The IRS Large Business and International (LB&I) division has added four new compliance campaigns to its active campaigns list of 57 campaigns in total.
In 2017, LB&I announced the identification and selection of 13 initial compliance campaigns. With the new compliance campaigns, LB&I essentially shifted to examinations based on compliance issues that LB&I determined presented greater levels of compliance risk, thereby improving return selection. Since the initial 13 campaign announcement, LB&I has added additional campaigns.
The IRS has announced the following new campaigns:
- Allocation of success-based fees. Success-based fees paid in transactions under Treas. Reg. § 1.263(a)-5(a) are presumed facilitative and must be capitalized. These fees may instead be allocated to non-facilitative activities, and currently deducted, if the taxpayer meets the documentation requirements under Treas. Reg. § 1.263(a)-5(f). Rev. Proc. 2011-29 allows a safe harbor election for allocating success-based fees paid in covered transactions under Treas. Reg. § 1.263(a)-5(e)(3) without meeting the above documentation requirements so long as 70% of these fees are allocated as non-facilitative and 30% are allocated as facilitative. The goal of this campaign is to ensure taxpayer compliance with current law.
- FIRPTA reporting compliance for NRAs. FIRPTA taxes foreign persons on the disposition of their U.S. real property interests. Generally the buyer/transferee is the withholding agent and is required to withhold 15% of the amount realized on the sale, file the required forms, and remit the tax to IRS. This campaign is intended to increase FIRPTA voluntary compliance through issue based examinations and external education and outreach.
- Computation of life insurance reserves under Sec. 807(d). Section 13517 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) amended Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 807(d) to provide a new method for computing life insurance reserves, effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. IRC section 807(d)(1) provides generally that, for purposes of determining life insurance company taxable income, the amount of the life insurance reserves for any contract (other than a contract to which IRC section 807(d)(1)(B) applies (relating to variable contracts)), is the greater of the net surrender value of such contract or 92.81 percent of the reserve determined under IRC section 807(d)(2), subject to the statutory cap as provided in IRC section 807(d)(1)(C).
- Re-computation of life insurance reserves. Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 807(d) sets forth rules for computing the amount of life insurance reserves. Under prior law, the interest rate used in this computation is the greater of: (i) the applicable federal interest rate (AFIR) (as prescribed under IRC section 846(c)(2)); or (ii) the prevailing State assumed interest rate (PSAIR) (as defined in IRC section 807(d)(4)(B)). See former IRC section 807(d)(2)(B). However, a taxpayer could elect to recompute, every five years, the AFIR used in this computation of life insurance reserves. See former IRC section 807(d)(4)(A)(ii).
- Form3520/3520-A Compliance and Penalties,
- Micro-Captive Insurance Campaign,
- Post OVDP Compliance
- Swiss Bank Program Campaign
- Syndicated Conservation Easement Transactions