San Francisco Tax Preparation / CPA: IRS Issues Proposed Electronic Filing Requirements for Specified Returns and Other Documents

Filed in CCH NEWS FEED by on August 28, 2021

The IRS has proposed regulations that would amend the rules for filing electronically and affects persons required to file partnership returns, corporate income tax returns, unrelated business income tax returns, withholding tax returns, certain information returns, registration statements, disclosure statements, notifications, actuarial reports, and certain excise tax returns.

The proposed amendments reflect changes made by the Taxpayer First Act of 2019 (TFA), P.L. 116-25, and are consistent with the TFA’s emphasis on increasing electronic filing.

The IRS is also withdrawing proposed regulations ( REG-102951-16) published in the Federal Register on May 31, 2018, that would amend the rules for determining whether information returns must be filed electronically.

Electronic Filing
Amendments are proposed to:

  • income tax regulations under Code Secs. 1461 and 1474, which provide that persons required to deduct and withhold tax are liable for such tax; and Code Sec. 6050I, which requires persons to report information about financial transactions to the IRS;
  • pension excise tax regulations under Code Sec. 6011, which require persons to report information for certain excise taxes related to employee benefit plans;
  • regulations under Code Secs. 1474, 6011, 6012, 6033, 6057, 6058, and 6059, for determining whether returns must be filed using magnetic media; and
  • regulations under Code Sec. 6011 to remove the option available to a person required to report certain excise taxes on Form 4720, Return of Certain Excise Taxes Under Chapters 41 and 42 of the Internal Revenue Code, to designate a Form 4720 filed by a private foundation or trust as that person’s return if the foundation is reporting the same transaction.

Under Code Sec. 6011(e) and related regulations, filers are already required to file returns and statements electronically if, during a calendar year, they are required to file 250 or more returns. Eight related proposed rules would lower the 250-return threshold as authorized by Code Sec. 6011(e), as amended by section 2301 of the TFA. A filer can request that the IRS waive the electronic-filing requirement if the filer’s cost to comply with the rule would cause a financial hardship, and the IRS routinely grants meritorious hardship waiver requests.

Under Code Sec. 6050I and related regulations, filers are required to file Form 8300, Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business, if, in the course of their trade or business, they receive more than $10,000 in cash in one transaction or in two or more related transactions. The related proposed rule would require filers of Forms 8300 to file those forms electronically if such filers are also required to file returns electronically under Reg. §§301.6011-2(b)(1) and (2). The Treasury Department and the IRS expect filers of Form 8300 to use FinCEN’s BSA E-Filing System, which is free, requiring only an internet connection.

Under Code Sec. 6011(e)(4) and related regulations, financial institutions defined in Code Sec. 1471(d)(5) already are required to electronically file Forms 1042-S, Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding. The related proposed rule would extend this filing requirement to Forms 1042, Annual Withholding Tax Return for U.S. Source Income of Foreign Persons, filed by the same financial institutions.

Under Code Sec. 6011(h), as amended by section 3101 of the TFA, organizations required to file annual returns relating to any tax imposed by Code Sec. 511 must file those returns in electronic form. A proposed regulation implements this statutory requirement.

Under Code Sec. 6033(n), as amended by section 3101 of the TFA, organizations required to file returns under Code Sec. 6033 must file those returns in electronic form. Proposed regulations implement this statutory requirement.

Seven proposed regulations would require electronic filing for certain returns not currently required to be filed electronically. Because electronic filing has become more common, accessible, and economical, the economic impact of these proposed rules on small entities is expected be insignificant. If the cost to comply with these electronic-filing requirements would cause a financial hardship, an entity may request a waiver, and the IRS routinely grants meritorious hardship waiver requests.

Comments Requested
The proposed rules are scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on July 23, 2021, and available online at federalregister.gov/d/2021-15615, and on govinfo.gov. Written or electronic comments must be received by September 21, 2021, the date that is 60 days after the date the proposed rules are published in the Federal Register. Comments may be submitted electronically at www.regulations.gov (indicate IRS and REG-102951-16), or by mail.

The public hearing is being held by teleconference on September 22, 2021, at 10 a.m. EST. Requests to speak and outlines of topics to be discussed at the public hearing must be received by September 21, 2021. If no outlines are received by that date, the public hearing will be cancelled. Requests to attend the public hearing must be received by 5:00 p.m. EST on September 20, 2021.