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

On December 16, 2019, the Treasury and the IRS released final regulations under section 871(m) of the Internal Revenue Code.  The regulations finalize the 2017 temporary and proposed section 871(m) regulations without any substantive change.  On the same day, the Treasury and the IRS released Notice 2020-2 to extend through 2022 the relief provided in Notice 2018-72.
Continue Reading Treasury Finalizes Section 871(m) Regulations and Further Extends Transitory Relief

On November 6, the IRS issued its final reminder alert that the deadline for all Qualified Intermediary (“QI”) (including Qualified Derivatives Dealer (“QDD”)), Withholding Foreign Partnership (“WP”) and Withholding Foreign Trust (“WT”) applications for the 2019 year is November 15, 2019.
Continue Reading November 15 Deadline Approaching for 2019 Qualified Intermediary Applications

On August 9, 2019, Treasury and the IRS issued proposed regulations under section 861 of the Code to clarify how transactions involving digital content and cloud computing are classified for tax purposes.  The new rules propose to revise and expand upon Treasury Regulation § 1.861-18 regarding digital content transactions and establish new Treasury Regulation § 1.861-19 regarding cloud computing transactions.  The proposed regulations also propose changes to Treasury Regulation § 1.861-7 regarding the source rules for sales of personal property.  Collectively, the rules are intended to address whether a digital transaction is characterized as a sale, lease, license, or provision of services for purposes applying various provisions of the Code, including the source rules, which are critical for purposes of determining whether withholding is required under Chapter 3 and reporting obligations under sections 6041 and 6050N, and Subpart F.

Continue Reading Proposed Regulations Provide Guidance for Classification of Digital Content Transactions and Cloud Transactions

In our first post regarding the proposed section 1446(f) regulations, we addressed the rules regarding which party is the withholding agent for purposes of section 1446(f). Sections 864(c)(8) and 1446(f) were adopted as part of tax reform. Section 864(c)(8) was enacted to reverse the holding of the Tax Court in Grecian Magnesite Mining v. Commissioner, which was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. In our second post, we addressed the amount required to be withheld. In this post, we discuss the general reporting requirements for the transferor, the transferee, and the partnership. Further, we provide an overview of the new “backstop withholding” rules that will end the suspension of the partnership withholding requirement under section 1446(f)(4). The IRS suspended partnership withholding under section 1446(f)(4) under Notice 2018-29.
Continue Reading IRS Proposes Regulations under Section 1446(f) — Reporting Requirements and the “Backstop Withholding” Rules (Post 3 of 3)

In our first post on the proposed regulation under section 1446(f), we discussed which party is the withholding agent and outlined the various exceptions to withholding that could apply. Sections 864(c)(8) and 1446(f) were adopted as part of tax reform. Section 864(c)(8) was enacted to reverse the holding of the Tax Court in Grecian Magnesite Mining v. Commissioner, which was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. This post addresses the amount the transferee is required to withhold. Our third post on the proposed regulations under section 1446(f) addresses the withholding requirements and “backstop withholding” rules.
Continue Reading IRS Proposes Regulations under Section 1446(f) — Determining the Withholding Amount (Post 2 of 3)

This post is the first of three installments providing an overview of recent proposed regulations under section 1446(f) that address withholding on certain sales of partnership interests by foreign partners of a partnerships engaged in the conduct of a U.S. trade or business (a “U.S. trade or business”). Sections 864(c)(8) and 1446(f) were adopted as part of tax reform.  Section 864(c)(8) was enacted to reverse the holding of the Tax Court in Grecian Magnesite Mining v. Commissioner, which was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.  This post focuses on which party is required to withhold under section 1446(f). The second post focuses on determining the appropriate amount to withhold. Finally, the third post focuses on the withholding requirements and the “backstop withholding” rules.
Continue Reading IRS Proposes Regulations under Section 1446(f) — Which Party is Required to Withhold? (Post 1 of 3)

Last week, Kimberly Schoenbacher, the Acting Director of Field Operations for the LB&I Foreign Payments Practice (“FPP”), sent a message to taxpayers who may be noncompliant with Chapter 3 and FATCA withholding and reporting: the IRS is actively honing in on Form 1042 nonfilers, Form 1042 failures, and Forms 1042 and 1042-S that do not reconcile. Schoenbacher remarked at the International Tax Withholding and Information Reporting Conference in New York that the IRS has sent letters to thousands of taxpayers across the country regarding compliance failures related to Forms 1042 (Annual Withholding Tax Return for U.S. Source Income of Foreign Persons) and 1042-S (Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding). The letters were issued under the Form 1042/1042-S compliance campaign announced by LB&I in 2018. The campaign seeks to address withholding, deposit, and reporting noncompliance on the part of withholding agents making payments of U.S.-source income to foreign persons.

Continue Reading IRS Warns Withholding Agents to Consider FPP Correction Program to Avoid Penalties

On February 27, 2019, LB&I issued a memorandum (LB&I-04-02019-002) outlining a new program administred by the Foreign Payments Practice (“FPP”) that allows withholding agents to report and correct failures under Chapter 3 or 4.  The program and its procedures arose based upon the frequency with which taxpayers contact FPP regarding potential corrections for Chapter 3 and 4 withholding compliance failures.  The program establishes FPP as the central point of contact for withholding agents wishing to submit delinquent withholding tax returns, remit unpaid taxes, and seek request penalty relief.  The program is available to withholding agents other than those that are qualified intermediaries, withholding foreign partnerships, and withholding foreign trusts, but withholding agents may not participate in the program if they are currently under IRS audit for the delinquent filings, or if they are before IRS Appeals or in litigation related to issues involving noncompliance with Chapters 3 or 4 of the Code.  Although multiple years may be included in a single submission, withholding agents may only avail themselves of the program one time.

Continue Reading LB&I Establishes Correction Program for Compliance Failures under Chapters 3 and 4

In response to public comments, the IRS today issued Notice 2018-08 that delays indefinitely withholding under new Code section 1446(f) with respect to dispositions of certain publicly traded partnerships.  Section 13501 of the enacted tax reform bill added a new Code section 1446(f) to impose a 10% withholding requirement on the amount of gain treated