Welcome to TaxBlawg, a resource 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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As reported earlier this week in the tax press, the recently completed initial filing season for Schedule UTP produced at least one major surprise in the eyes of IRS officials, who had anticipated a much greater number of items listed on the average Schedule UTP than actually materialized. In fact, the IRS’s predictions were off by a wide margin, with the number of disclosed positions of the 1,500 or so Schedule UTPs filed averaging only slightly more than three items per schedule for CIC taxpayers, and less than two items for non-CIC taxpayers. Pre-filing expectations of item ...
Peter Pappas at the Tax Lawyer's Blog takes note of a recent report from TIGTA regarding audits of small corporations (those with less than $10 million in assets, according to the IRS). As Mr. Pappas says, language from the report suggests that Treasury may consider the closely held nature of many small businesses to be an indicator of a propensity to structure transactions to avoid taxes.
Many corporations in the United States are considered closely held because they are owned by one shareholder or a closely knit group of shareholders. As such, these shareholders typically have a ...
One of our readers recently emailed us with a question about the application of the new Schedule UTP to deferred tax assets. The question is straightforward enough: must uncertain positions involving deferred tax assets be reported on Schedule UTP and, if so, when must they be reported? The explanation, thanks to confusion created by several examples in the final Schedule UTP instructions, is anything but straightforward. Let’s start with a little background.
The Internal Revenue Service on Friday released the final version of the much-anticipated Schedule UTP (and accompanying instructions) as well as additional guidance about changes that had been made the schedule. At the same time, the IRS also announced an expansion of the Compliance Assurance Program (CAP) as well as some other minor matters. In the face of much criticism of the draft Schedule UTP and instructions, the IRS made a numbers of significant adjustments; however, several issues remain unresolved.
Judging by the feedback we receive from our readers, the topic of workpapers and work product continues to be an area of major concern for many tax practitioners. For those who are interested in learning more about the topic, particularly in light of the D.C. Circuit's recent decision in United States v. Deloitte LLP, I will be speaking on a webinar panel, U.S. v. Deloitte: Expansion of Work Product Doctrine in Tax Controversies, next Tuesday at 1pm (EDT). For prior TaxBlawg discussion of the Deloitte opinion, see here.
Together with Edward Froelich of Morrison & Foerster and Kevin ...
Last week, the IRS issued a proposed regulation that would generally require corporations to attach Schedule UTP (Uncertain Tax Position Statement) to their returns. The regulation effectively would give the IRS authority to require that the schedule be filed; but the issuance of the regulation raises an interesting question: is the IRS setting the stage to argue that the requirement to file Schedule UTP should be permitted on the basis of deference to the IRS’s regulatory authority?
Just when the Department of Justice must have thought that it could do no wrong in pursuing the workpapers of taxpayers and their auditors, it ran smack into the formidable blockade that is the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In United States v. Deloitte LLP et al., No. 09-5171 (D.C. Cir. Jun. 29, 2010), the D.C. Circuit seems to have fired a shot across the bow of both the Department of Justice and the IRS’s brand-new Schedule UTP. (You can find the opinion here.)