Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.

Taxes took center stage on Capitol Hill as the Senate continued debate on an overhaul of the Tax Code. In addition, the IRS expanded penalty relief for entities filing partnership returns. Also, the Service observed National Tax Security Awareness Week.

Congress

At press time, the Senate appeared poised to approve sweeping changes to the current tax laws. The Senate GOP brought its version of a tax bill to the floor for a vote. And, the bill passed 51-49 in the early hours of December 2.

Treasury

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released its semiannual report to Congress. TIGTA highlighted the IRS’s efforts to curb tax-related refund fraud. Also, TIGTA told lawmakers that the IRS is not using enough Schedule K-1 data to identify returns for audit.

IRS

Penalty Relief. The IRS announced expanded penalty relief for late-filed Forms 1065. The IRS will treat the acts of any entity that may properly file a Form 1065, and in fact filed a Form 1065, as timely if the entity acted by the old due date (Notice 2017-71).

Partnerships. The IRS released guidance describing how certain international rules operate under the new centralized partnership audit regime. The guidance discusses the withholding of tax on foreign persons, withholding of tax to enforce reporting on certain foreign accounts and the treatment of creditable foreign tax expenditures of a partnership (NPRM REG-119337-17 )

Cybersecurity. The IRS observed National Tax Security Awareness Week. This week, the Service reminded taxpayers and tax professionals that tax-related identity theft peaks early in the filing season. In addition, the IRS told taxpayers and preparers what steps to take to protect confidential information from cybercriminals (IR-2017-193).

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

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