Tax News & Views Is No News Good News Roundup

December 8, 2020

Covid-Aid Negotiators Grapple Over Liability Protections - Kristina Peterson and Andrew Duehren, Wall Street Journal ($):

Lawmakers held hours long phone calls over the weekend and said they came closer to a final agreement on many elements. They are still, however, hashing out the two most contentious portions: the liability protections, long a top GOP priority; and funding for state and local governments, sought by Democrats.

The deductibility of PPP loan costs is not named as an issue in negotiations. Deductibility is in the bipartisan proposal that is the basis for the negotiations, so perhaps this is a good sign for taxpayers wanting to deduct their PPP-qualifying expenses. 


IRS Warns of Delays in Employer Credit Payments - Kristen Parillo, Tax Notes"

The IRS’s “standard end-of-year close out” means that employers should expect delays in receiving advanced payments of credits available under COVID-19 legislation, according to the agency.

The year-end work will slow the IRS’s processing of Form 7200, “Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due to COVID-19,” between late December and mid-January 2021, the IRS said in a December 4 statement.

I don't think "close out" means the IRS is cutting its prices.


Biden Administration May Reemphasize Tax Prosecution Efforts - Nathan Richman, Tax Notes. "The Biden administration may bring a renewed focus on white-collar crime, including tax evasion, after the Trump administration also bucked the normal trend on its party enforcement efforts."

Bob Dylan's Debt To Nashville - It's About Taxes - Peter Reilly, Forbes. "Assuming this is a straight-up cash deal Dylan will get capital gains treatment on the sale."


The “real” cost of an IRS offer in compromise - IRSMind. "Why do so few get an OIC? First, most applicants may not qualify. That is, they may have equity in assets or future income that can pay their taxes before the IRS collection statute expires."

Related: What is the IRS Fresh Start Program?

EU Allows VAT-Free COVID-19 Vaccines, Testing Kits - Sarah Paez, Tax Notes. "EU member states may temporarily zero-rate supplies of COVID-19 vaccines and testing kits and other related medical services."

Coca-Cola Transfer Pricing Challenge Fizzles - David Stewart and Ryan Finley, Tax Notes Opinions. "The issue was whether the pricing for these licenses was arm's length. The decision also deals with the taxpayer's ability to rely on the terms of an old closing agreement, which had expired, and whether it could support a transfer pricing arrangement that was seemingly inconsistent with its own intercompany contracts."


Multi-Factor Authentication to Be Available on All Online Tax Products Beginning with 2020 Filing Season - Ed Zollars, Current Federal Tax Developments. "Multi-factor authentication (also often referred to as two-factor authentication) is being recommended for use in protecting online accounts, especially those containing sensitive information, due to some of the often-seen issues with traditional username/password log-ins to online systems."

Forget marijuana, states already face costly smuggling of untaxed cigarettes - Kay Bell, Don't Mess With Taxes. "The growing cigarette tax differentials have made cigarette smuggling both a national problem and, in some cases, a lucrative criminal enterprise, says Ulrik Boesen, Senior Policy Analyst at the Tax Foundation and author of the paper."

Taxes and New York’s Fiscal Crisis: Evaluating Revenue Proposals to Close the State’s Budget Gap - Jared Walczak, Tax Policy Blog. "The SALT deduction notwithstanding, there are in fact legitimate reasons to be worried about tax-influenced outmigration, especially after the pandemic’s forced experiment with remote work ushers in a more flexible, and geographically mobile, way of living and working. For high-net-worth individuals in particular, it has never been easier to move—and to avoid higher taxes, some already have, and more will."

Tax News In a Nutshell 12.7.20 - Amie Kuntz. "More than thirty provisions expire soon and will need to hitch a ride somewhere. Be on the lookout for some or all to be included in upcoming legislation."

CIC Services Supreme Court Oral Argument - Jack Townsend, Federal Tax Procedure. "My sense is that the key concern is that the Notice set up taxpayers (a generic category to include promoters) for a penalty, perhaps even a criminal penalty, by a notice rather than by regulations rulemaking."

Should We Worry About The Long-Term Federal Debt In An Era of Low Interest Rates? - Howard Gleckman, TaxVox. "Cynics might say that the timing of the Furman and Summers paper is convenient, given that it provides an economic justification for Biden’s big spending instincts. In fairness, both economists began making this case well before Biden was elected president."


Celebrate! Today is Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day:

The whole idea is to pretend for the day that you are a traveler from a different time - except that, of course, you can't actually *tell* people you're a time traveler, because they'll think you're crazy. There are, of course, options as to how a traveler from a certain other time might act:

- Greet people by referring to things that don't yet exist or haven't existed for a long time. Example: "Have you penetrated the atmosphere lately?" "What spectrum will today's broadcast be in?" and
"Your king must be a kindly soul!"

- Show extreme ignorance in operating regular technology. Pay phones should be a complete mystery (try placing the receiver in odd places). 

To be sure, pay phones really are a complete mystery to many nowadays. 

If that isn't enough fun, today is also National Brownie Day and National Bartender Day, which can be combined, I'm sure.

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