Tax News & Views Actuarial Winner Roundup

May 26, 2020

Trump Administration Ready for More Relief as Senate Still Lags - Alexis Gravely, Tax Notes ($):

President Trump and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow have been pushing for a payroll tax cut to be included in the next coronavirus relief package, which Warren said is something the Senate is “certainly” looking at.


Senate Republicans haven’t been fully supportive of the proposal in the recent past, with many saying they don’t see it as being helpful. “I guess I’m open to being persuaded that it is something that could be effective, but I think some of the things that we’re currently doing are having a bigger impact,” Senate Republican Whip John Thune of South Dakota told reporters May 5.

Is there a timeline for a deal? "White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett told reporters at the White House May 22 that the administration is ready for a phase 4 deal if it happens, which he expects to come sometime in June."


SBA Gives Details of Loan Reviews and Steps a Lender Should Take in Determing if Borrower Qualifies for Forgiveness - Ed Zollars, Current Federal Tax Developments. "The Small Business Administration issued a second interim final regulation late in the evening of May 22, 2020, this one entitled 'Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program – SBA Loan Review Procedures and Related Borrower and Lender Responsibilities.'"

Issued at 10 p.m. on the Friday before a long weekend. 

Link: interim final rule

Related: How to Maximize Your Loan Forgiveness Under the Paycheck Protection Program


Tax Credit for Keeping Workers on Payrolls Draws Bipartisan Interest - Richard Rubin, Wall Street Journal ($):

The $3 trillion package passed by the House this month features an expanded wage subsidy, known as the employee retention tax credit. That proposal, which would add about $194 billion to a $55 billion tax credit created in March, is gaining bipartisan support even as lawmakers clash over other legislation to aid the economy during the pandemic.

Related: What to Know About the Employee Retention Credit,


PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Released & Further Guidance Pending - Adam Sweet, Eide Bailly (video). "This week, Adam talks about the recently released PPP loan forgiveness application. He also discusses in progress legislation that would materially change the PPP loan program, including an extension of the PPP loan covered period, removal of the 75 percent rule and more."


TPC Estimates The HEROES Act Would Substantially Cut Individual Income Taxes - Howard Gleckman, TaxVox. "The rebates and most other provisions TPC analyzed primarily benefit low- and moderate-income households who are hurt the most by the COVID-19 pandemic. But allowing taxpayers to fully deduct their state and local taxes for two years would create a major windfall for high-income households, who need help the least."

The Senate is expected to ignore the house-passed HEROES Act, but some provisions may make it into future COVID-19 relief legislation.


IRS has distributed 152 million COVID-19 relief payments worth $258 billion - Kay Bell, Don't Mess With Taxes. "This past week's delivery data came a few days after Treasury revealed that in addition to paper checks and directly deposited EIPs, it also is sending coronavirus cash on debit cards. It's unclear whether those plastic payments are part of these latest numbers."

Biden Promises No Tax Increases for Those Making Under $400,000 - Wesley Elmore, Tax Notes ($). "'Nobody making under 400,000 bucks would have their taxes raised, period,' Biden said May 22 on CNBC."

IRS Issues Health Savings Account (HSA) limits for 2021 - Eide Bailly. "IRS updates Health Savings Account (HSA) maximum contributions, minimum deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums for 2021. The 2019 HSA contribution window is open through July 15, 2020."


Kansas Lawmakers Adjourn Without Approving Facilitator Bill - Carolina Vargas, Tax Notes ($). "Under guidance issued in August 2019 (Notice 19-04), the state Department of Revenue began requiring remote retailers to collect and remit sales and use tax beginning in October of that year, but the notice did not specify a sales or transaction threshold."

Missouri Mayors Request Special Session to Address Wayfair - Lauren Loricchio, Tax Notes ($). "Missouri is one of just two states with a state sales tax that hasn't adopted remote seller rules addressing the decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc.; the other state is Florida."

Related:  A Sales Tax Reform Game Changer: How Wayfair Changed the Sales Tax Reform Landscape 

Conservation Easements – The Perpetuity Requirement and Extinguishment - Roger McEowen, Agricultural Law and Taxation Blog:

A taxpayer that donates a “qualified real property interest” to a “qualified organization” can receive a charitable contribution deduction upon satisfying numerous technical requirements.  A primary requirement is that the easement donation be exclusively for conservation purposes.  That requirement, however, can only be satisfied if the conservation purposes are protected in perpetuity.

Roger addresses a requirement that has caused a number of conservation easement deductions to fail.


Lesson From The Tax Court: Appeals Can Change Its Mind - Bryan Camp, TaxProf Blog. "...a textbook example of how one hand of the IRS bureaucracy might pat your back even as another hand slaps you upside the head."

Tax Attorneys Fight Covid-19 Stay-Home Order In Idaho - Peter Reilly, Forbes. "What is with tax attorneys throwing themselves into a religious liberty Covid-19 dispute where Holy Communion gets compared with pizza delivery?"

Digital Services Taxes: Do They Comply with International Tax, Trade, and EU Law? - Chris Forsgren, Sixian (Suzie) Song, and Dora Horváth, Tax Foundation. "A digital services tax like the one implemented by France likely violates both the General Agreement on Trade in Services and a model U.S. free trade agreement. However, it is uncertain whether meaningful relief could be obtained under either regime."


On Memorial Day, Benefits For Families Of The Fallen - Kelly Phillips Erb, Forbes. "According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, as of November 2019, more than 5 million veterans receive benefits, together with more than 600,000 children, parents, and surviving spouses. That includes 36 surviving spouses of those who served in the Spanish-American War and one child from a service member in the Civil War."

While Kelly's post on tax benefits for veterans is worthy, the surviving child of a civil war veteran is what interests me. After all, the victorious union armies had their Grand Review celebrating the end of the Civil War 155 years ago this past weekend. So how is there a child of a Union Veteran still drawing benefits?

Google offers this story, updated in 2017, about how a North Carolina woman was the last recipient of Civil War veteran survivor benefits - presumably the same one mentioned by Kelly:

Irene Triplett – the 86-year-old daughter of a Civil War veteran – collects $73.13 each month from her father's military pension. The identity of Triplett was first reported by The Wall Street Journal in 2014.

How does that math work?

Triplett's father was Mose Triplett, born in 1846. He joined the Confederate army in 1862, but later deserted and signed up with the Union. His first wife died and they did not have any children. He later married Elida Hall who was at least 50 years younger. They had five children, three of whom did not survive infancy. But Irene, and her younger brother Everette did. Mose Triplett was 83 when Irene was born, nearly 87 when her brother Everette came along.

The pension math vindicates Mose's 1862 change of heart.

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