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The IRS and the Treasury intend to provide regulations that will address issues affecting foreign corporations with previously taxed earnings and profits (PTEP). The regulations are in response to changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) ( P.L. 115-97)


The IRS has proposed regulations on the limitation on the business interest expense deduction under Code Sec. 163(j), as amended by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) ( P.L. 115-97). The IRS also has issued a safe harbor that allows taxpayers to treat certain infrastructure trades or businesses as real property trades or businesses solely for purposes of qualifying as an electing real property trade or business under Code Sec. 163(j)(7)(B).


A nonprofit corporation that operated a medical-marijuana dispensary legally under California law was not allowed to claim deductions for business expenses on its federal return. Code Sec. 280E, which prevents any trade or business that consists of trafficking in controlled substances from deducting any business expenses, applied.


The IRS released the optional standard mileage rates for 2019. Most taxpayers may use these rates to compute deductible costs of operating vehicles for:


The IRS has provided guidance and examples for calculating the nondeductible portion of parking expenses. In addition, the IRS has provided guidance to tax-exempt organizations to help such organizations determine how unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) will be increased by the nondeductible amount of such fringe benefit expenses paid or incurred.


The IRS has released initial guidance on the new Code Sec. 83(i), added by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ( P.L. 115-97).

Code Sec. 83 generally provides for the federal income tax treatment of property transferred in connection with the performance of services. Code Sec. 83(i) allows certain employees to elect to defer recognition of income attributable to the receipt or vesting of qualified stock for up to five years.


Highly anticipated foreign tax credit regulations have been issued that provide guidance on the significant changes made to the foreign tax credit rules by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ( P.L. 115-97).


Proposed regulations provide much anticipated guidance on the base erosion and anti-abuse tax (BEAT) under Code Sec. 59A and related reporting requirements. The regulations are proposed to apply generally to tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, but taxpayers may rely on these proposed regulations until final regulations are published.


The IRS will grant automatic consent to accounting method changes to comply with new Code Sec. 451(b), as added by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ( P.L. 115-97). In addition, some taxpayers may make the accounting method change on their tax returns without filing a Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method. These procedures generally apply to tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. Rev. Proc. 2018-31, I.R.B. 2018-22, 637, is modified.


The IRS has issued transition relief from the "once-in-always-in" condition for excluding part-time employees under Reg. §1.403(b)-5(b)(4)(iii)(B). Under the "once-in-always-in" exclusion condition, once an employee is eligible to make elective deferrals, the employee may not be excluded from making elective deferrals in any later exclusion year on the basis that he or she is a part-time employee.


The IRS has provided interim guidance for the 2019 calendar year on income tax withholding from wages and withholding from retirement and annuity distributions. In general, certain 2018 withholding rules provided in Notice 2018-14, I.R.B. 2018-7, 353, will remain in effect for the 2019 calendar year, with one exception.


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.