Individuals

IRS issues 2019 to 2020 per-diem rates for traveling away from home

The IRS issued its annual notice specifying the special per-diem rates, including the transportation industry meal and incidental expenses rates, the rate for the incidental-expenses-only deduction, and the rates and list of high-cost localities for purposes of the high-low substantiation method.

Safe harbor allows QBI deduction for rental real estate businesses

The IRS issued a revenue procedure describing the requirements taxpayers have to meet to be a rental real estate business that qualifies for the safe harbor to be treated as a trade or business in order to qualify for the Sec. 199A qualified business income deduction.

Final regs. loosen 401(k) hardship distribution requirements

The IRS issued final regulations governing hardship distributions from Sec. 401(k) plans, eliminating the requirements that participants obtain a loan from the plan if available and that suspend participants’ ability to make contributions to the plans for six months after taking a hardship distribution.

IRS offers expatriate tax relief

The IRS announced procedures to allow certain individuals who have renounced their US citizenship to get into compliance with their U.S. tax obligations and obtain relief for back taxes.

Proposed regs. govern maximum automobile values

The IRS issued proposed rules that provide maximum automobile values for the cents-per-mile and fleet-average valuation rules used to determine the amount to include in an employee’s gross income for personal use of an employer-provided vehicle.

IRS issues draft of revised Form W-4 for 2020

The new draft form, which has been extensively redesigned, is intended to simplify the calculation of income tax withholding after the changes made by the law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

IRS changes maximum-vehicle-value rule

The IRS revised its maximum-vehicle-value rule for personal use of an employer-provided vehicle for 2019 for both the cents-per-mile rule and the fleet-average-valuation rule.

IRS expands relief from underpayment penalty

The IRS announced that it is lowering from 85% to 80% the amount taxpayers are required to have paid in order to escape an underpayment of estimated income tax penalty for 2018.

Opportunities beckon in new qualified opportunity zones

With their prospects for deferral or even exclusion of gains from certain investments in them, the newly created qualified opportunity zones offer an intriguing tax planning option for investors and a potential boon for distressed communities.

IRS announces Free File launch

The IRS announced that its Free File program, which provides free electronic filing options to moderate-income taxpayers, opened Jan. 11 and will operate through Oct. 15.

Sec. 199A: Questions and answers

Jeff Bilsky, CPA, senior practice leader for BDO’s national partnership taxation group, sat down recently for a question-and-answer session on guidance that has been issued on the Sec. 199A qualified business income deduction.

Newsletter Articles

TAX REFORM

Traps for the unwary: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changes

By now many of us are familiar with the various provisions of the law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), P.L. 115-97. Here is a list of changes together with (perhaps) unexpected nuances.

DEDUCTIONS

Qualified business income deduction regs. and other guidance issued

The package includes final regulations, guidance on how to calculate W-2 wages, a safe-harbor rule for rental real estate businesses, and new proposed rules on the treatment of previously suspended losses.