IRS has consolidated the provisions of previous revenue procedures for requesting relief for late S elections under Sec. 1362, late qualified subchapter S trust (QSST) elections, late electing small business trust (ESBT) elections, late qualified subchapter S subsidiary (QSub) elections, and late corporate classification elections (Rev. Proc. 2013-30). The new procedure is now the exclusive simplified method for taxpayers to apply for relief for these late elections.
Under the new procedure, S corporations that meet the following requirements are not subject to the three-year, 75-day deadline, but instead have no time limit on requesting relief:
• The corporation is not seeking a late corporate entity classification election;
• The corporation fails to qualify as an S corporation solely because Form 2553 was not timely filed;
• The corporation and all of its shareholders reported their income consistent with S corporation status for the year the election should have been made and all later years;
• At least six months have passed since the corporation filed its first S corporation year tax return;
• The IRS did not notify the corporation and the shareholders of any problem with the S corporation status within six months after the return was filed; and
• The completed election form includes statements from all shareholders from the date the election was to have been effective to the date of the filing stating that they have reported their income consistent with S corporation status.
The new rules are effective Sept. 3, the date they will be published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, but they apply to requests pending on that date as well as requests received afterward.
This gives some time to the ones deciding to participate in this program.
The Internal Revenue Service announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rates for the final six months of 2011. As a result the rate will increase to 55.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven from July 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2011 and will be 51 cent for the first six months of 2011.
Taxpayers may use the optional standard rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business and other purposes.
After the success of the 2009 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, once again, the Internal Revenue Service announced a special voluntary disclosure initiative designed to bring offshore money back into the U.S. tax system and help people with undisclosed income from hidden offshore accounts get current with their taxes. The new voluntary disclosure initiative will be available through Aug. 31, 2011.
For the 2011 initiative, there is a new penalty framework that requires individuals to pay a penalty of 25 percent of the amount in the foreign bank accounts in the year with the highest aggregate account balance covering the 2003 to 2010 time period. Some taxpayers will be eligible for 5 or 12.5 percent penalties. Participants also must pay back-taxes and interest for up to eight years as well as paying accuracy-related and/or delinquency penalties.
Taxpayers participating in the new initiative must file all original and amended tax returns and include payment for taxes, interest and accuracy-related penalties by the Aug. 31 deadline.
Participants in this intiatite generally face a 25 percent penalty, but taxpayers in limited situations can qualify for a 5 percent penalty.
The IRS also created a new penalty category of 12.5 percent for treating smaller offshore accounts. People whose offshore accounts or assets did not surpass $75,000 in any calendar year covered by the 2011 initiative will qualify for this lower rate.
The 2011 initiative offers clear benefits to encourage taxpayers to come in now rather than risk IRS detection. Taxpayers hiding assets offshore who do not come forward will face far higher penalty scenarios as well as the possibility of criminal prosecution.
The 2010 Small Business Jobs Act signed by President Obama on September 27, 2010 expanded the scope of Form 1099 MISC reporting. As a result, for purposes of the information reporting requirements, a person receiving rental income from real estate is now considered to be engaged in a trade or business of renting property.
This means, beginning in 2011, persons who receive rental income from real estate (including individuals) are subject to the same information reporting requirements as taxpayers engaged in a trade or business and are required to report payments after 12/31/10 in excess of $600 on Form 1099s.
This will require businesses and individuals to obtain the required information including name, address and social security numbers from those who provide their services to the rental property owners most preferably on Form W-9.
In particular, rental income recipients making payments of $600 or more to a service provider (such as a plumber, landscaper, painter or accountant) in the course of earning rental income are required to provide an information return (typically Form 1099-MISC) to the IRS and to the service provider.
Exceptions to this reporting requirement are payments made for:
• Any individual, including any individual who is an active member of the uniformed services or an employee of the intelligence community [as defined in Sec. 121(d)(9)(C)(iv)], if substantially all rental income is derived from renting the principal residence (within the meaning of Sec. 121) of such individual on a temporary basis;
• Any individual who receives rental income of not more than the minimal amount, as determined under regulations prescribed by the Secretary; and
• Any other individual for whom the requirements would cause hardship, as determined under regulations prescribed by the Secretary.