Court of Appeals Rules Against Sunoco in Tax Credit Case: Today, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held in Sunoco, Inc. v. US that the taxpayer could not treat the alcohol fuel mixture credit as a tax-free direct payment while deducting excise taxes that were in fact reduced by an application of the credit. The court held that, under the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, “the Mixture Credit reduces any excise-tax liability and then the taxpayer is compensated for any remaining Mixture Credit.”

IRS Issues Updated Guidance on Contributions to Retirement Plans: Today, the IRS announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2019. The changes increase the limits for contributions to certain plans and allow taxpayers to deduct contributions to a traditional IRA if they meet certain conditions.

TIGTA Releases Audit Report on Quality Review of Employment Plan Examinations: The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released its report assessing how the Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) Division selects employment plan examination cases for quality review, documents the results, and provides feedback to employees performing examinations. The audit found that the TE/GE generally did not provide direct feedback to responsible individual examiners and group managers on the results of quality reviews, and recommended that the TE/GE develop mechanisms for sharing detailed results of quality reviews with the responsible individuals.

IRSAC to Expand and Consolidate With Other Advisory Committees: The IRS announced today that the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Committee’s (IRSAC) role will expand in 2019 to have a wider portfolio and incorporate two other advisory groups. The expanded IRSAC will include areas currently covered by both the Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities. The change is the result of the IRS’s efforts to streamline groups organized under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). IRSAC will also adjust its structure to focus on tracking the IRS’s four operating divisions: Wage and Investment, Small Business and Self Employed, Tax Exempt, and Government Entities and Large Business and International.