Senate Finance Committee Announces Hearing for IRS Nominee Rettig: Today Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) announced that he will convene a hearing to consider the nomination of Charles Rettig to be Commissioner of the IRS. The hearing will take place on June 28.

EU Adopts VAT Minimum Standard Rate of 15%: Today the European Council adopted a directive making the 15% minimum standard rate a permanent feature of a new value-added tax (VAT) system. A 15% minimum standard rate has been maintained on a provisional basis since VAT rules for the European Union (EU) single market were first applied in 1993. It was last extended in May 2016 for two years, expiring on December 31, 2017.

Miscellaneous Guidance: The IRS issued Notice 2018-59, which provides guidance to determine when construction has begun on energy property that is eligible for the section 48 credit. It provides two methods for taxpayers to establish the beginning of construction (a physical work test and a five percent safe harbor), a continuity requirement for both methods, rules for transferring energy property, and additional rules applicable to the beginning of construction requirement of section 48.