COVID-19 sick and family leave credits may be claimed for vaccination paid time off
The IRS in a news release (IR-2021-90) and fact sheet (FS-2021-09) reminded employers that the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), P.L. 117-2, added to wages qualifying for the Secs. 3131 and 3132 credits for qualified sick and family leave, respectively, those paid for employees’ leave taken to receive or recover from COVID-19 vaccinations. Eligible employers (generally, those with fewer than 500 employees and certain governmental employers) may take a credit equal to the wages paid to employees for a paid day off to receive a vaccination, the IRS advised. ARPA also extended the credits for leave taken (for all qualifying leave reasons) from April 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2021. The refundable credits are applied against the employer’s share of Medicare payroll taxes.
IRS extends e-signature authorization for 6 months
In an April memorandum, the IRS announced it was extending the authorization to electronically sign a large number of IRS forms until Dec. 31, 2021, and adding a number of new forms. The original authorization was from Aug. 28 through Dec. 31, 2020. Due to the ongoing public health crisis, that period was extended from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2021, and is now extended until the end of this year. The forms can be filed only on paper and otherwise require a handwritten signature. Allowing them to be e-signed remotely before being printed and mailed to the Service will help tax professionals and their taxpayer clients by minimizing the need for in-person contact, the IRS said.
Receipt of bitcoin cash as a result of a hard fork is gross income to taxpayer
The Office of Chief Counsel advised in Chief Counsel Advice (CCA) 202114020 that a taxpayer who received bitcoin cash as a result of an Aug. 1, 2017, bitcoin “hard fork” (which occurs when a cryptocurrency on a distributed ledger undergoes a protocol change resulting in a permanent diversion from the legacy or existing distributed ledger) has gross income because the taxpayer had an accession to wealth under Sec. 61. According to the CCA, the date of receipt and the fair market value to be included in income depend on when the taxpayer obtained dominion and control over the bitcoin cash.