Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.

As taxpayers recover from recent disasters, the IRS announced more relief measures. Also, the IRS held a hearing on the new centralized partnership audit regime. Meanwhile, the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) held hearing on business tax reform.

Congressional Weekly

The SFC held a hearing on efforts to overhaul the business side of the tax code. During the hearing, lawmakers and witnesses examined the overall economic impact of business tax reform. More details about the GOP’s tax proposals are expected to be released during the week of September 25. In addition, Senate Republicans continued to debate health care legislation to repeal the medical device excise tax, the individual and employer shared responsibility requirements, and other changes.

Treasury Weekly

PEOs. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) highlighted the IRS’s voluntary certification program for professional employer organizations (PEOs) in a new report. TIGTA found that many PEOs are not participating in the voluntary certification program (Ref. No. 2017-40-085).

NFTL. TIGTA also released a report on the IRS’s Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) procedures. Generally, the IRS timely and correctly mailed taxpayers notices of NFTL filing, TIGTA reported (Ref. No. 2017-30-070).

IRS Weekly

Disaster Relief. The IRS announced disaster tax relief for victims of Hurricane Irma in Georgia (IR-2017-156). In addition, the Service provided limited waiver of fuel penalty due to Hurricane Irma (IR-2017-157).

Partnership Audits. The IRS held a hearing on September 18 on the new centralized partnership audit regime. Stakeholders discussed various concerns about the new regime.

Pilot Program. Further, the IRS announced a pilot program expanding the scope of letter rulings to include rulings on the tax consequences of Code Sec. 355 distributions. In addition, the IRS provided procedures for taxpayers requesting these rulings and clarified procedures for taxpayers requesting rulings on significant issues relating to these transactions (Rev. Proc. 2017-52).

Applicable Federal Rates. The IRS posted the applicable federal rates for October 2017 (Rev. Rul. 2017-20).

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

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