Tax News & Views All Eyes On Relief Roundup

December 4, 2020

Will COVID-19 Relief Talks End Differently This Time? – Howard Gleckman, TaxVox. “By embracing a $908 billion bipartisan pandemic relief plan, congressional Democratic leaders may have jump-started long-dormant talks over short-term economic aid. A nudge by President-elect Joe Biden may further enhance the prospects for a bill by the end of the month.”

“The framework of a deal has been clear for months. It likely will follow the outlines of the CARES Act that Congress passed in March. It probably will extend unemployment benefits, provide additional relief for renters and those paying off student loans, fund another round of business loans, provide assistance for state and local governments, and extend some of the CARES Act’s business and individual tax breaks. It also may include some liability protections for firms faced with pandemic-related lawsuits. The big unknown: another round of stimulus checks.”

‘Targeted’ Relief Need Not Be Stingy When Stimulus Is Needed – Ben Ritz, Forbes. “Republicans were somewhat justified in their concerns that the $3 trillion HEROES Act, which House Democrats introduced in May, was poorly-targeted. But the same cannot be said of yesterday’s compromise framework.”

COVID relief 2.0 could offer some donors a bigger charitable tax deduction – Kay Bell, Don’t Mess With Taxes. “Congressional leaders are continuing to discuss at least some form of coronavirus relief package. Right now, the idea is to include any pandemic help as part of a spending bill that will keep the federal government open past Dec. 11.”

Ever-Changing PPP Guidelines Continue to Vex Borrowers – Eric Yauch, Tax Notes. “Borrowers that received pandemic relief loans are at their wits’ end with the constant changes to the program, and Congress stepping in on the deductibility of expenses will not completely alleviate those concerns”


For Remote Workers, Time Is Running Out to Fix State-Tax Messes – Laura Saunders, Wall Street Journal ($). “If you’ve worked from home this year, and that home is in a different state from your office, think about your taxes immediately. Acting now could help avoid surprise bills, interest and penalties when filing state taxes next year.”

“The challenge is that each state’s tax system is a unique mix of rules. When someone owes income tax to more than one state, these systems often clash, and the taxpayer can wind up owing more tax, or the same, or (rarely) less. The outcome often depends on variables like tax rates, credits and agreements between the states.”

GOP blocks effort to make payroll tax deferral optional for federal workers – Naomi Jagoda, The Hill. “Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) on Thursday attempted to get the Senate to immediately pass his bill to make President Trump’s payroll tax deferral optional for federal workers and military members, but Republicans blocked the effort.”


House Democrats Urge IRS to Continue Responding to EIP Inquiries – Alexis Gravely, Tax Notes. “Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee are demanding that the IRS continue accepting and addressing inquiries from individuals regarding economic impact payments (EIPs) through the end of the year.”

“In a December 3 letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, the lawmakers said they were “troubled” to learn the agency would shut down the mailbox that congressional offices have been using to submit inquiries about EIPs for their constituents.

According to the letter, the IRS said it would stop accepting new inquiries on November 30 and would stop working on open inquiries on December 10, requiring those with unresolved issues to file a 2020 tax return to claim a recovery rebate credit.”


How To Deal With CP2000 Crypto Tax Letters – Shehan Chandrasekera, Forbes. “The IRS is sending out CP2000 tax letters to certain crypto users who received a Form 1099-K from crypto exchanges. These letters typically show a large proposed tax amount and terrifies the recipient at the first glance.”

Foxconn not expect to meet hiring goals in next 3 years – AP News. “Foxconn Technology Group is not expected to receive tax credits in the next three fiscal years, continuing its failure to meet goals for hiring and investing in its Wisconsin manufacturing complex, according to state officials.”


San Francisco bans smoking inside apartments; pot smoking OK - “City officials in San Francisco have banned all tobacco smoking inside apartments, citing concerns about secondhand smoke. But lighting up a joint inside? That’s still allowed.”

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