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Tag Archive for Peter J. Scalise

Tax Aspects Of The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act Of 2020

PETER J SCALISE - Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020

Introduction

On Friday, December 20th of 2019, President Donald J. Trump signed into law:

  • H. R. 1158, entitled the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020,” which divisions A through D of the enrolled bill provides full-year funding through September 30, 2020, for projects and activities of certain agencies of the Federal Government; and
  • H. R. 1865, entitled the “Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020,” which Divisions A through H of the enrolled bill provides full-year funding through September 30, 2020, for projects and activities of the remaining agencies of the Federal Government.

Both H.R. 1158 and H.R. 1865 (hereinafter “the new Act”) averted a government shutdown that would have commenced on December 21, 2019 without this sweeping $ 1.4 trillion spending package being passed into law. Most of the new Act outlines how the government will appropriate the federal budget funding across numerous departments and programs including, but not limited to, the Department of Defense; Department of Transportation; Department of Labor; Department of the Interior; and of course, the Department of Treasury.

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Breaking News! IRS Issues New Administrative Authority Governing The Tax Treatment Of Depreciation

Peter J Scalise - Tax Treatment on Depreciation

On December 21st of 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (hereinafter the “Service”) issued new administrative guidance in the form of Rev. Proc. 2019-08 governing expense deductions and depreciation measures in connection to real property as enacted by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Pub. L. No. 115-97, (hereinafter the “TCJA”’). It should be duly recalled, the TCJA enacted the subsequent tax law amendments including, but not limited to:

  • I. R.C. § 179 by modifying the definition of “Qualified Real Property” that may be eligible as I.R.C. § 179 property pursuant to I.R.C. § 179(d)(1);
  • I. R.C. § 168 by requiring certain property held by an electing real property trade or business and reducing the recovery period under the Alternative Depreciation System (hereinafter “ADS”) from 40 years to 30 years for commercial residential real estate property; and
  • I. R.C. § 168 by requiring certain property held by an electing farming business to be depreciated under the ADS.

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Tax Aspects Of The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018

Peter J. Scalise, New York, USA, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, TaxConnections

Introduction

On Friday, February 9th of 2018, President Donald J. Trump signed into law H.R. 1892 entitled the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (hereinafter “BBA”) just hours after the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 71-28 and the House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 240-186. The BBA resolved numerous non-tax law related issues for the federal government on a bipartisan basis including but not limited to raising the debt ceiling; domestic and military spending; community healthcare; and disaster relief. In addition, the BBA includes tax relief for certain disasters, a retroactive one-year tax extenders package for statutory tax incentives that previously expired on December 31, 2016 including several highly prevalent energy tax incentive programs pursuant to I.R.C. § 179D and I.R.C. § 45L, amongst a highly diverse array of other statutory tax provisions.

Individual And Business-Entity Tax Relief For Certain Disasters

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A Practical Guide to the 2017 Trump Tax Reform Plan – By Tax Advisor Peter J. Scalise

Introduction

On September 27th, President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress announced a new conceptual framework for tax reform which they optimistically hope to get enacted into law on or before December 31st of 2017. The proposed conceptual framework broadly describes significant tax law changes affecting both individuals and businesses alike ranging from lower tax rates for individuals and businesses to the repeal of many tax incentives – both deductions and credits. President Trump stated “it is now time for all members of Congress – Democrat, Republican, and Independent – to support pro-American tax reform. It’s time for Congress to provide a level playing field for our workers, to bring American companies back home, to attract new companies and businesses to our country, and to put more money into the pockets of everyday hardworking people.

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Lights, Camera, Action And Tax Cut! A Spotlight On The Expansion Of The NYS Film Tax Credit Program

On November 4th of 2016, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Chapter 420 of the Laws of 2016 which expanded the New York State Film Tax Credit Program (hereinafter the “NYSFTCP”) for qualified production companies that produce feature films; television series; relocated television series; television pilots; television movies; and/or incur post-production costs associated with the original creation of these aforementioned film productions.

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The House of Representatives Votes To Make Permanent The Research & Experimentation Tax Credit

On Wednesday, May 20th The House of Representatives passed H.R. 880 entitled the “American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2015” by a vote of 274-145 and H.R. 1806 entitled the “America Competes Reauthorization Act” by a vote of 217-205. The legislation would make permanent the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit and authorize approximately $33 billion in funding for federal scientific research and research grants between fiscal years 2016 through 2020. This funding would be divided amongst the National Science Foundation; the Office of Science and Technology Policy; the National Institute of Standards and Technology; along with select offices at the U.S. Department of Energy. While the bill does not lift the existing funding level for the agencies, it will nonetheless help to promote “fundamental discovery science” by Read more

The President’s Budget Proposal Attempts To Permanently Extend The Research And Experimentation Tax Credit

President Barrack Obama unveiled his $ 3.9 trillion Fiscal Year (hereinafter “FY”) 2015 budget proposal on March 4th. The President’s FY 2015 budget proposal reflects the framework set out in his 2014 State of the Union Address to promote job creation and economic growth. Clearly, the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit (hereinafter “RTC”) was a focal point of his budget as the RTC recently expired on December 31, 2013. It should be duly recalled that the RTC was originally added to the Internal Revenue Code (hereinafter “the Code”) in 1981 as a temporary provision of the Code at a time when research and experimentation based jobs were alarmingly declining in the United States and the RTC was designed to stimulate job growth and investment within the United States and its possessions (e.g., Puerto Rico and Guam). Read more

A Practical Guide To Identifying, Gathering, And Documenting A Sustainable Research Tax Credit Claim

Introduction

The Research and Experimentation Tax Credit (hereinafter “RTC”) was added to the Internal Revenue Code (hereinafter “the Code”) in 1981 as a temporary provision of the Code at a time when research and development based jobs were significantly declining in the United States due to these jobs being moved overseas where labor rates and overall operating costs were considerably less. For this very reason, the RTC was introduced into the Code in 1981 to motivate business entity taxpayers to incur significant and qualifying research and development expenditures with the high expectations that such an advantageous tax incentive would facilitate in stimulating job growth and investment in the United States and Read more

The Administrative Effect of The Government Shutdown On The Internal Revenue Service

TaxConnections Picture - BudgetOverview

On October 1, 2013 the United States Government was required to suspend all but its most needed operations as the result of the U.S. Congress’ failure to compromise upon appropriations that would have funded the government in fiscal year 2014. It should be duly noted that since March 26, 2013 numerous government operations have been funded under the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act [Pub. L. No. 113-6].

