Tax Notes


The IRS issues final regulations governing the determination of the basis of a partner’s interest under IRC section 705. The purpose of the regulations is to prevent inappropriate increases or decreases in the adjusted basis of a corporate partner’s interest in a partnership that result from that partnership’s disposition of the partner’s stock. The rules apply to stock sales or exchanges after December 6, 1999, and their effective date is March 29.

IRS revenue ruling 2002-19 explains how expenses for weight-loss programs may qualify as a medical deduction if they are incurred to treat diseases such as obesity or hypertension. The ruling stipulates, however, that the cost of weight-loss programs to improve general health or personal appearance, as well as the cost of diet foods, remains nondeductible.

Taxpayers now can use their Visa cards to pay federal taxes, bringing to four the total number of credit cards the IRS accepts for such payments ( www.irs.gov/pub/irs-news/ir-02-36.pdf ). The other three IRS-approved card issuers are American Express, Discover and MasterCard. The IRS also expands the credit card program to include installment agreement payments for tax years 1998 or later. As of mid-March, the IRS had received more than 20,000 credit card payments, up 13% from nearly 18,000 during the same period last year.

An IRS publication, Charitable Contributions—Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements (www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/pub1771.pdf), explains new guidelines allowing taxpayers to document their charitable contributions with electronic receipts.

The IRS publishes its Data Book for fiscal year 2001, which includes statistics on the collection of tax revenue, the enforcement of tax laws, taxpayer assistance and the management of the tax system.

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