taxation law services

Third Quarter 2024 IRS Interest Rates on Overpayment & Underpayment of Tax

On May 9, 2024, the IRS announced that the Third Quarter 2024 IRS interest rates on overpayment and underpayment of tax will remain the same as in the Second Quarter of 2024.

This means that, the Third Quarter 2024 IRS interest rates will be as follows:

  • eight (8) percent for overpayments (seven (7) percent in the case of a corporation);
  • eight (8) percent for underpayments;
  • ten (10) percent for large corporate underpayments; and
  • five and a half (5.5) of a percent for the portion of a corporate overpayment exceeding $10,000.

Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) §6621 establishes the IRS interest rates on overpayments and underpayments of tax. Under §6621(a)(1), the overpayment rate is the sum of the federal short-term rate plus 3 percentage points for individuals and 2 percentage points in cases of a corporation. There is an exception to this rule: with respect to a corporate overpayment of tax exceeding $10,000 for a taxable period of time, the rate is the sum of the federal short-term rate plus one-half of a percentage point.

Under §6621(a)(2), the underpayment rate is the sum of the federal short-term rate plus 3 percentage points. Again, there is an exception for a large corporate underpayment: in such cases, §6621(c) requires the underpayment rate to be the sum of the relevant federal short-term rate plus 5 percentage points. The readers should see §6621(c) and §301.6621-3 of the Regulations on Procedure and Administration for the definition of a large corporate underpayment and for the rules for determining the applicable date.

Pursuant to the IRC §6621(b)(1), the Third Quarter 2024 IRS interest rates were computed based on federal short-term rates in January of 2024. 

It is important to note that the Third Quarter 2024 IRS interest rates are relevant for a great variety of purposes. Let’s highlight three of its most important uses. Third, these rates will determine the interest a taxpayer will get on any IRS refunds.

Third ,the rates will also be used to establish the interest to be added to any additional US tax liability on amended or audited tax returns. This also applies to the tax returns that were amended pursuant to Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures and Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures.

Finally, the Third Quarter 2024 IRS interest rates will be used to calculate PFIC interest on any relevant §1291 PFIC tax. This PFIC interest will be reported on the relevant Form 8621 and ultimately Form 1040.

We at Sherayzen Law Office constantly deal with the IRS interest rates on overpayments and underpayments of tax. This is why we closely follow any changes in these IRS interest rates, including the Third Quarter 2024 IRS interest rates.

IRS Corporate Jet Audits Campaign | MN IRS Audit Tax Lawyer

On February 21, 2024, the IRS announced that it will begin dozens of audits of business aircraft usage as part of a new tax enforcement campaign. In this short article, I will discuss these new IRS corporate jet audits in more detail.

IRS Corporate Jet Audits: Focus on Personal Use of High-Net Individuals

The IRS announced that it will be auditing the usage of corporate aircraft for personal purposes.  The chief revenue agency of the United States was blunt in identifying who it is targeting — high-net individuals. The audits will focus on aircraft usage by large corporations, large partnerships and high-income taxpayers and whether, for tax purposes, the use of jets is being properly allocated between business and personal reasons.

Officers, executives, other employees, shareholders and partners often use business aircraft for both business and personal reasons. In general, the Internal Revenue Code allows a business deduction for expenses of maintaining an asset, such as a corporate jet, as long as the company uses the asset for a business purpose. However, the company must allocate use of a company aircraft between business use and personal use. This is a complex area of tax law, and record-keeping can be challenging.

Hence, for someone such as an executive using the company jet for personal travel, the amount of personal usage impacts eligibility for certain business deductions. Use of the company jet for personal travel typically results in income inclusion by the individual using the jet for personal travel and could also impact the business’ eligibility to deduct costs related to the personal travel.

The number of audits related to aircraft usage could increase in the future following initial results and as the IRS continues hiring additional examiners.

IRS Corporate Jet Audits: Funding and Strategies

The IRS was quick to identify  the Inflation Reduction Act as the source of funding of this new IRS campaign. The IRS will be using advanced analytics and resources from the Inflation Reduction Act to more closely examine this area. At the same time, the agency complained that, in the past, it did not have the resources to properly audit this area due to low resources.

