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AICPA Offers Recommendations on Required Minimum Distribution Proposal

The American Institute of CPAs offered the Internal Revenue Service a series of recommendations related to proposed regulations for required minimum distributions from individual retirement accounts.

The July 1, 2022, comment letter to the agency covered two specific areas: minimum distribution requirements for designated beneficiaries when death of the employee or IRA owner occurs after the required beginning date, and the definition of employer and guidance for multiple arrangements.

Regarding the minimum distribution requirements, AICPA recommended in the letter that the agency “eliminate the requirement … mandating that a designated beneficiary who is not an eligible designated beneficiary take distribution in each of the 10 years following the death of an employee.”

AICPA also recommended that “the final regulations follow the rule … requiring only that the entire interest is to be distributed no later than by the end of the tenth year following the death of the employee/IRA owner.”

Regarding the definition of employer and guidance related to multiple employer agreements, AICPA recommended “defining the retirement requirement in section 401 (a)(9)-2(b)(1)(ii) as met at the plan level in reference to MEPs [multiple employer plans] and PEPs [pooled employer plans]; when an employee terminates employment with the employer after attaining age 72 and is reemployed with either the same employer or another employer sponsoring the same MEP or PEP prior to attaining their RBD of April 1 the following year.”

IRS Helps Taxpayers Understand How and Why Agency Representatives May Reach Out, FS-2022-33

The IRS has released a Fact Sheet to help taxpayers understand how and why agency representatives may contact them and how to identify them and avoid scams. Generally, the IRS sends a letter or written notice to a taxpayer in advance, but not always. Depending on the situation, IRS employees may first call or visit with a taxpayer. Further, the IRS clarified that other than IRS Secure Access, the agency does not use text messages to discuss personal tax issues, such as those involving bills or refunds. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail. Taxpayers can report fraudulent emails and text messages by sending an email to phishing@irs.gov.

Further, taxpayers will generally first receive several letters from the IRS in the mail before receiving a phone call. However, the IRS may call taxpayers if they have an overdue tax bill, a delinquent or unfiled tax return or have not made an employment tax deposit. The IRS does not leave pre-recorded, urgent or threatening voice messages and will never call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method, threaten to immediately bring in law enforcement groups, demand tax payment without giving the taxpayer an opportunity or ask for credit or debit cards over the phone.

Additionally, IRS revenue officers generally make unannounced visits to a taxpayers home or place of business to discuss taxes owed or tax returns due. However, taxpayers would have first been notified by mail of their balance due or missing return. Taxpayers should always ask for credentials or identification when visited by IRS personnel. Finally, the IRS clarified that taxpayers who have filed a petition with the U.S. Tax Court may receive a call or voicemail message from an Appeals Officer. However, the Appeals Officer will provide self-identifying information such as their name, title, badge number and contact information.

Simplified Portability Election Relief Procedure Updated, Rev. Proc. 2022-32

The IRS has updated its simplified procedure for estates requesting an extension of time to make a portability election under Code Sec. 2010(c)(5)(A). The updated procedure replaces that provided in Rev. Proc. 2017-34. If the portability election is made, a decedent’s unused exclusion amount (the deceased spousal unused exclusion (DSUE) amount) is available to a surviving spouse to apply to transfers made during life or at death. The simplified method is to be used instead of the letter ruling process. No user fee is due for submissions filed in accordance with the revenue procedure.

A simplified method to obtain an extension of time was available to decedents dying after December 31, 2010, if the estate was only required to file an estate tax return for the purpose of electing portability. However, that method was only available on or before December 31, 2014. Since December 31, 2014, the IRS has issued numerous letter rulings under Reg. §301.9100-3 granting extensions of time to elect portability in situations in which the estate was not required to file a return under Code Sec. 6018(a). The number of ruling requests that were received after December 31, 2014, and the related burden imposed on the IRS, prompted the continued relief for estates that have no filing requirement under Code Sec. 6018(a). Rev. Proc. 2017-34 provided a simplified method to obtain an extension of time to elect portability that is available to the estates of decedents having no filing obligation under Code Sec. 6018(a) for a period the last day of which is the later of January 2, 2018, or the second anniversary of the decedent’s death. An estate seeking relief after the second anniversary of the decedent’s death could do so by requesting a letter ruling in accordance with Reg. §301.9100-3.

