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1. Trust materially participated in real estate business   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
In a case of first impression, the Tax Court held that a trust materially participated in its rental real estate business and therefore could deduct the losses it incurred in conducting those activities in 2005 and 2006 as losses from nonpassive activities (Frank Aragona Trust, 142 T.C. No.

2. Final rules issued on employment tax responsibilities of designated payer agents   WebExclusive

BY Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.
Final regulations issued on Friday contain rules on the liability for employment taxes when an employer designates an agent under a “service agreement” to pay its employees and to satisfy its employment tax obligations instead of following normal IRS procedures to designate an agent (T.D. 9662). The new rules affect agents such as payroll service providers, employee leasing companies, and professional employer organizations.

3. The Supreme Court rules severance payments are subject to FICA   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
In a decision involving over $1 million in FICA taxes paid, the Supreme Court on Tuesday held in an 8–0 decision that severance payments to terminated employees are taxable wages for FICA tax purposes (Quality Stores, Inc., No. 12-1408 (U.S. 3/25/14)). Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion overturned a decision of the Sixth Circuit that the severance payments were not subject to FICA (Quality Stores, Inc., 693 F.3d 605 (6th Cir.

4. New procedure permits automatic recognition of consolidated return filing status   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
The IRS announced that it will permit an affiliated group of corporations that did not file the required Form 1122, Authorization and Consent of Subsidiary Corporation to Be Included in a Consolidated Income Tax Return, for all of its subsidiaries, to be treated as if its subsidiaries had filed Form 1122 (Rev.

5. Simplified employer health care coverage reporting announced   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
On Wednesday, the IRS released final regulations to implement simplified reporting requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148, which requires employers to report health care coverage information under Secs. 6055 and 6056 starting in 2015 (T.D. 9660 and T.D. 9661). Also Wednesday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released several PPACA-related standards, including an additional two-year grandfathering period for certain health plans in the small group and individual health insurance markets that do not meet the act’s minimum coverage requirements.

6. IRS announces additional one-year delay in health coverage penalty for midsize employers   WebExclusive

BY Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.
The IRS announced on Monday that it is delaying the so-called shared-responsibility requirement under Sec. 4980H for employers who have 50 to 99 full-time equivalent employees in 2014 (T.D. 9655). These employers will now have until 2016 to offer health care coverage to their employees or be subject to the shared-responsibility payments.

7. New proposed rules determine UBTI of certain exempt employee benefit organizations   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
The IRS on Wednesday issued proposed regulations to implement Sec. 512(a)(3)(E), which limits the amount of exempt function income that can be set aside when calculating the unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) of Sec. 501(c)(9) voluntary employee beneficiary associations (VEBA) and Sec. 501(c)(17) supplemental unemployment benefit trusts (SUBs) (REG-143874-10).

8. Proposed rules address disguised sales and partnership liabilities   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
On Wednesday, the IRS issued proposed regulations on disguised sales of property to or by a partnership under Sec. 707 and the treatment of partnership liabilities under Sec. 752 (REG-119305-11). The IRS says the proposed regulations are designed to address “deficiencies and technical ambiguities” in the current regulations.Disguised salesSec.

9. Partnership basis rules proposed   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
The IRS on Wednesday issued proposed regulations providing guidance on the application of Sec. 704(c)(1)(C) added by the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, P.L. 108-357 (AJCA), and the amendments to the mandatory basis adjustment rules of Sec. 743 in the AJCA. The proposed regulations would also conform the regulations to account for the extended time periods in Secs.

10. IRS announces automation of taxpayer resources, start of business filing season   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
The IRS announced on its website that, beginning in 2014, it will stop providing a number of taxpayer assistance services in person or over the phone and will shift those services online. The move is designed to free up IRS employees to help taxpayers deal with issues, such as identity theft, that cannot be resolved through other avenues.
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