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In a normal year, March is the busiest month in our office. The April 15th tax filing deadline means we have a full team on site working through tax returns and clients visiting us daily. This is NOT a normal year. The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way the world works and we have had to adjust our business operations as well. We wanted to provide an update on what we are doing to try to be there for each of you in these trying times, while also keeping everyone as safe as possible. 


The Tax Organizers to assist in compiling the information necessary to prepare your 2019 individual income tax return(s) were mailed early to mid-January 2020. Please complete the organizer to the best of your ability. In connection with all items of income, if married, please indicate whether the income is the taxpayer, spouse or joint (TSJ).  Please contact us if you haven't received your 2019 Tax Organizer or if you would like a blank version.


Two full years have passed since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was signed into law.  Over the last two years, the IRS and Treasury have released a considerable amount of guidance in the form of both proposed and final regulations.  While some of this guidance has been taxpayer friendly, not all of the proposed regulations yield favorable results.  As we approach year end, taxpayers continue to seek additional clarity about areas where temporary regulations might affect their individual returns.


When you make retail purchases of goods or services in your resident state, you usually pay sales tax to the seller if the sale of such goods or services is subject to sales tax according to the law of your resident state.  The seller in turn remits the sales tax collected to the state taxing authority.  In general, when these same types of goods or services are purchased outside of your resident state, they are subject to "use tax" when the goods are brought into your resident state.


Internal Revenue Service regulations along with the tax authorities of Connecticut and New York mandate that tax preparers electronically file individual, fiduciary and business income   tax returns.  We believe that trends will continue with authorities requiring the electronic filing of more information, tax returns and tax payments.  Therefore, all 2019 income tax returns filed federally and in the States of Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts are required to be filed using the Federal & State Electronic Filing Program (E-File).  The firm will voluntarily file individual returns electronically in the States of California and New Jersey.  We also reserve the right to electronically file in additional states as deemed appropriate and will encourage this method of filing. 


On July 4, President Donald Trump signed into law a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application extension bill that Congress had quickly passed just before the Independence Day holiday. According to several senators, the measure was "surprisingly" introduced and approved by unanimous consent in the Senate late on June 30. It cleared the House the evening of July 1.


"If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then unto me." — William Shakespeare


The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Trump Administration’s rule under the Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148) that any nongovernment, nonpublicly traded employer can refuse to offer contraceptive coverage for moral or religious reasons, and that publicly traded employers can refuse to do so for religious reasons. Application of this rule had been halted by litigation, but the Administration is now free to apply it.


The IRS has issued guidance to employers on the requirement to report the amount of qualified sick and family leave wages paid to employees under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Families First Act) ( P.L. 116-127). This reporting provides employees who are also self-employed with information necessary for properly claiming qualified sick leave equivalent or qualified family leave equivalent credits under the Families First Act.


The IRS has issued guidance and temporary relief for required minimum distribution (RMD) changes in 2020. Distributions that would have been RMDs under old law are treated as eligible rollover distributions. The 60-day rollover period deadline for any 2020 RMDs already taken has been extended to August 31, 2020. Notice 2007-7, I.R.B. 2007-5, 395 is modified.


The IRS has clarified and provided relief for mid-year amendments reducing safe harbor contributions. An updated safe harbor notice and an election opportunity must be provided even if the change is only for highly compensated employees. Coronavirus (COVID-19) relief applies if a plan amendment is adopted between March 13, 2020, and August 31, 2020. For nonelective contribution plans, the supplemental notice requirement is satisfied if provided no later than August 31, 2020, and the amendment that reduces or suspends contributions is adopted no later than the effective date of the reduction or suspension. Notice 2016-16, I.R.B., 2016-7, 318, is clarified.


The IRS amended final regulations with guidance on the Code Sec. 199A deduction for suspended losses and shareholders of regulated investment companies (RICs). The amendments address the treatment of suspended losses included in qualified business income (QBI), the deduction allowed to a shareholder in a regulated investment company (RIC), and additional rules related to trusts and estates. The IRS had previously issued final and proposed regulations addressing these issues (NPRM REG-134652-18)


The Treasury Department and the IRS have released drafts of proposed partnership forms for tax year 2021 (the 2022 filing season). The proposed forms are intended to provide greater clarity for partners on how to compute their U.S. income tax liability for relevant international tax items, including claiming deductions and credits. The redesigned forms and instructions will also give useful guidance to partnerships on how to provide international tax information to their partners in a standardized format.


The Treasury and IRS have issued final regulations covering the Code Sec. 250 deduction for foreign-derived intangible income (FDII) and global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI). Proposed regulations were issued on March 6, 2019 (NPRM REG-104464-18). The final regulations maintain the basic approach and structure of the proposed regulations and provide guidance on computation of the deduction and the determination of FDII, including in the consolidated return context. Additionally, rules requiring the filing of Form 8993, Section 250 Deduction for Foreign-Derived Intangible Income and Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income, are finalized.


The IRS is calling on any taxpayers involved in syndicated conservation easement transactions who receives a settlement offer from the agency to accept it soon. The Service made this request in the wake of the Tax Court’s recent strike down of four additional abusive syndicated conservation easement transactions.


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