Weekly Report from Washington

Congress remains in recess, but tax reform discussions continue among lawmakers and the White House. The IRS postponed the planned outage of all e-Services tools and applications that was scheduled to take place from Thursday, August 17 until Monday, August 21.

Congress

The Congressional Budget Office released a report about cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) payments (TAXDAY, 2017/08/16, C.1).

Top lawmakers and the White House are expected to release tax reform framework in September (TAXDAY, 2017/08/15, C.1).

House. House Ways and Means Committee members sent a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen concerning a recent Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report regarding rehiring dismissed employees (TAXDAY, 2017/08/18, C.1).

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady, R-Tex., spoke about comprehensive tax reform in 2017 at President Reagan’s ranch (TAXDAY, 2017/08/17, C.1).

The House Freedom Caucus introduced a petition to force a floor vote on repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148) (TAXDAY, 2017/08/15, C.2).

Treasury

FPLP. The IRS’s use of the Federal Payment Levy Program was discussed in a recent TIGTA report (TAXDAY, 2017/08/18, T.1).

Compliance. A recent TIGTA review reported that the IRS needs to improve tax compliance of Puerto Rico residents (TAXDAY, 2017/08/18, T.2).

Cybersecurity. TIGTA reviewed appropriations for IRS cybersecurity and ID theft prevention improvements (TAXDAY, 2017/08/18, T.3).

IRS

Defined Benefit Plans. The IRS provided model amendments that a sponsor of a qualified defined benefit plan may use to amend its plan document to offer bifurcated benefit distribution options to participants in accordance with final regulations (T.D. 9763, TAXDAY, 2016/09/09, I.1) issued under Code Sec. 417(e) (Notice 2017-44; TAXDAY, 2017/08/21, I.6).

OIC. The IRS reissued interim guidance that ended an application fee shortfall allowance in processing Offers in Compromise in the case of fees paid of at least $150 of the $186 fee that is due (SBSE-05-0817-0045; TAXDAY, 2017/08/18, I.1).

ACT. The IRS is accepting applications to serve on the Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) (Notice; TAXDAY, 2017/08/17, I.1).

E-services. The IRS has postponed the planned outage of all e-Services tools and applications that was scheduled to take place from Thursday, August 17 until Monday, August 21 (TAXDAY, 2017/08/17, I.2).

AFRs. Applicable federal rates (AFRs) for federal income tax purposes for September 2017 have been provided by the IRS (Rev. Rul. 2017-17; TAXDAY, 2017/08/17, I.3).

Scams. The IRS warned tax professionals of W-2 email scams (IR-2017-130; TAXDAY, 2017/08/16, I.1). The Service also warned taxpayers against IRS impersonators (IRS Tax Tip 2017-19; TAXDAY, 2017/08/15, I.1).

Like-Kind Exchanges. The IRS announced nonacquiescence to the holding in G.H. Bartell, Jr., Est., 147 TC —, No. 5, Dec. 60,669, on reverse like-kind exchange treatment for transaction involving qualifying intermediaries (TAXDAY, 2017/08/14, I.3).

Pensions. For pension plan years beginning in August 2017, the IRS has released the 30-year Treasury bond weighted average interest rate, the unadjusted segment rates, the adjusted rates and the minimum present value segment rates (Notice 2017-43; TAXDAY, 2017/08/14, I.7).

Domestic Assets. Asset/liability percentages and investment yields for foreign insurance companies was provided (Rev. Proc. 2017-44; TAXDAY, 2017/08/14, I.9).

REITs. The IRS has issued guidance on stock distributions by real estate investment trusts (REITs) and regulated investment companies (RICs) that will be treated as distributions of property under Code Secs. 301 and 305(b) (Rev. Proc. 2017-45; TAXDAY, 2017/08/14, I.10).

Tips. The IRS provides tax tips for starting a business (IRS Summertime Tax Tip 2017-18; TAXDAY, 2017/08/14, I.11).

By Jessica Jeane, George Jones, and George L. Yaksick, Jr., Wolters Kluwer News Staff

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