Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.

During the week of November 26, senior tax staff on the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees doubted Republicans’ catch-all tax and IRS package’s chances of success. The IRS released guidance granting automatic consent to accounting method changes to comply with new Code Sec. 451(b), as added by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97).

Congress

Senior tax staff on the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees doubt Republicans’ catch-all tax and IRS package’s chances of success, (TAXDAY, 2018/11/30, C.1).

House Republicans’ blazing, 297-page tax package of IRS reforms, tax extenders, disaster relief, retirement savings, and corrections to last year’s tax reform received an icy reception from congressional Democrats, (TAXDAY, 2018/11/29, C.1).

The House was expected to vote this week on a 297-page tax and IRS oversight package, (TAXDAY, 2018/11/28, C.1).

IRS

Revenue Procedure. The IRS released procedures granting automatic consent to accounting method changes to comply with new Code Sec. 451(b), as added by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97), (Rev. Proc. 2018-60; TAXDAY, 2018/11/30, I.1).

Notice. Insurers, self-insuring employers, other coverage providers, and applicable large employers have until March 4, 2019, to provide individuals with Forms 1095-B, Health Coverage, or Forms 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, (Notice 2018-94; TAXDAY, 2018/11/30, I.2).

LB&I. The IRS Large Business and International Division (LB&I) issued a directive providing instructions to LB&I examiners for cases when a taxpayer files an amended return or claim for refund relating to Code Sec. 199, (TAXDAY, 2018/11/30, I.3).

Loans and Hardships Procedures. Victims of Hurricanes Michael and Florence could now benefit from the IRS’s streamlined loan procedures and liberalized hardship distribution rules, (IR-2018-236; TAXDAY, 2018/11/30, I.4).

FEMA. An October 15, 2018 notice in which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that certain areas in Virginia were eligible for assistance from the federal government, was amended, (TAXDAY, 2018/11/30, I.6).

Tax Tip. The IRS provided tips on tools and resources available on its website, (TAXDAY, 2018/11/30, I.7).

Foreign Tax Credit Regulations. Highly anticipated foreign tax credit regulations were issued to provide guidance on the significant changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97) to the foreign tax credit rules, (NPRM REG-105600-18; IR-2018-235; TAXDAY, 2018/11/29, I.1).

Filing Methods. The IRS advised taxpayers that they would profit from deciding their filing methods for the 2018 return at the earliest, (IR-2018-234; TAXDAY, 2018/11/29, I.2).

Tax Tip. The IRS provided tips on a new tax credit that benefits employers, (TAXDAY, 2018/11/29, I.3).

Advice Memorandum. The IRS issued a memo that sets forth guidelines for determining if an employer’s reasons for furnishing meals to employees are substantial noncompensatory business reasons and whether the meals are excludable from income as meals provided for the convenience of the employer, (TAXDAY, 2018/11/28, I.1).

Tax Tip. The IRS provided tips on changes to the child tax credit, (TAXDAY, 2018/11/28, I.2).

Safe Harbor. A safe harbor was provided that allows taxpayers to treat certain infrastructure trades or businesses as electing real property trades or businesses not subject to the Code Sec. 163(j) business interest deduction limit, (Rev. Proc. 2018-59; NPRM REG-106089-18; IR-2018-233; TAXDAY, 2018/11/27, I.1)

Notice. The IRS provided interim guidance for the 2019 calendar year on income tax withholding from wages and withholding from retirement and annuity distributions, (Notice 2018-92; TAXDAY, 2018/11/27, I.2).

Safekeeping of Records. The seventh issue in a series of reminders to help taxpayers Get Ready for the upcoming tax filing season provided information for taxpayers about tax records, (IR-2018-232; TAXDAY, 2018/11/27, I.3).

Per Diem. The U.S. State Department released a listing of maximum travel per diem allowances for travel in foreign areas, (TAXDAY, 2018/11/27, I.4).

Tax Tip. The IRS provided tips on using its tax exempt organization search tool, (TAXDAY, 2018/11/27, I.5).

Notice. The IRS released its annual “Required Amendments List” for 2018 for individually designed qualified retirement plans, (Notice 2018-91; TAXDAY, 2018/11/26, I.1).

RRTA Tax Rates. The IRS released the tier 2 Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA) tax rates for 2019 for railroad employees, employers and employee representatives, respectively, (TAXDAY, 2018/11/26, I.2).

Standard Deduction. The IRS informed taxpayers that the doubling of the standard deduction due to tax law changes is likely to reduce the number of taxpayers who normally itemize, (IR-2018-230; TAXDAY, 2018/11/26, I.3).

Deadline for Forms. The IRS reminded employers that the due date for filing Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, for their employees for calendar year 2018 is January 31, 2019, (IR-2018-231; TAXDAY, 2018/11/26, I.4).

I.R.B. The IRS released I.R.B. 2018-48, dated November 26, 2018, (TAXDAY, 2018/11/26, I.5).

FEMA. An October 11, 2018 notice in which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that certain areas in Florida were eligible for assistance from the federal government, was amended, (TAXDAY, 2018/11/26, I.6).

Tax Tip. The IRS provided tips on reconstructing records after disasters, (TAXDAY, 2018/11/26, I.7).

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