Daily Tax Update - December 14, 2007

IRS EXPANDS FAST TRACK SETTLEMENT PROGRAM:  Today, the IRS announced it is expanding the number of test areas for the Fast Track Settlement program for taxpayers under examination by the Small Business/Self-Employed Division. The settlement program is now available for small businesses and self-employed taxpayers until September 5, 2008, in five new areas, including Philadelphia, central New Jersey, San Diego, Laguna Nigel, Calif., and Riverside, Calif. The Fast Track program is continuing in the three original test cities of Chicago, Houston and St. Paul.

  • According to the IRS, “The program is a jointly administered process designed to expedite case resolution. Under Fast Track, taxpayers under examination with issues in dispute work with IRS representatives from SBSE’s examination unit and the Appeals Division to resolve those issues. Fast Track employs various techniques to facilitate case resolution. A taxpayer or IRS examination representative may initiate the Fast Track process after an issue is fully developed, and preferably before a 30-day letter is issued. The Fast Track process is designed to be completed within 60 days of acceptance of the application. Taxpayers retain the right to request their issue be addressed through the traditional appeals process if Fast Track fails to yield a resolution.”

SENATE APPROVES ENERGY PACKAGE WITHOUT TAX PROVISIONS:  Last night, the Senate passed an energy package without the $21.8 billion tax incentives. The Administration threatened to veto the bill if it contained the tax provisions. The tax title would have created a variety of tax credits and incentives for renewable biofuels, wind and solar power, and hydroelectric energy and energy conservation. The House is expected to take up the Senate-passed bill next week. 

TAX BILLS INTRODUCED DECEMBER 13TH:
H.R.4571: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow individuals a credit against income tax for home water conservation.
Sponsor: Rep Baca, Joe [CA-43] (introduced 12/13/2007)      Cosponsors (None)

H.R.4574: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a shorter recovery period for the depreciation of certain systems installed in nonresidential real property or residential rental property.
Sponsor: Rep Bean, Melissa L. [IL-8] (introduced 12/13/2007)      Cosponsors (1)

H.R.4612: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide an investment credit for electric generation facilities with climate neutral combustion.
Sponsor: Rep Costa, Jim [CA-20] (introduced 12/13/2007)      Cosponsors (2)

H.R.4661: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase the limitation on capital loss applicable to individuals.
Sponsor: Rep Kagen, Steve [WI-8] (introduced 12/13/2007)      Cosponsors (None)

H.R.4662: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide that the exclusion for qualified scholarships shall apply to allowances for room, board, and special needs services.
Sponsor: Rep Kagen, Steve [WI-8] (introduced 12/13/2007)      Cosponsors (None)

H.R.4684: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to waive the employee portion of Social Security taxes imposed on individuals who have been diagnosed as having cancer or a terminal disease.
Sponsor: Rep Paul, Ron [TX-14] (introduced 12/13/2007)      Cosponsors (None)

H.R.4690: To direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue motor vehicle safety standards for motorcoaches, and to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a tax credit for associated expenses incurred by motorcoach operators complying with such standards.
Sponsor: Rep Shuster, Bill [PA-9] (introduced 12/13/2007)      Cosponsors (None)

INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE - CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE:
As provided for in Treasury regulations, advice (if any) relating to federal taxes that is contained in this communication (including attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any plan or arrangement addressed herein.

STEPTOE & JOHNSON LLP - TAX PRACTICE
Steptoe & Johnson LLP has one of the largest and most diverse law firm tax practices in the country. The practice covers the entire spectrum of federal taxation, including representation of businesses before the Congress, Treasury and the national office of the IRS; transactional planning for domestic and multinational corporations; complex audit and controversy work for corporations and other business interests contesting IRS adjustments; litigation before the Tax Court, Court of Federal Claims, district courts, courts of appeals and the Supreme Court. The firm's tax practice also encompasses all aspects of employee benefits (ERISA), executive compensation, tax-exempt organizations and charitable giving. Steptoe has an extensive state and local tax practice, representing an array of business clients on complex sales and use tax, corporate income tax and property tax matters, both advising those clients and handling audits, administrative appeals, and litigation for them. Read more information on Steptoe's tax practice.