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On October 9, 2019, IRS released Revenue Ruling 2019-24, 2019-44 IRB, which provides new guidance on the Service’s handling of cryptocurrencies and is the first of such guidance to be released since March 2014 when IRS issued Notice 2014-21. The ruling was issued after prodding from a bipartisan congressional coalition. The ruling, and attached Frequently

In its 2019 Spring Term, the Supreme Court published five decisions regarding tax matters, three of which limit states’ taxing authority. In a February decision, Dawson v. Steager, the Court held that a state cannot tax a federal retiree’s pension benefits while declining to tax a similarly situated state retiree. The March decision in

On June 7, 2019, the Ninth Circuit re-issued a decision in Altera v. Commissioner, upholding an IRS Regulation that had been previously struck down by the Tax Court.  (This follows a decision in the same case that had previously been released by the Ninth Circuit on July 24, 2018, only to be precipitously withdrawn

On December 21, 2018, IRS and Treasury issued final regulations implementing the partnership audit regime (T.D. 9844). The final regulations largely adopt, with some changes, the proposed regulations issued in August 2018. By issuing almost 200 pages of preamble, the final regulations provide extensive discussion of which comments were incorporated and why others were

On November 20, 2018, IRS issued a memo on its new voluntary disclosure program (“Voluntary Disclosure Program” or “Program”), following the offshore voluntary disclosure program’s termination on September 28, 2018. The Voluntary Disclosure Program provides taxpayers with a process for voluntarily disclosing tax noncompliance for both domestic and offshore assets to avoid potential criminal liability and prosecution. IRS has discretion to apply the Voluntary Disclosure Program’s procedures to all domestic voluntary disclosures received on or before September 28, 2018. Taxpayers have long been able to disclose voluntarily their tax noncompliance to IRS, either pursuant to IRS’s long-standing practice of allowing voluntary disclosure, under IRM 9.5.11.9, or using the streamlined compliance procedures. However, the Voluntary Disclosure Program is arguably better for taxpayers, in that it provides precise procedures and guarantees that participant taxpayers will not be criminally prosecuted. Under the prior practice, voluntary disclosure was only a factor taken into consideration when determining whether to prosecute criminally.

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On December 13, 2018, the IRS published proposed regulations (REG-104259-18) on the Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax (the “BEAT”), a new tax regime under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”).  BEAT is designed to discourage multinational corporations from profit-shifting behavior by making deductible payments to their foreign affiliates, such as interest, high-margin service payments,

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other global taxing authorities are continuing to focus on bringing taxpayers who hold cryptocurrencies into compliance.

As cryptocurrencies have made some investors very wealthy, concern has arisen that investors are not reporting gains to taxing authorities. Internationally, governments are committed to bringing these investors into compliance. The most important compliance-related variables are how to characterize gains and losses, and at what point a reporting obligation arises. While many questions remain to be answered, taxing authorities have issued initial guidance on the treatment of cryptocurrencies, and have scored important victories in obtaining access to information necessary to bring taxpayers into compliance.


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August 2018 brought two major developments in the Department of Treasury’s race to finalize its partnership audit reform regulations before partnerships begin in early 2019 filing tax returns for the first time under the new regime. First, on August 7, the Department of Treasury (“Treasury”) issued final regulations for partnership representatives. Second, on August 13,

On October 1, Charles Rettig began his term as 49th Commissioner of the IRS. This gives the IRS a Commissioner for the first time in approximately one year, since his predecessor John Koskinen, an Obama appointee, stepped down in fall 2017. David Kautter, the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for tax policy, had been running the IRS in the interim.

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