Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.

The November 6 weekly report covers the House Republicans’ introduction of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Also, the Senate Republicans continued work on their tax reform package. The IRS announced more relief for victims of Hurricane Maria and the California wildfires. The IRS also announced that e-filing for 2016 returns closes November 18.

Congress

House Republicans introduced the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Senate Republicans continue to work on a tax reform package.

House

House Republicans unveiled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act HR 1. The bill would, among other measures, lower the corporate tax rate, repeal many individual and business tax breaks, and eliminate the alternative minimum tax (AMT). The bill is scheduled for scheduled for markup by the Ways and Means Committee November 6.

Senate

Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee continue to work on a tax reform package. Senate Republicans could release tax legislation during the week of November 6 with markup during the week of November 13.

IRS

The IRS provided additional disaster relief, guidance on ITIN renewal and LB&I compliance campaigns. Also, it announced that e-filing for 2016 will end November 18.

Disaster Relief

The IRS announced streamlined procedures for loans and distributions from retirement plans to help victims of Hurricane Maria and California wildfires. Employers that sponsor retirement plans for their employees may provide this relief to employees, along with some family members, who live or work in the disaster area, the IRS explained (IRS Ann. 2017-15).

ITINs

The IRS reminded taxpayers to renew their Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs). Taxpayers with ITINs set to expire this year, and who need to file a tax return in 2018, must submit a renewal application (IR-2017-184).

Compliance Campaigns

The IRS Large Business and International Division announced new compliance campaigns. The new compliance campaigns relate to the Swiss bank program, foreign earned income exclusion, and energy efficient buildings, among other issues.

e-File

The IRS announced that e-filing for 2016 returns closes November 18. Taxpayers may file paper returns for 2016 after November 18 (IR-2017-183).

Health Care

The IRS has released guidance for small employers who want to provide health reimbursement arrangements (QSEHRAs). These plans help employees offset the cost of health insurance (Notice 2017-67).

Cybersecurity

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said that the Service has successfully defended against millions of cyberattacks. Koskinen steps down as commissioner later this month.

Nonacquiescence

The IRS announced that it will not acquiesce in a district court decision awarding a married couple a refund because the Service incorrectly recharacterized the couple’s nonpassive income as passive (AOD 2017-7 ).

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