Despite this simplified procedure, there remained a significant number of estates seeking relief through letter ruling requests in which the decedent died within five years of the date of the request. The number of these requests has placed a continuing burden on the IRS. Therefore, the updated procedure extends the period within which the estate of a decedent may make the portability election under that simplified method to on or before the fifth anniversary of the decedent’s date of death.

Section 3 provides that the simplified procedure is only available if certain criteria are met. The taxpayer must be the executor of the estate of a decedent who: (1) was survived by a spouse; (2) died after December 31, 2010; and (3) was a U.S. citizen or resident at the time of death. In addition, the estate must not be required to file an estate tax return under Code Sec. 6018(a) and did not file an estate tax return within the time prescribed by Reg. §20.2010-2(a)(1) for filing a return required to elect portability. Finally, all requirements of section 4.01 of the revenue procedure must be met.

The revenue procedure does not apply to estates that filed an estate tax return within the time prescribed by Reg. §20.2010-2(a)(1) to elect portability. For taxpayers that do not qualify for relief because the requirements of section 4.01 are not met, the estate can request an extension of time to file the estate tax return to make the portability election by requesting a letter ruling.

Under Section 4.01, the requirements for relief are: (1) a person permitted to make the election on behalf of a decedent must file a complete and properly-prepared Form 706, United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, (as provided in Reg. §20.2010-2(a)(7)) on or before the fifth annual anniversary of the decedent’s date of death; and (2) “FILED PURSUANT TO REV. PROC. 2022-32 TO ELECT PORTABILITY UNDER §2010(c)(5)(A)” must be written at the top of the Form 706. If the requirements of sections 3.01 and 4.01 are met, the estate will be deemed to meet the requirements for relief under Reg. §301.9100-3 and relief will be granted to extend the time to elect portability. If relief is granted pursuant to the revenue procedure and it is later determined that the estate was required to file a federal estate tax return, based on the value of the gross estate, plus any adjusted taxable gifts, the extension of time granted to make the portability election is deemed null and void.

If a decedent’s estate is granted relief under this revenue procedure so that the estate tax return is considered timely for electing portability, the decedent’s deceased spousal unused exclusion amount that is available to the surviving spouse or the surviving spouse’s estate for application to the transfers made by the surviving spouse on or after the decedent’s date of death. If the increase in the surviving spouse’s applicable exclusion amount attributable to the addition of the decedent’s deceased spousal unused exclusion amount as of the date of the decedent’s death result in an overpayment of gift or estate tax by the surviving spouse or his or her estate, no claim for credit or refund may be made if the limitations period for filing a claim for credit or refund with respect to that transfer has expired. A surviving spouse will be deemed to have filed a protective claim for refund or credit of tax if such a claim is filed within the time prescribed in Code Sec. 6511(a) in anticipation of a Form 706 being filed to elect portability pursuant to the revenue procedure.

The revenue procedure is effective July 8, 2022. Through the fifth anniversary of a decedent’s date of death, the procedure described in section 4.01 of this revenue procedure is the exclusive procedure for obtaining an extension of time to make portability election if the decedent and the executor meet the requirements of section 3.01 of this revenue procedure. If a letter ruling request is pending on July 8, 2022, and the estate is within the scope of the revenue procedure, the file on the ruling request will be closed and the user fee will be refunded. The estate may obtain relief as outlined in the revenue procedure by complying with section 4.01. Rev. Proc. 2017-34, I.R.B. 2017-26, 1282, is superceded.