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IRS will not acquiesce to reverse like-kind exchange holding

In Action on Decision 2017-06, the IRS stated it will not follow the Tax Court's opinion in Estate of Bartell, 147 T.C. 140 (2016) (see "Tax Matters: Reverse Like-Kind Exchange Is Afforded Nonrecognition Treatment," JofA, Nov. 2016). Specifically, the Service disagreed with the court's holding that the taxpayer's sale and acquisition of business real property qualified as a like-kind exchange under Sec. 1031 even though an accommodating party facilitating the transaction acquired title to the replacement property 17 months before the exchange. The IRS contended that the taxpayer acquired the benefits and burdens of ownership of the replacement property when the exchange facilitator acquired it and stated it does not agree with cases cited by the Tax Court holding that an exchange facilitator may be treated as the owner in those circumstances.

Hurricane victims get extension, other tax relief

The IRS granted taxpayers in areas of Texas designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as affected by Hurricane Harvey; areas of Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands affected by Hurricane or Tropical Storm Irma; and areas of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands affected by Hurricane Maria, an extension until Jan. 31, 2018, for tax filings and payments due during the period beginning Aug. 23, 2017 (Harvey), Sept. 4 (Irma—Florida), Sept. 5 (Irma—Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands), Sept. 7 (Irma—Georgia), Sept. 16 (Maria—Virgin Islands), or Sept. 17 (Maria—Puerto Rico), and ending Jan. 31, 2018, including returns otherwise due, with a valid extension, by individuals on Oct. 16 and by businesses on Sept. 15 (News Releases IR-2017-135, IR-2017-150, IR-2017-156, VI-2017-02, and PR-2017-02). Also postponed are deadlines for quarterly estimated tax payments and quarterly payroll and excise tax returns. The IRS will provide relief on a case-by-case basis for those outside the FEMA disaster areas but with records in the affected areas, as well as for those aiding a recognized government or philanthropic organization.

In addition, the IRS waived a penalty for dyed diesel fuel sold for use or used in Texas and Florida (News Releases IR-2017-142 and IR-2017-149); eased requirements for loans and hardship distributions from certain employer-sponsored retirement plans to victims in the FEMA disaster areas of Texas and Florida (Announcements 2017-11 and 2017-13); and offered relief for leave-based donation programs (News Releases IR-2017-143 and IR-2017-154).

Bronze coverage level set

In Rev. Proc. 2017-48, the IRS stated that, for 2017, the monthly national average premium for qualified health plans that have a bronze level of coverage and are offered through exchanges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, P.L. 111-148, is $272 per individual in a "shared responsibility family," up to $1,360 for a family of five or more. The benchmark is used in determining taxpayers' maximum individual shared-responsibility payment under Sec. 5000A(c)(1)(B).


Tax reform complicates year-end tax planning

Get your clients ready for tax season with these year-end tax planning strategies, which address how to make the most of recent tax law changes, such as the new deduction for qualified business income and the cap on the deductibility of state and local taxes.


What RPA is and how it works

Robotic process automation is like an Excel macro that can work on multiple applications, says Danielle Supkis Cheek, CPA. RPA can complete routine, repetitive tasks such as data entry, freeing up employee time from lower-level chores.