“During tax season, millions of people are doing the right thing by filing and paying their taxes, and they should have confidence that everyone is also following the law,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “Personal use of corporate jets and other aircraft by executives and others have tax implications, and it’s a complex area where IRS work has been stretched thin. With expanded resources, IRS work in this area will take off. These aircraft audits will help ensure high-income groups aren’t flying under the radar with their tax responsibilities.”

The examination of corporate jet usage is part of the IRS Large Business and International division’s “campaign” program. Campaigns apply different compliance streams to help address areas with a high risk of non-compliance. These efforts include issue-focused examinations, taxpayer outreach and education, tax form changes and focusing on particular issues that present a high risk of noncompliance.

IRS Corporate Jet Audits: Implications for Broader IRS Tax Enforcement

The IRS corporate jet audits are just part of a larger effort of the IRS to step up tax enforcement worldwide. Prior to the Inflation Reduction Act, more than a decade of budget cuts prevented the IRS from keeping pace with the increasingly complicated set of tools that the wealthiest taxpayers use to avoid taxes. The IRS is now taking swift and aggressive action to close this gap with the focus on high-net-worth individuals.

“The IRS continues to increase scrutiny on high-income taxpayers as we work to reverse the historic low audit rates and limited focus that the wealthiest individuals and organizations faced in the years that predated the Inflation Reduction Act,” Werfel said. “We are adding staff and technology to ensure that the taxpayers with the highest income, including partnerships, large corporations and millionaires and billionaires, pay what is legally owed under federal law. The IRS will have more announcements to make in this important area.”

Of course, one of the most important areas of the increased IRS tax enforcement is US international tax compliance. This involves compliance with foreign income reporting, FBARs and various other information returns (Forms 3520, 3520-A, 5471, 8865, 8938, et cetera).

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for IRS Audits of Your US International Tax Compliance

If the IRS is auditing your US international tax compliance, including foreign income and foreign asset reporting, contact Sherayzen Law Office for professional help as soon as possible. We have helped taxpayers around the world with the IRS international tax audits. We can help you!

Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Confidential Consultation!

Offshore Voluntary Disclosure: Client Records | International Tax Lawyer

One of the first things a client must get in order to pursue an offshore voluntary disclosure are all of the client records from his former accountant. Sometimes, however, the clients are having difficulty obtaining their documents from their accountants. In this article, I would like to briefly describe an accountant’s obligations with respect to the return of client records to their clients.

Return of Client Records: General Obligation to Return All Client Documents

Subsection 10.28(a) of Circular 230 requires an accountant to promptly return, upon a client’s request, any and all of the records of the client that are necessary for the client to comply with his federal tax obligations. Hence, a failure of an accountant to return all clients records to his or her client is a violation of the accountant’s IRS obligations.

Return of Client Records: Documents Included

31 CFR §10.28(b) defines the documents that an accountant must return to his client:

  1. All documents or written or electronic materials provided to the practitioner, or obtained by the practitioner in the course of the practitioner’s representation of the client, that preexisted the retention of the practitioner by the client;
  2. All materials that were prepared by the client or a third party (not including an employee or agent of the practitioner) at any time and provided to the practitioner with respect to the subject matter of the representation; and
  3. Any return, claim for refund, schedule, affidavit, appraisal or any other document prepared by the practitioner, or his or her employee or agent, that was presented to the client with respect to a prior representation if such document is necessary for the taxpayer to comply with his or her current federal tax obligations.

Return of Client Records: Documents Excluded

31 CFR §10.28(b) also expressly excludes from the definition of client records “any return, claim for refund, schedule, affidavit, appraisal or any other document prepared by the practitioner or the practitioner’s firm, employees or agents if the practitioner is withholding such document pending the client’s performance of its contractual obligation to pay fees with respect to such document”.

