Line Items


FBAR FILING EXTENDED FOR SOME

The IRS extended for certain taxpayers the due date for filing Form TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), for tax year 2008. The reporting form originally was due June 30 this year. In Notice 2009-62, the Service said two types of persons may instead file by June 30, 2010: those with signature authority over a foreign financial account but no financial interest in it, and persons with a financial interest in or signature authority over a foreign financial account in which assets are held in a commingled fund.

 

The FBAR was revised in 2008 to require more taxpayers to file. The IRS temporarily suspended the filing requirements for various persons and provided other relief as part of a voluntary disclosure program. Shortly before the original filing deadline, the IRS extended the deadline until Sept. 23, 2009, for “certain persons who only recently learned of their obligation to file an FBAR.”

 

In Notice 2009-62, the Treasury Department also requested public comment on FBAR issues, including:

 

  • When should persons with signature authority but no financial interest in a foreign account be relieved from filing an FBAR?
  • In what circumstances should officers and employees with only signature authority over an employer’s foreign financial account be excepted from the FBAR filing requirements?
  • When should interests in a foreign entity be subject to FBAR reporting?

 

Comments can be submitted to Notice.Comments@irscounsel.treas.gov with a copy to regcomments@fincen.gov and should include “Notice 2009-62” in the subject line. The deadline for submitting comments is Oct. 6.

 

 

GUIDANCE GIVEN FOR ARRA CREDIT ELECTION

The IRS released Revenue Procedure 2009-33 to provide guidance on how taxpayers can elect not to claim 50% bonus depreciation under IRC § 168(k)(1) but instead increase their general business credit limitation under section 38(c) and alternative minimum tax credit limitation under section 53(c). The election was introduced by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), PL 111-5. The revenue procedure gives guidance on what property is eligible for the election, the time and manner for making the election, and the computation of the amount by which the business credit limitation and AMT credit limitation may be increased if the elections provided by section 168(k)(4)(H) are or are not made.

 

The ARRA extended 50% first-year depreciation under section 168(k)(2) to apply to property placed in service before 2010 (or before 2011 for certain property). The act also allows corporations to elect not to take the 50% bonus depreciation but to increase their business credit and AMT credit limitations. Generally, if a corporation elects not to take the bonus depreciation, its business credit and AMT credit limitations are increased by the bonus depreciation amount.

 

If a corporation has made the bonus depreciation election for its first tax year after March 31, 2008, it may nevertheless make an election not to apply bonus depreciation to property affected by the ARRA extension. The election not to take bonus depreciation on such “extension” property must be made by the federal income tax return due date (including extensions) for the taxpayer’s first tax year ending after Dec. 31, 2008. The taxpayer makes the election by attaching a statement to the income tax return indicating that the taxpayer is electing not to take the bonus depreciation and notifying in writing any partnership of which the taxpayer is a partner. The revenue procedure provides limited relief for late elections and explains how a taxpayer that qualifies for relief should make the election.

 

 

IRS ISSUES e-POSTCARD REGS

The IRS issued final regulations (TD 9454, adding new Treas. Reg. § 1.6033-6) describing how and when small tax-exempt organizations may file Form 990-N (“e-Postcard”). The e-Postcard is how certain organizations must electronically submit basic information required annually by IRC § 6033(i)(1), as amended by the Pension Protection Act of 2006. These are organizations that are not required to file Form 990 or Form 990-EZ or other tax-exempt organization information return, generally those with gross annual receipts not normally more than $25,000. Some organizations, such as churches, are exempt from any reporting requirement.

 

Required information includes the organization’s legal name and any name under which it operates or does business, its mailing address and any Web site address, its taxpayer identification number, the name and address of a principal officer and evidence of the continuing basis for its exemption from information return filing requirements. Such evidence can consist of a statement confirming that its annual gross receipts are normally $25,000 or less (see IRS news releases IR 2007-129 and IR 2008-25).

 

The date for filing an e-Postcard is the same as for Form 990 or Form 990-EZ: on or before the 15th day of the fifth calendar month following the close of the organization’s accounting period. An organization may file by paper only with Form 990 or Form 990-EZ; however, it must fill out the form completely rather than with just the e-Postcard information.

 

Instructions for filing an e-Postcard are available at tinyurl.com/2yxfrf.

 

 

GAO: STATES COULD HELP CLOSE TAX GAP

Nearly one-fourth of California businesses that were required to have filed and paid federal employment taxes when they applied for a state business license had not done so, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found. California requires seven types of businesses to obtain a license from or register with the state Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. Licenses and registration must be renewed annually. As a condition of new or renewed licensure or registration, three of those types of businesses must be in compliance with federal employment tax requirements: farm labor contractors, garment manufacturers, and car washing and polishing businesses. The GAO found that of the 7,194 of those businesses that applied for or renewed their license or registration between 2006 and 2008, 24% had to file employment tax returns or pay overdue taxes totaling nearly $7.4 million before they could receive the license or registration. California is one of 13 states with arrangements with the IRS to require and monitor federal employment tax compliance as a condition of obtaining a state business license. Twenty states require state tax compliance. The GAO suggested that expanding such arrangements and making them more uniform could provide a cost-effective means of increasing federal tax compliance.

 

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