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Michael Lloyd practices in the areas of tax and employee benefits with a focus on information reporting and withholding on cross-border payments (e.g., Forms 1042 and 1042-S) and Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), backup withholding, employment taxation, the treatment of fringe benefits, cross-border compensation, domestic information reporting (e.g., Forms W-2, 1099, 1095 series returns), penalty abatement, and general tax planning and controversy matters. Mr. Lloyd advises large U.S. and foreign multinationals regarding compliance with information reporting and withholding issues, as well as a range of other federal and state tax issues.

On May 28, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-35, postponing deadlines for more time-sensitive actions until July 15, 2020.  Notice 2020-35 is the latest in a series of IRS notices issued since mid-March providing for delays under the authority of section 7508A due to the COVID-19 emergency declaration.  Specifically, the relief relates to employment tax returns and returns filed by employee benefit plans exempt organizations due on or after March 30, 2020, and before July 15, 2020.  The big news arising out of the notice—although certainly not broadcast by the IRS—pertains to the extension of the period for correcting errors that occurred in prior calendar years until July 15, 2020.  This extension of time until July 15, 2020, permits employers to correct errors ascertained with respect to calendar year 2016 employment taxes, which ordinarily would have to have been corrected on or before April 15, 2020—the day on which the period of limitations would otherwise have lapsed.
Continue Reading IRS Adds Employment Tax Corrections to Expanding List of Postponed Time-Sensitive Actions Due to COVID-19

Prompted by the COVID-19 global health emergency (the “COVID-19 Emergency”), Treasury and the IRS recently issued Rev. Proc. 2020-27 to provide relief for U.S. citizens and residents planning to take advantage of the foreign earned income exclusion under section 911 of the Internal Revenue Code whose expatriate assignments were interrupted due to the pandemic.  The Revenue Procedure waives the time requirements of section 911(d)(1) for those individuals who reasonably expected to meet such requirements during 2019 and 2020, but for the COVID-19 Emergency interrupting normal business activities and forcing their return to the United States within certain time periods identified in the Revenue Procedure.
Continue Reading IRS Provides COVID-19 Emergency Relief for Individuals Planning to Claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

On March 13, 2020, the President issued a proclamation declaring a national emergency regarding the global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus (the “COVID-19 Emergency”).  Subsequently, FEMA approved all states and the District of Columbia for major disaster declarations to provide federal emergency assistance.  The Federal Government and state governments have also taken unprecedented preventative and proactive measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 by instituting stay-at-home orders and significantly curtailing travel.  These restrictions have caused concerns regarding the application of the U.S. tax residency rules to nonresidents who are unable to leave the United States due to the state of emergency.  In response, Treasury and the IRS issued Rev. Proc. 2020-20 to provide important relief under the substantial presence test for nonresidents unable to travel due to the COVID-19 Emergency.
Continue Reading IRS Provides Relief for Nonresidents Unable to Depart U.S. Due to Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused turmoil throughout the economy as states have issued stay-at-home, shelter-in-place, and other orders closing offices and forcing employees who traditionally go to work each morning to work from their dining room tables or spare bedrooms of their own homes or from alternative locations such as rentals away from COVID-19 hotspots or the homes of relatives. Among those employees include employees in the human resources, payroll, and tax departments of employers. Similarly, employees of payroll processors—both large and small—may be working remotely and processing payroll using new processes and systems. Throw in a series of new federal payroll tax credits, the deferred deposit of employer social security taxes, new section 139 plans, and millions of furloughed and laid off employees, and the stage is set for a host of unintentional payroll processing errors that may subject employers to tax penalties. While the IRS is hard-at-work on a new Form 941 to reflect the changes adopted as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act) some states have taken steps to address some of the payroll difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading State Approaches to Telework and Withholding Taxes Differ During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) authorizes the Treasury Department to provide payments to passenger air carriers, cargo air carriers, and certain contractors that must be exclusively used for the continuation of payment of employee wages, salaries, and benefits.  The Payroll Support to Air Carriers and Contractors Program provides a total of up to $32 billion in payroll support to avoid layoffs and furloughs in the airline industry, which has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act authorizes up to $25 billion in payroll support for passenger air carriers; other air carriers and certain contractors may receive up to $4 billion and $3 billion in payroll support, respectively.  Section 4117 of the CARES Act provides that the Treasury Department may receive warrants, options, preferred stock, debt securities, notes, or other financial instruments issued by a company receiving payroll support payments to provide appropriate compensation to the Federal Government for the provision of the financial assistance.  Treasury has released a form to memorialize the terms and conditions of the Payroll Support Program Agreement.
Continue Reading IRS Releases FAQs on Federal Tax Consequences of Payroll Support for Air Carriers and Contractors under CARES Act

