Document summaries for the week of Jan. 1, 2018

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Revised procedures issued for exempt organization employee plan determination letters

The IRS provided revised procedures for determination letters and letter rulings issued by the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division, Employee Plans Rulings and Agreements Office. Rev. Proc. 2018-4 (1/2/18).

 

EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS

Revised procedures issued for EO determination letters

The IRS set forth procedures for issuing determination letters on issues under the jurisdiction of the Director, Exempt Organizations (EO) Rulings and Agreements. Specifically, it explains the procedures for issuing determination letters on exempt status, private foundation status, and other determinations related to exempt organizations. The revenue procedure also provides guidance on applicable user fees for requesting determination letters. Rev. Proc. 2018-5 (1/2/18).

 

INDIVIDUALS

Taxpayer entitled to innocent spouse relief for distribution from ex-spouse’s retirement plan

The Tax Court held that a taxpayer was entitled to innocent spouse relief for the tax liability arising from the failure to report on a joint return a distribution from his former spouse’s separately owned retirement account, which the IRS had agreed to but the ex-spouse objected to. The court found that, while the history of the withdrawals from the retirement account supported a conclusion that the taxpayer should have known about the distribution, there was no evidence that the taxpayer actually saw the bank records before the joint return was filed, and his denials were not incredible, implausible, or contradicted by direct evidence. Bishop, T.C. Summ. 2018-1 (1/4/18). 

 

INTERNATIONAL

Extended statute of limitation for specified foreign financial assets applies only when reporting requirement is effective

The Tax Court held that, because Sec. 6501(e)(1)(A)(ii) applies only to omissions from gross income of amounts attributable to assets with respect to which the reporting requirement of Sec. 6038D is applicable (or would be applicable without regard to specified exceptions), it is effective only for tax years for which Sec. 6038D is effective. Sec. 6038D, enacted on March 18, 2010, and effective for tax years beginning after the date of enactment, imposes reporting requirements with respect to certain “specified foreign financial assets,” and Sec. 6501(e)(1)(A)(ii), also enacted on March 18, 2010, provides a six-year statute-of-limitation period if the taxpayer omits from gross income amounts attributable to one or more assets with respect to which information is required to be reported under Sec. 6038D. Rafizadeh, 150 T.C. No. 1 (1/2/18).

IRS issues annual international no-rulings list

The IRS updated the list of areas of the Code under the jurisdiction of the Associate Chief Counsel (International) on which the IRS will not issue letter rulings or determination letters. Rev. Proc. 2018-7 (1/2/18).

 

IRS PROCEDURE

IRS revises letter ruling and information letter procedures

The IRS issued revised procedures for letter rulings and information letters issued by its Corporate, Financial Institutions and Products, Income Tax and Accounting, International, Passthroughs and Special Industries, Procedure and Administration, and Tax Exempt and Government Entities Associate Chief Counsel offices. This procedure also revises how determination letters are issued by the Large Business and International, Small Business/Self Employed, Wage and Investment, and Tax Exempt and Government Entities divisions. Rev. Proc. 2018-1 (1/2/18).

TAM procedures updated

The IRS explained when and how an Associate Chief Counsel office provides technical advice memoranda (TAMs). It also explained a taxpayer’s rights when a field office requests a TAM. Rev. Proc. 2018-2 (1/2/18).

IRS revises domestic no-rulings list

The IRS provided a revised list of areas of the Code under the jurisdiction of the Corporate, Financial Institutions and Products, Income Tax and Accounting, Passthroughs and Special Industries, Procedure and Administration, and Tax Exempt and Government Entities Associate Chief Counsel offices on which the Service will not issue letter rulings or determination letters. Rev. Proc. 2018-3 (1/2/18).

Newsletter Articles

SPONSORED REPORT

States look to unclaimed property for revenue

State audits of abandoned and unclaimed property (AUP) have exploded in recent years. This report outlines the escheat process, common types of AUP, how different states are handling it and how companies can plan for potential audits and liabilities.

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

Tax software survey

Our annual survey offers a look at how CPAs judged their tax preparation software in a wide range of types of practices.