2020, certain windows of opportunity are closing for many clients to lawfully reduce their taxes or obtain cash refunds of taxes paid.  Here we focus on a big and soon-expiring opportunity for clients with heavily distressed assets or investments, and in net loss situations for 2020, which is all-too-common in the midst of Covid-19. 

The opportunity, which is unique to 2020 and thus requires immediate attention, involves triggering losses in a manner to achieve ordinary loss treatment.  Triggering losses at year-end is an annual ritual for many ...

The IRS wants you to be entertained – in a twisted sort of way. The deductibility of employer expenses around entertainment, amusement, recreation, or qualified transportation fringes has a long history that most people would not find very entertaining. Just when many of us thought we understood what an employer could or could not deduct under Internal Revenue Code Section 274, the Tax Jobs and Creations Act of 2017, made the entertainment’s plot change dramatically. The boring documentary suddenly became a bit of a horror picture.

With those caveats, if you read no further ...

Categories: Tax Legislation

The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (TCJA) includes Internal Revenue Code Section 67(g) which on its face suspends all miscellaneous itemized deductions for any taxable year beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026. But not all deductions are “miscellaneous itemized deductions” and thus some deductions are unaffected by new Section 67(g). When Congress enacted the TCJA in December 2017, many practitioners urged Treasury to clarify that the Act’s suspension of miscellaneous itemized deductions did not impact the ability of trusts and estates to deduct ...

As discussed in an earlier Chamberlain Tax Blawg, on August 28 Treasury issued Notice 2020-65 which defers the due date for withholding, deposit and payment of employee-side taxes imposed under Section 3101(a) (FICA) and corresponding taxes under Section 3201 (RRT).  Since the issuance of this Notice, there has been much commentary – in addition to consternation and hand-wringing on the part of clients – about a multitude of issues the Notice implicates. 

On September 8, the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants added to this chorus with a comment letter to Treasury and ...

Categories: Tax Legislation

National law firm, Chamberlain Hrdlicka, has launched its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Audits and Investigations Practice. The interdisciplinary practice will leverage its extensive experience to protect PPP loan borrowers as they navigate the civil audit and review as well as PPP criminal investigations and enforcement processes.

Millions of businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors have obtained Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. While these loans have provided vital funding to recipients impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic ...

On Friday, in response to an August 8, 2020 Presidential Memorandum, Treasury issued Notice 2020-65 which defers the due date for withholding, deposit and payment of employee-side taxes imposed under Section 3101(a) (FICA) and corresponding taxes under Section 3201 (RRT). This deferral is effective September 1!

No doubt this Notice will be the subject of fierce political debate. The day of the Notice’s release, Congressman Don Beyer of Virginia fired a first shot across the bow. In a press release, the Congressman accused the deferral of being a “gimmick” that “could hit ...

Last week, the Fifth Circuit in Matter of Diaz invalided a bankruptcy court rule that would have required that taxpayers make available to creditors any current or projected tax refund in excess of $2,000.  Docket No. 19-50982 (5th Cir., Aug. 26, 2020).

The perfect storm is developing for this issue to affect a growing number of taxpayers.  Due to the economic downturn during the Coronavirus pandemic, a record number of bankruptcies is anticipated.  Also expected is a potentially unprecedented number of tax refunds as a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security ...

Categories: COVID-19, Tax Relief

On August 24, the IRS issued an internal memorandum that impacts when taxpayers may obtain IRS Appeals Conferences if their issues are designated for litigation.  As background, the IRS has a long-standing policy of permitting taxpayers an administrative-level review of audit adjustments by referring matters to its Office of Appeals.  For decades, this review process was discretionary for the IRS to offer.  It was a matter of administrative grace.  No longer.

Enter The Taxpayer First Act

In July 2019, Congress enacted The Taxpayer First Act which codified the Appeals Office (with a new ...

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 ...