Hence, in most cases, it is important for a client to pay his outstanding fees to the accountant in order to make sure that he has all relevant documents. Later, if he wishes, the client may file a lawsuit against the accountant for negligence (if there are legal grounds for such a lawsuit) to recover the fees paid.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office to Help With the Voluntary Disclosure of Your Prior US Tax Noncompliance

If you have not disclosed your foreign income and/or foreign assets to the IRS in violation of your US tax obligations, you should contact Sherayzen Law Office as soon as possible for professional help.  We have helped hundreds of US taxpayers to bring their tax affairs into compliance with US tax laws, including through a voluntary disclosure such as SDOP (Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures)SFOP (Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures)DFSP (Delinquent FBAR Submission Procedures), DIIRSP (Delinquent International Information Return Submission Procedures), IRS VDP (IRS Voluntary Disclosure Practice) and Reasonable Cause disclosures. We can help you!

Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Confidential Consultation!

Reasonable Cause Written Advice Standard | International Tax Lawyer

Reliance on a written advice of a tax practitioner (attorney, CPA, etc.) may provide the basis for a reasonable cause exception to imposition of IRS noncompliance or late filing penalties with respect to pretty much every single US international tax compliance requirement. In this short article, I will describe the reasonable cause written advice standard concerning how the written advice should be written in order to satisfy and strengthen your legal case before the IRS.

Reasonable Cause Written Advice Standard: What A Practitioner May Advise On

First of all, it is important to understand that a practitioner may provide a written advice pretty much on any US tax matter.  In other words, a taxpayer may obtain a written advice from a practitioner on any matter concerning the application and/or interpretation of any provision of the Internal Revenue Code, any provision of law impacting the taxpayer’s US tax obligations, any Treasury regulations and any other law or regulation that the IRS administers.

Reasonable Cause Written Advice Standard: What Written Advice Should Include

When he writes a tax advice, the practitioner should make sure that he complies with some important rules:

  1. The practitioner should consider all relevant facts and circumstances that the practitioner knows or would reasonably know. This means that two things must happen: (a) practitioner should conduct a reasonable investigation, including an interview with the taxpayer, to secure the necessary facts; and (b) the taxpayer must disclose all facts that he believes to be relevant and/or the practitioner asked him about. The disclosure of relevant facts by the taxpayer is absolutely crucial to the strength of the reasonable cause exception argument.
    At the same time, a failure by the practitioner to do a reasonable investigation of relevant facts may in of itself constitute a reasonable cause. He also should not rely on what he believes unreasonable, incorrect, incomplete and/or inconsistent representations, statements, findings, or agreements (including projections, financial forecasts, or appraisals) of the taxpayer or any other person.
  2. The practitioner should base his written advice on reasonable factual and legal assumptions (including assumptions of future events).
  3. The practitioner should apply the relevant law to the facts of the case. In other words, a written advice cannot simply state the law and assume that it should apply to the taxpayer’s case without the analysis of whether the facts of this particular case fit the relevant legal standard.

A failure to comply with all of these three rules may not necessarily be lethal to your legal case, but it may greatly affect its strength.

Reasonable Cause Written Advice Standard: Reliance on Advice from Third Parties

Sometimes, a practitioner may incorporate an advice from a third person into his own written advice.  He can do it only if the advice was reasonable in light of all facts and circumstances of the case.

The IRS is clear that such reliance on a third-party advice cannot be reasonable in three circumstances. First, the practitioner knows or reasonably should know that the opinion of the other person is not reliable. Second, the practitioner knows or reasonably should know that the other person does not have the necessary competence and necessary qualifications to provide the advice.  Finally, the practitioner knows or reasonably should know that the other person has a conflict of interest in violation of the IRS Circular 230.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office to Help With the Voluntary Disclosure of Your Prior US Tax Noncompliance

If you have not disclosed your foreign income and/or foreign assets to the IRS in violation of your US tax obligations, contact Sherayzen Law Office as soon as possible for professional help.  We have helped hundreds of US taxpayers to bring their tax affairs into compliance with US tax laws, including through a voluntary disclosure such as SDOP (Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures)SFOP (Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures)DFSP (Delinquent FBAR Submission Procedures), DIIRSP (Delinquent International Information Return Submission Procedures), IRS VDP (IRS Voluntary Disclosure Practice) and Reasonable Cause disclosures. Mr. Eugene Sherayzen, an international tax attorney, can help you evaluate the strength of your legal case, including whether it meets the reasonable cause standard.  We can help you!

Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Confidential Consultation!

IRS Limited Practice Exceptions | Tax Lawyer St Paul Minnesota

Generally, only attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents and enrolled actuaries can act as taxpayer representatives before the IRS.  However, Circular 230 §10.7 contains several limited exceptions to this general requirement. Let’s explore these IRS limited practice exceptions.

IRS Limited Practice Exceptions: Standard of Conduct

Before we discuss the exceptions, I would like to point out that all non-practitioners who engage in limited practice before the IRS must follow the same standards of conduct as those applicable to practitioners. Circular 230 §10.7(c)(2)(iii).  Moreover, the IRS reserves the right to deny eligibility to engage in limited practice to any individual who has engaged in conduct that may be subject to a sanction under Circular 230 §10.50. See Circular 230 §10.7(c)(2)(ii).

It should be kept in mind that an individual can represent before the IRS not only a taxpayer in the United States, but also any individual or entity who is outside of the United States.

IRS Limited Practice Exceptions: Self-Representation

Obviously, every taxpayer has a basic right to represent himself before the IRS without any enrollment into IRS practice. This right can be found in Circular 230 §10.7(a). Circular 230 §10.7(e) explains that a fiduciary such as a trustee, receiver, guardian, personal representative, administrator, or executor is considered to be the taxpayer, not a representative of a taxpayer.

IRS Limited Practice Exceptions: Relationship-Based Representation

The IRS would permit an individual to represent another taxpayer before the IRS if this individual has some type of a close relationship to the taxpayer (whether the taxpayer is an individual or an entity). Circular 230 §10.7(c)(1) specifically lists the following exceptions:

(i) An individual may represent a member of his or her immediate family.

(ii) A regular full-time employee of an individual employer may represent the employer.

(iii) A general partner or a regular full-time employee of a partnership may represent the partnership.

(iv) A bona fide officer or a regular full-time employee of a corporation (including a parent, subsidiary, or other affiliated corporation), association, or organized group may represent the corporation, association, or organized group.

(v) A regular full-time employee of a trust, receivership, guardianship, or estate may represent the trust, receivership, guardianship, or estate.

(vi) An officer or a regular employee of a governmental unit, agency, or authority may represent the governmental unit, agency, or authority in the course of his or her official duties.

It is important to point out that subclause (iv) does not clash with Form 4764 (Large Case Examination Plan) which allows a corporate taxpayer to designate an employee to discuss tax matters, provide information, discuss adjustments, et cetera.  The reason for it is that the Form 4764 authorization only allows an employee to simply accept materials, deliver materials, provide general explanation. If the employee advocates, negotiates, disputes or does anything else, then he engages in taxpayer representation that requires the filing of Form 2848.

Another important note concerning subclause (iv) is that an employee of a corporation may represent a corporate subsidiary in a tax matter concerning the subsidiary if the parent corporation owns, directly or indirectly, 50% or more of the subsidiary’s voting stock and if the employee’s services are not rendered in a manner that might misrepresent his professional status.

IRS Limited Practice Exceptions: Specific Matter Representation

Circular 230 §10.7(d) allows the IRS to authorize any individual to represent another person without enrollment for a specific matter. Circular 230 does not really describe what are the requirements for such a specific matter representation. Given past practice, however, we can deduce that Circular 230 is most likely referring to persons who are not active tax practitioners but may possess certain competency in tax matters (such an attorney without a license, a retired CPA, a law student representing his clients through a tax clinic in a law school, etc.).

Sherayzen Law Office Is Auhorized to Practice Before the IRS

Mr. Eugene Sherayzen, the owner of Sherayzen Law Office, is an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Minnesota.  Hence, he is authorized to represent taxpayers before the IRS.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for professional help with all matters concerning US international tax laws.