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Final regulations dealing with the 100 percent bonus depreciation allowance for qualified property acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017, allow property which is constructed under a pre-September 28, 2017 binding contract to qualify for the 100 percent rate. The final regulations adopt proposed regulations ( REG-104397-18) with certain modifications, including a revised constructed property rule. In addition, the IRS has issued a new set of proposed regulations dealing with issues it is not ready to finalize.



The IRS has issued final regulations that amend the rules relating to hardship distributions from Code Sec. 401(k) plans. The final regulations are substantially similar to the proposed regulations. Further, plans that complied with the proposed regulations satisfy the final regulations as well. The regulations are effective on September 23, 2019.


For a taxpayer using an accrual method of accounting, the all events test is not met for item of gross income any later than when is included in revenue on an applicable financial statement (AFS) or other financial statement specified by the Treasury Secretary. How the AFS income inclusion rule applies to accrual method taxpayers with an AFS is described and clarified by Proposed Reg. §1.451-3.



Taxpayers may use the automatic consent procedures to change accounting methods to comply with the recent proposed regulations described above. Rev. Proc. 2018-31, I.R.B. 2018-22, 637, is modified.


Amendments to have been proposed to update the information reporting regulations under Code Sec. 6033, which generally apply to organizations exempt from tax under Code Sec. 501(a). The proposed regulations reflect statutory amendments and certain grants of reporting relief announced through guidance that has been made since the current regulations were adopted. The amendments and grants of relief apply particularly with respect to tax-exempt organizations required to file an annual Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, or a Form 990-EZ information return.


Gross income is taxed to the person who earns it by performing services, or who owns the property that generates the income. Under the assignment of income doctrine, a taxpayer cannot avoid tax liability by assigning a right to income to someone else. The doctrine is invoked, for example, for assignments to creditors, family members, charities, and controlled entities. Thus, the income is taxable to the person who earned it, even if the person assigns the income to another and never personally receives the income. The doctrine can apply to both individuals and corporations.


The mortgage interest deduction is widely used by the majority of individuals who itemize their deductions. In fact, the size of the average mortgage interest deduction alone persuades many taxpayers to itemize their deductions. It is not without cause, therefore, that two recent developments impacting the mortgage interest deserve being highlighted. These developments involve new reporting requirements designed to catch false or inflated deductions; and a case that effectively doubles the size of the mortgage interest deduction available to joint homeowners. But first, some basics.


Many federal income taxes are paid from amounts that are withheld from payments to the taxpayer. For instance, amounts roughly equal to an employee's estimated tax liability are generally withheld from the employee's wages and paid over to the government by the employer. In contrast, estimated taxes are taxes that are paid throughout the year on income that is not subject to withholding. Individuals must make estimated tax payments if they are self-employed or their income derives from interest, dividends, investment gains, rents, alimony, or other funds that are not subject to withholding.


A business operated by two or more owners can elect to be taxed as a partnership by filing Form 8832, the Entity Classification Election form. A business is eligible to elect partnership status if it has two or more members and:


The IRS expects to receive more than 150 million individual income tax returns this year and issue billions of dollars in refunds. That huge pool of refunds drives scam artists and criminals to steal taxpayer identities and claim fraudulent refunds. The IRS has many protections in place to discover false returns and refund claims, but taxpayers still need to be proactive.


An employer must withhold income taxes from compensation paid to common-law employees (but not from compensation paid to independent contractors). The amount withheld from an employee's wages is determined in part by the number of withholding exemptions and allowances the employee claims. Note that although the Tax Code and regulations distinguish between withholding exemptions and withholding allowances, the terms are interchangeable. The amount of reduction attributable to one withholding allowance is the same as that attributable to one withholding exemption. Form W-4 and most informal IRS publications refer to both as withholding allowances, probably to avoid confusion with the complete exemption from withholding for employees with no tax liability.