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.
The IRS recently released Notice 2020-3, which provides interim guidance on default federal income tax withholding rates applicable to certain periodic payments of deferred income. The Notice also provides clarity as to how the IRS will accommodate a change that affects the form used to elect federal income tax withholding from wages, but not the form used to make those elections for deferred income distributions. Continue Reading
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
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.
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
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
Treasury Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy David Kautter attended the AICPA National Tax Conference on November 13, 2019, and commented that significant TCJA-related guidance should be expected to be released before the end of 2019. Such guidance is likely to include proposed regulations addressing (1) federal income tax withholding under section 3402, (2) the executive compensation deduction limitation under section 162(m), and (3) computation of unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) under section 512. Continue Reading
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
Recently enacted California Assembly Bill 5 (“AB-5”) is a game changer for businesses that use independent contractors in California — and a warning shot for employers nationwide. Subject to exemptions for certain occupations and professions, AB-5 imposes a strict “ABC” test that appears to put a thumb on the scale of classifying workers as employees rather than independent contractors.
The ABC test was adopted last year by the California Supreme Court in its Dynamex decision to determine classification of workers for purposes of the state’s Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders. For 20 years before Dynamex, worker classification was governed by the more relaxed “Borello” multi-factor test, which focuses on the hiring entity’s right to control an individual’s work and other secondary factors. AB-5 now makes the ABC test the default standard for determining worker classification — not just under the Wage Orders, but also for all California Labor Code, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation claims. Continue Reading
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.