In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the tax controversy group has put together a chart detailing tax controversy-related developments as they arise. Please refer to the following list of tax and tax controversy-related alerts and original articles for additional insight and guidance:

On July 27, 2020, the Senate Republicans proposed the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools Act (HEALS Act) in response to the House passing the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act). The HEALS Act is a combination of eight individually proposed bills from the Senate. Both the HEALS Act and

Mornings are different, all around the country — and world.

Due to travel limitations imposed in response to the COVID-19 crisis, instead of taking trains, buses and cars to commute to work, people are going to work at home. This new work location has created concerns for both businesses and individuals as to what authority

Update: On July 15, the Internal Revenue Service announced in news release IR-2020-158 that taxpayers who have experienced delays with the process of Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due To COVID-19 will receive letters. If the IRS rejected taxpayer’s Form 7200 or made a change to the requested amount of advance payment due to a computation error, the taxpayer will receive letter 6312 explaining the reason for rejection or list the new payment amount if the old amount was due to a computation error. The taxpayer will receive letter 6313 if the IRS needs written verification of the taxpayer’s current mailing address in order for the IRS to process the taxpayer’s Form 7200.

Update: On July 8, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2020-54 as guidance for employers regarding the requirement to report amounts of qualified sick and family leave wages paid to employees under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Under Notice 2020-54, employers will be required to report payment to employees either on Box 14 of Form W-2, or in a separate statement. The notice also provides employers with language to use on Form W-2 or in the statement to employees. This reporting requirement is imposed to assist employees who are self-employed to properly claim their qualified sick and family leave equivalent credits.

On Friday, March 20, 2020, the Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of Labor issued primary guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act) (commonly referred to as Phase 2) in Notice IR-2020-57 (the Notice). Please see alert for discussion of two new important tax details provided in the Notice regarding the Act’s employer tax credits, and for additional discussion of the Act, generally. The two new important tax details are (1) that employers can be “paid” by retaining certain funds otherwise due to the government (including income tax withholding from ALL employees), and (2) that rebate requests will be processed by IRS within two weeks or less.
Continue Reading Published Guidance on Implementation of Families First Coronavirus Response Act

In this episode of Ropes & Gray’s podcast series, Disputing Tax, Pascal Mayer, a senior attorney in the employment, executive compensation & employee benefits group, is joined by Kat Gregor and Loretta Richard, partners in the tax, employment & benefits practice and co-founders of the tax controversy group, to discuss the payroll tax provisions

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), commonly referred to as Phase 3 of the federal government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, was enacted on March 27, 2020. See Ropes & Gray Alerts on CARES Act, and certain key tax provisions of CARES Act. The CARES Act created opportunities for

***This legal development is still in progress. We will update this Alert as the Act makes its way through the legislative process.***

On Friday evening (May 15, 2020), the House passed, in a 208-199 vote (mostly along party lines, though 14 Democrats and one Independent voted “No” and one Republican voted “Yes,” with 23 Members abstaining), the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act). The HEROES Act is commonly referred to as Phase 4 of the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Complete language for the HEROES Act can be found here.

The Senate Republicans have declared this act “dead on arrival” (DOA), and the White House has threatened to veto the act.

Nonetheless, further below are highlights of 17 notable tax-related provisions: (i) provisions that may be negotiated further (based in part on current Congressional comments in the press, contrary to the DOA comment above); as well as (ii) provisions that are simply notable because they would change tax law in the CARES Act that one may not expect.
Continue Reading House Passes Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act)

Tax controversy group co-founder and tax partner Kat Gregor, tax controversy counsel Elizabeth Smith, tax controversy associate Isabelle Farrar and associate Andrew Yarrows recently co-authored an article that appeared in Bloomberg Tax. The article outlines some practical considerations for taxpayers and their advisers in light of federal and state taxing authorities’ enforcement-related responses to COVID-19.