Tax News & Views Extension Deja Vu Roundup

February 19, 2021

Calls Grow for Tax Return Filing Deadline Extension – William Hoffman, Tax Notes($). “In a February 18 letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, eight House Ways and Means Committee Democrats, including Oversight Subcommittee Chair Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J., asked for an extension of the April 15 filing deadline. The lawmakers didn’t express a new deadline preference but asked the commissioner to announce any change as soon as possible “to eliminate unnecessary taxpayer and practitioner anxiety.”

Democrats urge IRS to extend tax-filing season – Naomi Jagoda, The Hill. “A group of Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday urged the IRS to extend the tax-filing season beyond the current April 15 deadline in light of the coronavirus pandemic.”


Red State Budgets Are Suffering The Most In This Recession – Liz Farmer, Forbes. “Of those states suffering at least a 3% drop in revenue since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, two-thirds (eight in 12) are red states. Alaska, Florida, North Dakota and Texas are seeing some of the worst revenue losses of 9% or higher over the comparable period in 2019, according to the latest data from the Urban Institute.”

Democrats offer bills to boost IRS audits of rich, corporations – Naomi Jagoda, The Hill.

“The bill would require the IRS to use the additional enforcement funds to increase audits of the wealthy and corporations. The measure would require the agency to meet targets of auditing 95 percent of corporations with more than $20 billion in assets, 50 percent of individual tax returns with income of more than $10 million, 33 percent of individual tax returns with income of between $5 million and $10 million, and 20 percent of individual tax returns with income between $1 million and $5 million.”

What We Are Learning About Firms That Received PPP Loans in 2020 - Aravind Boddupalli, TaxVox. “New data from January 2021 help illuminate which firms benefitted most from the 2020 round of PPP and provide key lessons for the current round.”


IRS Clarifies Health FSA Carryovers, Claims Periods – Frederic Lee, Tax Notes.

IRS Notice 2021-15, 2021-10 IRB 1, explains that an employer can amend its section 125 cafeteria plan to provide a carryover of the unused amounts remaining in a health FSA or a dependent care assistance program at the end of a plan year ending in 2020 or 2021 to the plan year that immediately follows.”


"Employers can also amend their section 125 cafeteria plans to allow employees to apply any unused amounts remaining in an FSA or dependent care assistance program at the end of a plan year ending in 2020 or 2021 to reimburse expenses incurred for the qualified benefit up to a year after the end of the plan year, the notice explains."

IRS issues guidance on added flexibility for COVID-affected flexible spending accounts – Kay Bell, Don’t Mess With Taxes. “Last year, as companies and employees were struggling with operational changes necessary to safely deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Internal Revenue Service IRS provided relief that allowed employers to tweak benefits plans so that employees had increased flexibility to make mid-year changes to dependent care spending accounts.”


Sugar Taxes Back on the Menu – Ulrik Boesen, Tax Policy Blog. “After a few years without much attention, taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are back in the headlines, with at least four states—Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, and Washington—considering such statewide taxes. Today, only localities (10 at the time of writing) levy excise taxes on sugary drinks in the U.S., but that could change this year.”

French bakers want UNESCO designation for baguettes ­– CNN. “Bakers say the UNESCO listing would protect a know-how that has passed through generations and shield the baguette from imposters around the world. The UNESCO "intangible heritage" marker - meant to recognize oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals and methods of traditional craftsmanship - already covers ancient methods of making flat breads in Iran and Kazakhstan.”

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