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Tangible property de minimis safe-harbor amount is higher

In response to widespread criticism of the tangible property ("repair") regulations' initial $500 de minimis amount of purchases of tangible property that can be currently deducted by taxpayers without applicable financial statements as too low, the IRS raised the threshold to $2,500 per item or invoice (Notice 2015-82). The AICPA was among those advocating for raising the threshold (Regs. Sec. 1.263(a)-1(f)(1)(ii)(D)), in an Oct. 8, 2014, letter to the IRS (see "Tax Matters: AICPA: Repair Regulations' De Minimis Safe Harbor Is Set Too Low," JofA, Jan. 2015, page 72). The higher amount applies for tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2016, but, for otherwise eligible taxpayers, the IRS will not raise the issue with respect to an amount up to the higher limit during an audit for earlier tax years or pursue the issue for any case pending in IRS examination, Appeals, or the Tax Court for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2011, and ending before Jan. 1, 2016.


Tax Court proposes petition e-filing

The Tax Court will amend its Rules of Practice and Procedure to allow electronic filing of petitions and other documents that currently may be filed only on paper. The proposed amendments are contained in a press release dated Jan. 11, available on the court's website at ustaxcourt.gov. Under current Rule 26(b) and the court's Practitioners' Guide to Electronic Case Access and Filing, for cases with petitions filed since July 1, 2010, most documents must be e-filed by parties represented by counsel and may be e-filed by pro se petitioners. However, until the rules are amended, initial filings, including petitions, may be filed only in paper form.


One-fourth of advance premium tax credits paid went unreported on returns

Although insurance exchanges paid about $15.5 billion in advance premium tax credits (APTCs) in 2014 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148, only about $11.3 billion, or 73%, was reported by taxpayers on their tax returns, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen wrote in a Jan. 8, 2016, letter to Congress (available at irs.gov. Taxpayers receiving APTCs were informed that they must file a return reconciling the advance payments with their eligible premium tax credit amount for the year, Koskinen said. The IRS also estimated that 4.8 million taxpayers needed to file Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit, for 2014 to make the reconciliation or claim a premium tax credit without APTCs. However, as of October 2015, only 3.5 million taxpayers did so, with 3.3 million reporting APTCs. The IRS sent letters to taxpayers whose return lacked a required Form 8962 requesting it—when possible, before processing the returns—and notified the exchanges of the lapse, Koskinen wrote.

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The creation of these new IRS-certified service providers for small businesses clarifies some issues around traditional professional employer organizations.

QUIZ

News quiz: Senate health care bill in the spotlight

Reports related to the Republican bill to repeal many provisions of the PPACA, other tax issues, and the giant AICPA ENGAGE Conference offered a diverse reading list for June. See how much you know about recent news with this short quiz.