Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.

During the week of September 17, 2018, the House Republican’s top tax writer urged the IRS to issue updated guidance on virtual currencies. TIGTA noted that improvements were needed to ensure adequate consideration of the pickup of prior and/or subsequent returns during field examinations. The IRS and the Treasury Department provided taxpayers with additional guidance for complying with the Code Sec. 871(m) regulations.

Congress

House Republican’s top tax writer urged the IRS to issue updated guidance on virtual currencies. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Tex., led a September 19 letter co-authored by four other committee members criticizing the IRS’s administration of tax obligations related to virtual currencies, (TAXDAY, 2018/09/20, C.1).

Treasury

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) noted that improvements were needed to ensure adequate consideration of the pickup of prior and/or subsequent returns during field examinations, (Ref. No. 2018-30-073; TAXDAY, 2018/09/21, T.1).

TIGTA noted that the IRS needed to improve its compliance with the direct contact provisions of Code Sec. 7521 in connection with taxpayer interviews, (Ref. No. 2018-30-070; TAXDAY, 2018/09/19, T.1).

TIGTA noted that seizures conducted by the IRS did not adequately comply with the guidelines put in place to ensure that taxpayers’ rights were not violated, (Ref. No. 2018-30-067; TAXDAY, 2018/09/18, T.1).

TIGTA reviewed the compilation of statistical information reported by the IRS, (Ref. No. 2018-30-069; TAXDAY, 2018/09/18, T.2).

Internal Revenue Service

Notice. The IRS and the Treasury Department provided taxpayers with additional guidance for complying with the Code Sec. 871(m) regulations on dividend equivalent payments for 2019, 2020 and 2021, (Notice 2018-72; TAXDAY, 2018/09/21, I.1).

Redesigned Form W-4. The Treasury and the IRS mentioned launching a redesigned Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, for 2020, (TAXDAY, 2018/09/21, I.2).

Comment Requests. The IRS requested comments on identity theft affidavit forms, (TAXDAY, 2018/09/21, I.3).

Tax Tip. Tax assistance was made available on IRS’s Mobile App IRS2Go, (TAXDAY, 2018/09/21, I.4).

FASB. The IRS modified Rev. Proc. 2018-29, I.R.B. 2018-22, 634, (TAXDAY, 2018/05/11, I.2) and Rev. Proc. 2018-31, I.R.B. 2018-22, 637, (TAXDAY, 2018/05/10, I.2) to allow a taxpayer that early adopted (early adopter) a method of recognizing revenues described in the new financial accounting standards issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), (TAXDAY, 2018/09/20, I.1).

Data Security. The IRS introduced a new tax transcript format to better protect taxpayer data, (FS-2018-16; TAXDAY, 2018/09/20, I.2).

Tax Credit. The IRS provided tax tips to certain veterans who were eligible for credit or refund, (TAXDAY, 2018/09/20, I.3).

Field Attorney Advice. A company failed to dispose carbon dioxide (CO2) in a secure geological storage, a primary requirement for claiming the credit for CO2 sequestration, (TAXDAY, 2018/09/19, I.1).

Applicable Federal Rates. The IRS provided the prescribed rates for federal income tax purposes for October 2018, (Rev. Rul. 2018-27; TAXDAY, 2018/09/19, I.2).

Tax Scams. In the wake of Hurricane Florence, the IRS warned taxpayers to remain vigilant against scammers who take advantage of the generosity of those who want to help victims of major disasters, (IR-2018-188; TAXDAY, 2018/09/19, I.3).

Hurricane Florence. The IRS announced that it would not impose a penalty when dyed diesel fuel is sold for use or used on the highway in the state of North Carolina, (IR-2018-189; TAXDAY, 2018/09/19, I.4).

Form 8975. The IRS issued reminder to US multinational enterprises (MNEs) regarding filing of Form 8975, Country-by Country Report, (TAXDAY, 2018/09/19, I.5).

Safe Harbor Notice. The IRS updated its safe harbor Code Sec. 402(f) notice explanations for recipients of eligible rollover distributions, (Notice 2018-74; TAXDAY, 2018/09/19, I.6).

Procedural Update. The IRS updated memos addressing AUR program, BSA examinations, bankruptcy and more, (TAXDAY, 2018/09/19, I.7).

FEMA. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that the president determined that certain areas in Alaska, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and Connecticut were eligible for assistance from the federal government, (TAXDAY, 2018/09/19, I.8).

Tax Tip. The IRS provided tips on individual retirement arrangements, (TAXDAY, 2018/09/19, I.9).

Tax Relief. Hurricane Florence victims got tax relief from the IRS, (IR-2018-187; TAXDAY, 2018/09/18, I.1).

FEMA Notice. The president declared a federal disaster area in North Carolina due to Hurricane Florence, (TAXDAY, 2018/09/18, I.2).

Comment Requests. The IRS requested comments on various Forms, (TAXDAY, 2018/09/18, I.3).

Disaster Area Designation. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that the president determined that certain areas in Iowa were eligible for assistance from the federal government, (TAXDAY, 2018/09/18, I.4).

Tax Tips. The IRS provided tips on Taxpayer Bill of Rights, (TAXDAY, 2018/09/18, I.5).

IRB. The IRS released I.R.B. 2018-38 dated September 17, 2018, (TAXDAY, 2018/09/17, I.1).

Current Plan Liability Rates. The IRS provided current plan liability rates for pension plan years beginning in September 2018, (Notice 2018-73; TAXDAY, 2018/09/17, I.2).

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