Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.

Congress remained in recess during the week of April 2. Lawmakers are expected to return to Washington, D.C., on April 9.

Congress

Senate. The Senate Finance Committee (SFC) will hold a hearing on April 12 to examine the 2018 tax filing season and future challenges at the IRS (TAXDAY, 2018/04/05, C.1).

Treasury

EITC. The IRS should consider modifying the tax return to further Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) outreach activities, according to a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), (Ref. No. 2018-IE-R004), (TAXDAY, 2018/04/05, T.1).

FinCEN. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has released a second series of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to assist covered financial institutions in understanding the scope of the Customer Due Diligence (CDD) requirements for financial Institutions (FIN-2018-G001), (TAXDAY, 2018/04/04, T.1).

IRS

Comments. The IRS has requested comments on the potential expansion of the scope of the determination letter program for individually designed plans during the 2019 calendar year, beyond provision of determination letters for initial qualification and qualification upon plan termination. (Notice 2018-24), (TAXDAY, 2018/04/06, I.1).

VITA. The IRS has urged qualifying taxpayers to take advantage of an array of options that provide free tax preparation assistance, (IR-2018-85), (TAXDAY, 2018/04/06, I.2).

Tips. The IRS has provided tips for getting unclaimed 2014 tax refunds, (TAXDAY, 2018/04/06, I.3).

Information letters. IRS information letters have been released by the IRS National Office in response to a request for general information by taxpayers or by government officials on behalf of constituents or on their own behalf, (INFO 2018-0001—INFO 2018-0005), (TAXDAY, 2018/04/05, I.1).

Disaster relief. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced that the president on March 2, 2018, determined that certain areas in American Samoa are eligible for assistance from the federal government under the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 USC 5121) as a result of tropical storm Gita during the period of February 7 to February 12, 2018 (FEMA-4357-DR), (TAXDAY, 2018/04/05, I.4).

TAP. The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) Joint Committee will hold an open meeting on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. ET via teleconference, (TAXDAY, 2018/04/04, I.1).

Refunds. The IRS has urged taxpayers to file their 2014 returns by April 17, 2018 if they are, in fact, seeking 2014 refunds, (IR-2018-83), (TAXDAY, 2018/04/04, I.2).

Contacts. The IRS has issued an updated version of the Chief Counsel telephone directory, dated April 2, 2018. The directory lists Chief Counsel contacts by code section and subject area, (TAXDAY, 2018/04/04, I.3).

Identity theft. The IRS has issued a fact sheet explaining the identity theft victim assistance process and procedures involved in resolving tax-related identity theft cases, (FS-2018-6), (TAXDAY, 2018/04/04, I.4).

TAP. TAP is accepting applications through April 27 (IR-2018-84), (TAXDAY, 2018/04/04, I.5).

Tips. The IRS has released tax tips for military members and their families, (TAXDAY, 2018/04/04, I.6).

Comments. IRS has requested comments on EFTPS and trust and estate return forms, (TAXDAY, 2018/04/04, I.7).

Regulations. The IRS has issued corrections to final regulations (T.D. 9777, I.R.B. 2016-36, 282; TAXDAY, 2016/07/18, I.2) related to arbitrage restrictions under Code Sec. 148 applicable to tax-exempt bonds and other tax-advantaged bonds issued by state and local governments (TAXDAY, 2018/04/03, I.1).

Guidance. The Treasury and IRS have issued a fourth piece of guidance on the foreign earnings transition tax under Code Sec. 965, (IR-2018-79; Notice 2018-26), (TAXDAY, 2018/04/03, I.2).

Withholding. The IRS has urged specific groups of taxpayers to check if the right amount of tax was being withheld from their paychecks following the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97), (IR-2018-80), (TAXDAY, 2018/04/03, I.3).

Regulations. The Treasury Department and the IRS have announced their intention to issue regulations, rules, and procedures on how to qualify for exemptions from withholding, or reductions in the amount of withholding, on transfers of non-publicly traded partnership interests under Code Sec. 1446(f). The Treasury and IRS also have issued interim guidance that taxpayers may rely on until regulations are issued (IR-2018-81; Notice 2018-29), (TAXDAY, 2018/04/03, I.4).

Guidance. The IRS has announced initial guidance for computing the business interest expense deduction under Code Sec. 163(j) effective for tax years beginning after 2017 and aspects that will be covered in future regulations, (IR-2018-82; Notice 2018-28), (TAXDAY, 2018/04/03, I.5).

Per diem. The U.S. State Department has released a listing of maximum travel per diem allowances for travel in foreign areas, (TAXDAY, 2018/04/02, I.2).

Guidance. The Treasury and IRS have issued guidance on Country-by-Country (CbC) information reporting by national security contractors, (Notice 2018-31), (TAXDAY, 2018/04/02, I.3).

Pricing. The IRS has released its annual report on advance pricing agreements and the advance pricing and mutual agreement (APMA) program, (Ann. 2018-8), (TAXDAY, 2018/04/02, I.4).

Tax reform. The IRS has spotlighted the service’s new tax reform web page, (TAXDAY, 2018/04/02, I.5).

Comments. The IRS has requested comments on various forms and regulations, (TAXDAY, 2018/04/02, I.6).

By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Staff

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