Over the last few years, the Justice Department has worked with the IRS to more aggressively prosecute cases involving employment tax noncompliance and the failure to remit trust fund taxes to the U.S. Treasury.  Trust fund taxes are taxes withheld from the wages of employees such as federal income tax withholding and FICA tax withholding.  Owners, corporate officers, and employees who are responsible for remitting such taxes may also be found to be personally liable for the failure to pay over trust fund taxes and, as the following described cases indicate, they may face criminal prosecution for such failures. 
Continue Reading Justice Department Continues Criminal Prosecutions in Employment Tax Cases

Earlier this year, the IRS issued IR-2020-09, in which it announced the launch of a new and improved Tax Withholding Estimator. The Tax Withholding Estimator (the “Estimator”) is designed to help employees adjust their federal income tax withholdings by performing a “Paycheck Checkup.”  The process also helps employees  target the refund they want by adjusting the amount of federal income tax taken out of their pay. The Estimator incorporates changes from the redesigned Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate that employees can complete and give to their employers this year. To adjust for the amount of refund desired, the Estimator features a customized refund slider that the employee can use to select a refund from a range of amounts available. Based on the refund amount selected, the Estimator will give the employee instructions on how to fill out their Form W-4 or allow the employee to download a pre-filled Form W-4 based on the Estimator’s recommendations.

Continue Reading IRS Launches New Tax Withholding Estimator

To corporations hoping for a holiday reprieve from the IRS’s narrow interpretation of the grandfathering rules included in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) amendment of section 162(m), the IRS has said “Bah… Humbug!”  To those foreign private issuers, publicly traded partnerships, and issuers of public debt hoping for relief from the expanded definition of publicly held corporation, the IRS has said the same.  On December 16, the IRS released proposed regulations addressing the changes made to section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code as part of TCJA, which are certain to disappoint many taxpayers.  The regulations also address the definitions of covered employee and “predecessor of a publicly held corporation,” as well as, the treatment of amounts paid by a partnership in which a publicly held corporation is a partner and director compensation. The regulations are generally proposed to apply to compensation that is otherwise deductible for taxable years beginning on or after December 20, 2019, the date of expected publication in the Federal Register. 

Continue Reading Proposed 162(m) Regulations are a “Lump of Coal”

Holding true to its holiday tradition, the IRS yet again decided to extend the deadline by which providers of minimum essential coverage (including certain applicable large employers (“ALEs”)) must furnish information statements to individuals regarding their 2019 insurance coverage. However, due to the effective elimination of the ACA’s individual mandate penalty through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”), the IRS went one step further than in past years by allowing certain providers to forgo the individual furnishing requirement, if certain notice requirements are met instead.
Continue Reading Notice 2019-63 Delivers Relief for Providers of Minimum Essential Coverage

On November 14, 2019, the IRS announced that it has redesigned Notices CP2100 and CP2100A with the goal of providing more information to affected payers. These Notices are used to alert payers that the IRS received Forms 1099 containing incorrect or missing Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs) for payees and that the payer may need to contact payees regarding their name and TIN information and/or backup withhold at a rate of 24% as a result. Payments potentially subject to backup withholding are reportable payments, such as interest (including tax-exempt interest), dividends, broker and barter exchange transactions, rents, royalties, nonemployee compensation, payments made in settlement of payment card and third party network transactions, and certain payments from fishing boat operators.
Continue Reading The IRS Introduces More Informative Backup Withholding Notices for Payers