As a reminder, the United States Government operates on a fiscal year that runs from October 1 – September 30, and Congress is required to appropriate funds for the approaching fiscal year by the beginning of that year (i.e., October 1, 2013). Historically speaking many legislators often fail to do so, but typically they can agree upon a Continuing Budget Resolution that provides temporary funding—typically at the previous fiscal year’s spending rates—for the short-term period(s) while negotiations for the full-year appropriations continue. However, as both Democrats and Republicans continue to debate many federal buildings across the country have remained closed since October 1st including access to national parks, monuments, and museums coupled with hundreds of thousands of non-essential federal employees being furloughed.

Administrative Effect on the Internal Revenue Service

On October 8, 2013 the Internal Revenue Service (hereinafter the “Service”) updated its online notice about the government shutdown and reminded taxpayers on extension that the October 15 deadline is still in effect. The Service emphasized that Read more

Research or Experimental Expenses? Proposed Treasury Regulations Governing I.R.C. §174 Broadens Definition of Research and Experimentation

TaxConnections Blogger Peter J. Scalise posts about proposed Treasury RegulationsProposed Treasury Regulations issued on September 5, 2013 provide that if expenditures qualify as research or experimentation expenditures, it is irrelevant whether a resulting product is ultimately sold or used in the taxpayer’s trade or business.

As a synopsis, I.R.C. § 174 allows taxpayers to elect to take a current deduction for research and experimentation expenditures in the tax year they are paid or incurred or to defer certain research and experimentation expenditures and amortize them. Since its enactment in 1954, I.R.C. § 174(c) has provided that I.R.C. § 174 does not apply to any expenditure for the acquisition or improvement of land, or for the acquisition or improvement of property to be used in connection with the research or experimentation and of a character that is subject to depreciation or depletion. In 1957, the IRS (hereinafter the “Service”) issued Treas. Reg. § 174-2(b)(1) and (b)(4) to implement this rule. This is referred to as the “Depreciable Property Rule”.

Tax professionals have long debated on whether the sale of a product resulting from otherwise qualifying research or experimentation expenditures should subsequently disqualify those expenditures from I.R.C. § 174 treatment. The Service had previously taken the position that I.R.C. § 174(c) precluded I.R.C. § 174 treatment in the case of a subsequent sale of a Read more

Commercial Building Owners Can Take A Federal Tax Deduction Of Up To $1.80 A Square Foot When They Do This

Energy Tax Incentives for commercial building owners - Blog PostWhether a commercial property owner is undergoing new construction or remodeling, energy tax incentives should certainly be utilized to essentially tax effect the commercial building owner’s expenditures for undergoing the energy efficient renovation project.

As enacted in The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (hereinafter “EPAct”), the I.R.C. § 179D Energy Tax Deduction for building envelope efficiency encourages building owners to “Build Green” to not only save money by reducing their utility bills on a carry-forward basis, but to also reduce their tax liability on their tax returns as well.

As a synopsis of I.R.C. § 179D, commercial building owners can take a federal-level tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot of the building’s envelope if they install property that reduces energy and power costs. These installations need to be a part of the building’s interior lighting systems (i.e., up to .60 per square foot); Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems (hereinafter “HVAC”; i.e., .60 per square foot for newly installed HVAC equipment); or building envelope (i.e., .60 cents per square foot for windows, doors, roofs or insulation). The deduction is allowed for both new construction and remodeling and the building must be placed in service between 2006 through 2013. Read more

U.S. District Court Rules on Whether Research was “Funded” or “Not Funded” for Research & Experimentation Tax Credit Purposes

TaxConnections Picture - Books_Hour_GlassAs set forth in the pivotal case of Geosyntec Consultants, Inc. v. United States, No. 9:12-cv-80334 (S.D. Fla. 2013), the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled that engineering work conducted under select customer contracts was “not funded” and consequently eligible for the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit (hereinafter “Research Tax Credit”) pursuant to I.R.C. § 41, while other contracts were deemed “funded” and not eligible for the Research Tax Credit.

Geosyntec Consultants Inc. (hereinafter “Geosyntec”) is an engineering firm that specializes in matters involving the environment, natural resources and geologic infrastructure. Geosyntec’s core business is to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to environmental problems that are less expensive and disruptive than conventional remediation approaches.

Geosyntec sought a refund of $1,677,432 for Research Tax Credits resulting from 370 client projects on which it worked from 2002 through 2005. At issue before the court in cross-motions for summary judgment motion was whether the services rendered by Geosyntec on those projects should be classified as “funded research” under I.R.C. § 41(d)(4)(H) and thus not eligible for the Research Tax Credit.

Pursuant to Treas. Reg. § 1.41-4A(d) there are two requirements for determining whether research and experimentation analysis rendered for a third party is considered “not funded” and therefore not excluded from the Research Tax Credit under I.R.C. § 41(d)(4)(H): Read more