Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.

During the week of December 10, the incoming Senate Finance Committee (SFC) Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, outlined the tax writing committees’ tax-related priorities for the 116th Congress from the Senate floor on December 12. The Solaris to Linux Migration Project needs to avoid delays and improve governance, according to a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The IRS released proposed regulations intended to reduce taxpayer burden in complying with certain withholding requirements under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

Congress

The Senate confirmed Justin Muzinich as deputy Treasury secretary on December 11 by a nearly party-line 55-to-44 vote, (TAXDAY, 2018/12/12, C.1).

The House’s top Republican tax writer introduced a revised tax and IRS oversight package. The “tweaked” 253-page package addressed retirement savings, disaster relief, IRS reform, tax law corrections and the delay and repeal of certain Affordable Care Act (ACA) taxes, among other things, (TAXDAY, 2018/12/11, C.1).

A top Senate tax writer said that the additional proposed regulations for the new tax code were expected to be released as early as December 10. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin provided Republican senators with an update on tax reform-related rules in a meeting at the U.S. Capitol on December 6, (TAXDAY, 2018/12/10, C.1).

Treasury

Linux Migration Project. The Solaris to Linux Migration Project needs to avoid delays and improve governance, according to a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), (Ref. No. 2019-20-008; TAXDAY, 2018/12/11, T.1).

IRS

FATCA Regulation. The IRS released proposed regulations intended to reduce taxpayer burden in complying with certain withholding requirements under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), (NPRM REG-132881-17; TAXDAY, 2018/12/14, I.1).

BEAT Regulation. The IRS released proposed regulations that provide much anticipated guidance on the base erosion and anti-abuse tax (BEAT) under Code Sec. 59A and related reporting requirements, (NPRM REG-104259-18; IR-2018-250; TAXDAY, 2018/12/14, I.2).

Revenue Procedure. Procedures were provided for an insurance company changing its basis of computing reserves under Code Sec. 807(f), as amended by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97, (Rev. Proc. 2019-10; TAXDAY, 2018/12/14, I.3).

Fact Sheet. The IRS released guidance discussing the tax ramifications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97) (TCJA) for farmers, (FS-2018-19; TAXDAY, 2018/12/14, I.4).

Filing Deadline. The IRS announced the deadline for filing refund claims by wrongfully incarcerated individuals, (IR-2018-249; TAXDAY, 2018/12/14, I.5).

FEMA. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that certain areas in California were eligible for assistance from the federal government, (TAXDAY, 2018/12/14, I.8).

Tax Tips. The IRS encouraged taxpayers to obtain tax information on Instagram, (TAXDAY, 2018/12/14, I.9).

FEMA. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that the president on November 27, 2018, determined that certain areas in Pennsylvania were eligible for assistance from the federal government, (TAXDAY, 2018/12/13, I.1).

Tax Tips. Tips provided on changes to qualified moving expenses, (TAXDAY, 2018/12/13, I.2).

RMDs. The IRS reminded retirees about Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs), (IR-2018-248; TAXDAY, 2018/12/12, I.1).

Tax Tips. Tips were provided on qualified opportunity zones, (TAXDAY, 2018/12/12, I.2).

Parking Expenses. The IRS provided guidance and examples for calculating the nondeductible portion of parking expenses, (Notice 2018-99; Notice 2018-100; IR-2018-247; TAXDAY, 2018/12/11, I.1).

Advice Memorandum. The IRS issued a memo that sets forth guidelines for determining various factual scenarios such as whether a taxpayer may qualify as a designer of energy efficient commercial building property under Code Sec. 179D(d)(4), (TAXDAY, 2018/12/11, I.2).

FAQs. The IRS updated FAQs on FATCA registration system, (TAXDAY, 2018/12/11, I.3).

Tax Tips. The IRS provided tips on changes to employee Achievement Award rules post tax reform, (TAXDAY, 2018/12/11, I.4).

Stock Units. The IRS released initial guidance on the relatively new Code Sec. 83(i), added by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97), (Notice 2018-97; IR-2018-246; TAXDAY, 2018/12/10, I.1).

Revenue Ruling. The IRS released a table outlining the base-period Treasury bill rate for the period that ended on September 30, 2018, (Rev. Rul. 2018-31; TAXDAY, 2018/12/10, I.2).

I.R.B. The IRS released I.R.B. 2018-50, dated December 10, 2018, (TAXDAY, 2018/12/10, I.3).

Cybercriminals. The IRS issued its fifth reminder as part of “National Tax Security Awareness Week”, urging tax professionals to take measures to protect client data and their computer networks from cybercriminals, (IR-2018-245; TAXDAY, 2018/12/10, I.4).

Announcement. The IRS’s Office of Professional Responsibility published the names of attorneys, certified public accountants (CPAs), enrolled agents, enrolled actuaries, enrolled retirement plan agents and appraisers who have been disbarred from practice before the IRS, (Ann. 2018-15; TAXDAY, 2018/12/10, I.5).

Comment Request. The IRS requested comments on regulation related to nonfunctional currency transactions, (TAXDAY, 2018/12/10, I.6).

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