LEVITZACKS, Certified Public Accountants
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Important Accounting Changes on the Horizon that May Impact Your Business...

Click here to read how this change may impact your organization.

Click here to download a summary of the AICPA's Working Group's current issues and their status.

The enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in late 2017 (TCJA) was a game changer.  We are well-versed in what the rules of the TCJA purport to be, but there is still much uncertainty in some of the implementation details.  Guidance from the IRS continues to trickle in and with each installment of pronouncements more planning opportunities become apparent, even as consensus among tax advisors about the “real rules” of the game become more established.  The year-end tax planning guides can provide a general overview of major areas to consider as tailored to Individuals, Investors, and Businesses.  Because we stay focused on continuing developments, including potential legislative changes and IRS pronouncements, we encourage you to both check our website at lz-cpa.com/newsletter.html and contact us about any special areas of your concern.

As a result of the TCJA, payroll withholding tables were revised earlier this year.  In some situations, it may be prudent to revisit your claimed withholding exemptions and our year-end projections can assist in that effort.  In addition, there are enhanced deferral techniques, state tax minimization strategies, novel estate planning techniques that combine estate tax minimization with major income tax savings for future generations, and other great ideas we look forward to sharing as they may apply to your unique situations that we encounter.  As thought leaders, we strive to anticipate the next moves of the game in these and several other areas.

In the meantime, we hope you find this year’s general tax planning brochure beneficial, if nothing more than to spark interest in seeking clarification about how the new and existing rules are applied to you.  We look forward to continuing to provide quality tax preparation and exceptional consulting services.


The IRS has corrected Notice 2019-20, which provided a waiver of penalties under Code Secs. 6722(failure to furnish correct payee statements) and 6698 (failure to file partnership return) for certain partnerships that file and furnish Schedules K-1 to Form 1065 without reporting negative tax basis capital account information. The updated Notice extends the penalty waiver to Code Secs. 6038(b)and (c) and any other section of the Code, for partnerships that fail to file and furnish Schedules K-1 or any other form or statement to Form 8865, Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Partnerships, for any penalty that arises solely as a result of failing to include negative tax basis capital account information.


The upper-tier controlled foreign corporation (CFC) partners of a domestic partnership were required to include in gross income their distributive share of income inclusions under subpart F from lower-tier CFCs, and increase earnings and profits (E&P) by the same amount. Regulations under Code Sec. 964provided preliminary steps for conforming a foreign corporation’s profit and loss statement to that of a domestic corporation. The general rules of Code Sec. 312 that governed earnings and profits computations of domestic corporations then applied.


The IRS has issued proposed regulations on the information reporting requirements under Code Secs. 101(a)(3) and 6050Y, added by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ( P.L. 115-97). The regulations are to apply to reportable life insurance policy sales made, and reportable death benefits paid, after December 31, 2017. Transition relief applies until these regulations are finalized.


Nina E. Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA), has announced her decision to retire this summer from the esteemed NTA position at the IRS. Olson has served as taxpayers’ "voice" within the IRS and before Congress for the last 18 years.


The IRS has released the 2018 optional standard mileage rates to be used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, medical, moving and charitable purposes. Beginning on January 1, 2018, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup of panel truck will be:

  • 54.5 cents per mile for business miles driven (up from 53.5 cents in 2017);
  • 18 cents per mile for medical and moving expenses (up from 17 cents in 2017); and
  • 14 cents per mile for miles driven for charitable purposes (permanently set by statute at 14 cents).

Comment. A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate after using a depreciation method under Code Sec. 168 or after claiming the Code Sec. 179 deduction for that vehicle. A taxpayer may not use the business rate for more than four vehicles at a time. As a result, business owners have a choice for their vehicles: take the standard mileage rate, or “itemize” each part of the expense (gas, tolls, insurance, etc., and depreciation).


The start of a New Year presents a time to reflect on the past 12 months and, based on what has gone before, predict what may happen next. Here is a list of the top 10 developments from 2017 that may prove particularly important as we move forward into the New Year:


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