Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of November 11–15, 2019.
November 11, 2019: The IRS released Delegation Order 30-9 announcing the delegation of authority to withhold cases from IRS Appeals and deny requests for Appeals review in cases designated for litigation. The delegation order is effective November 7, 2019.
November 12, 2019: The IRS announced a significant increase in enforcement actions for syndicated conservation easement transactions.
November 14, 2019: The IRS issued a News Release regarding a Revenue Procedure that updates the rules for using the optional standard mileage rates in computing the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving expense purposes. The guidance also provides rules to substantiate, under section 274(d) and Treas. Reg. § 1.274-5, the amount of an employee’s ordinary and necessary travel expenses reimbursed by an employer using the optional standard mileage rates. The IRS noted that for any taxable year during the suspension period ending January 1, 2026, a taxpayer is not permitted to claim miscellaneous itemized deductions, including unreimbursed employee travel expenses using the standard mileage rates.
November 15, 2019: The IRS issued Proposed Regulations that set forth proposed requirements for group health plans and health insurance issuers in the individual and group markets to disclose cost-sharing information upon request. In addition, plans and issuers would be required to make such information available on an internet website and, if requested, through non-internet means. The proposed regulations also include proposals to require plans and issuers to disclose in-network provider negotiated rates, and historical out-of-network allowed amounts through two machine-readable files posted on an internet website, thereby allowing the public to have increased access to health insurance coverage information. The proposed regulations are scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on November 27, 2019. Public comments regarding the contemplated rules must be received by January 14, 2020.
November 15, 2019: The IRS announced steps to conduct special compliance efforts for individual and business taxpayers to ensure fairness in the tax system. The IRS indicated the goal is to help resolve tax compliance issues by meeting face-to-face with taxpayers with ongoing tax issues. The IRS will focus these efforts in areas where there have been a limited number of revenue officers available due to declining IRS resources.
November 15, 2019: The IRS released its weekly list of written determinations (e.g., Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memorandums and Chief Counsel Advice).