Articles Posted in IRS audit guide

IRS eases rules for partial annuity exchanges

Mike Habib, EA

In 2003, IRS issued a revenue ruling formally sanctioning partial annuity exchanges as qualifying for tax-free treatment under Code Sec. 1035. At the same time, it issued a notice warning that it would go after taxpayers who use partial exchanges to avoid tax under Code Sec. 72(e)(2). It has adopted the interim guidance as final rules in a new revenue procedures. The final guidance reflects modifications that are mostly pro-taxpayer.

Background. Code Sec. 72(e) governs the federal tax treatment of distributions from an annuity contract that are not received as an annuity. Under Code Sec. 72(e)(2), such amounts generally are taxed on an income-first basis. For this purpose, all annuity contracts issued by the same company to the same policyholder during any calendar year are treated as a single annuity contract. (Code Sec. 72(e)(12)) Code Sec. 72(q)(1) imposes a 10% penalty on withdrawals or surrenders of annuity contracts, unless one of the exceptions in Code Sec. 72(q)(2) applies. No gain or loss is recognized on the exchange of an annuity contract for another annuity contract. (Code Sec. 1035(a))

Partial exchanges. In late ’99, IRS acquiesced to a Tax Court decision holding that the direct transfer of a portion of funds from one annuity contract to another qualifies as a nontaxable exchange under Code Sec. 1035. (Conway v. Comm., 111 TC 350 (1998), acq., 1999-2 CB xvi) See Federal Taxes Weekly Alert 12/2/1999)

Final regs clarify treatment of loss from abandoned securities

Mike Habib, EA

IRS has issued final regs that provide guidance on the availability and character of a loss deduction from abandoned securities under Code Sec. 165. The regs, which adopt proposed regs issued in 2007, apply to securities abandoned after Mar. 12, 2008.

Guidance on timing of PPA-related amendments for calculating plan cash-outs starting in 2008

Mike Habib, EA

IRS has issued guidance, in question and answer format, that addresses the timing of plan amendments made to comply with Sec. 302 of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA 2006, P.L. 109-280, Sec. 302), which changed the statutory assumptions that must be used beginning in 2008 for calculating the present value of plan cash-outs.

Reconstructing Your Records

Mike Habib, EA

Reconstructing records after a disaster may be essential for tax purposes, getting federal assistance or insurance reimbursement. Records that you need to prove your loss may have been damaged or destroyed in a casualty. While it may not be easy, reconstructing your records may be essential for:

Tax Return Preparer Fraud

Since I recently represented an innocent couple who were victims of Tax Return Preparer Fraud, and successfully helped them in their audit, I thought you might be interested in the info below.

Per the IRS:

S corporations tax challenges by the IRS and other taxing authorities

Tax Advocate’s Report highlights S corporation issues

Despite the fact that Subchapter S corporations are the most common corporate entity (over three million S corporations filing returns in fiscal year 2006), the National Taxpayer Advocate’s 2007 Annual Report notes that IRS is still struggling to develop an effective and comprehensive strategy to address noncompliance by S corporations. The Report focuses on some of the challenges in this area, including insufficient data to assess compliance risks and undue taxpayer burden because of the S corporation election process and Schedule K-1 matching errors. In particular, the Report examined the avoidance of employment taxes by means of treating shareholder wages as distributions.

How to handle the IRS at your Front Door? Is a Revenue Officer or a Revenue Agent visiting you soon?

If you find yourself face to face with an IRS Agent (Revenue Officer for collection issues, or Revenue Agent for audit and examination issues), at your front door you must remember to avoid these common mistakes:

1. Don’t invite them into your home or business.
2. Don’t answer any question. No matter how innocent they sound.
3. Don’t provide them paperwork or documentation.

IRS tax audit and IRS tax problems facing transportation or construction businesses, and other similar industries

IRS SBSE-04-0108-003, 1/14/08

The IRS has reissued interim guidance that provides audit guidelines to its examiners reviewing excess per diem payments. The original guidance expired in November 2007.

IRS tax audit, IRS tax examination, IRS audit reconsideration, IRS appeal

Are you asking yourself … If I have tax problems who should I contact?

Fiscal Year 2007 Enforcement and Service Results
As reported in a statement issued by IRS, it has continued to make strong progress in a number of key enforcement areas. IRS enforcement efforts increased in fiscal year 2007: overall, enforcement revenue reached $59.2 billion, up from $48.7 billion in 2006.

Contact Information