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Draft 2021 Partnership Forms Clarify International Reporting by Partners

The Treasury Department and the IRS have released drafts of proposed partnership forms for tax year 2021 (the 2022 filing season). The proposed forms are intended to provide greater clarity for partners on how to compute their U.S. income tax liability for relevant international tax items, including claiming deductions and credits. The redesigned forms and instructions will also give useful guidance to partnerships on how to provide international tax information to their partners in a standardized format.

The draft forms are:

  • Schedule K-2 (Form 1065), Partners’ Distributive Share Items—International, and Instructions for Schedule K-2.
  • Schedule K-3 (Form 1065), Partner’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc.—International ; and Instructions for Schedule K-3.

These proposed forms would apply to a partnership required to file Form 1065 only if it has “items of international tax relevance” (i.e., generally, foreign activities or foreign partners). The changes would not affect domestic partnerships with no international tax items to report.

Partner Reporting of International Items
Partners must report international tax information on their tax returns on several tax forms and schedules. They generally obtain this information from their partnerships, usually through narrative statements attached to one or more Schedules K-1 (Form 1065), Partner’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc. Since partnerships compile these statements in a variety of formats, partners might have difficulties translating the statements onto their own returns.

To ease this burden, the Treasury and IRS state that the proposed changes would provide a standard format that offers greater clarity to both partnerships and their partners. This standard format is designed to better align the information that partnerships provide on the schedules with the tax forms used by partners, so that partners can more easily prepare their tax returns, and the IRS can more efficiently verify taxpayer compliance. It is intended that all information to be reported on the new schedules is already necessary for the partnership to provide to partners or is available to the partnership.

Draft Schedules K-2 and K-3
Any partnership that is required to file Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income, and has items relevant to the determination of the U.S. tax or certain withholding tax or reporting obligations of its partners under the international provisions of the Code, will be required to complete the relevant parts of Schedule K-2 and Schedule K-3.

The proposed parts included in new Schedule K-2 (Form 1065) replace portions of existing Form 1065, Schedule K, lines 16(a) through 16(r). The proposed schedule provides for international tax information to be reported in a standardized manner. The partnership will attach Schedule K-2 to its Form 1065.

The proposed parts included in new Schedule K-3 (Form 1065) replace portions of Schedule K-1 (Form 1065), Part III, Boxes 16 and 20. The proposed schedule provides information to the partner generally in the format of the following forms that the partner might need to complete:

  • Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return;
  • Form 1040-NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return;
  • Form 1116, Foreign Tax Credit (Individual, Estate, or Trust;
  • Form 1118, Foreign Tax Credit—Corporations;
  • Form 1120, U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return;
  • Form 1120-F, U.S. Income Tax Return of a Foreign Corporation;
  • Form 4797, Sales of Business Property;
  • Form 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets;
  • Form 8991, Tax on Base Erosion Payments of Taxpayers With Substantial Gross Receipts;
  • Form 8992, U.S. Shareholder Calculation of Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (GILTI); and
  • Form 8993, Section 250 Deduction for Foreign Derived Intangible Income (FDII) and Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (GILTI).

The partnership will provide Schedule K-3 to its partners according to the timeline for providing Schedule K-1.

Comments Requested
The draft schedules and instructions have been released to allow partnerships and other stakeholders time to consider the proposed changes and provide comments that can be taken into account in finalizing the schedules and instructions. The Treasury and IRS will be actively engaged with stakeholders to solicit input on these proposed changes before the forms are finalized later in 2020.

Affected stakeholders can submit comments through September 14, 2020. Written comments should be sent to the following email address: with the subject line: “International Form Changes.”

For additional information and updates, see

Other Revisions
The Treasury and IRS plan similar revisions, as applicable, to Form 1120-S, U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation, and Form 8865, Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Partnerships. They welcome comments on similar changes to be made to these forms for the 2021 tax year.

Guidance and Relief for 2020 RMD Waiver, Required Beginning Date Changes

The IRS has issued guidance and temporary relief for required minimum distribution (RMD) changes in 2020. Distributions that would have been RMDs under old law are treated as eligible rollover distributions. The 60-day rollover period deadline for any 2020 RMDs already taken has been extended to August 31, 2020. Notice 2007-7, I.R.B. 2007-5, 395 is modified.

The new guidance addresses RMD issues arising from recent unexpected changes in the rules. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act) ( P.L. 116-94), enacted at the end of 2019, changed the required beginning date for RMDs for individuals turning age 70-1/2 in 2020. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act ( P.L. 116-136), enacted in March 2020, waived the RMD requirements for 2020.

Plans, administrators, and individuals were taken by surprise. Some plans and participants treated distributions as RMDs even though they were not under new rules then in effect. The SECURE Act provided no relief. However, the CARES Act allowed plans and participants to treat would-be RMDs as eligible rollover distributions. Still, under the rules, individuals have 60 days to recontribute distributions, and can only do that once in a 12-month period. That left individuals who took early distributions twisting in the wind, not to mention people taking monthly RMD installments.

60-Day Deadline Extended
Under the new relief, any distribution already taken in 2020 that would have been an RMD under the old rules has a 60-day recontribution deadline of no earlier than August 31. For example, if someone took a distribution in January 2020 that would have been an RMD under the old rules (either sets of old rules), they have until August 31 to recontribute it to an eligible plan or IRA.

For an IRA owner or beneficiary who has already received a distribution that would have been an RMD in 2020 but for the 2020 RMD waiver under the CARES Act or the change in the required beginning date under the SECURE Act, the recipient may repay the distribution to the distributing IRA, even if the repayment is made more than 60 days after the distribution, provided the repayment is made no later than August 31, 2020. The repayment will be treated as a rollover, but will be subject to the one rollover per 12-month period limitation or the restriction on nonspousal beneficiary rollovers.

SECURE Act Relief
Distributions that were intended as RMDs but in fact are not due to the SECURE Act change in required beginning date are treated as eligible rollover distributions. RMDs do not have to satisfy rules regarding mandatory withholding, the option of a direct rollover, and notice of that right. Under this relief, individuals and plans can still treat these as eligible rollover distributions.

2020 Waiver Guidance
The IRS has clarified that the CARES Act relief applies for 2020 distributions that would have been RMDs, had it not been for the 2020 RMD waiver. These include distributions to a plan participant paid in 2020 (or paid in 2021 for the 2020 calendar year in the case of an employee who has a required beginning date of April 1, 2021) if the payments equal the amounts that would have been RMDs in (or for) 2020 had it not been for 2020 RMD waiver. They also include distributions that are one or more payments (that include the 2020 RMDs) in a series of substantially equal periodic payments made at least annually and expected to last for the participant’s life or life expectancy, the joint lives (or joint life expectancies) of the participant and the participant’s designated beneficiary, or for a period of at least 10 years.

For a plan participant with a required beginning date of April 1, 2021, distributions paid in 2021 that would have been an RMD for 2021 had it not been for the CARES Act are treated as eligible rollover distributions. However, a plan participant with a required beginning date of April 1, 2021, must still receive RMD for the 2021 calendar year by December 31, 2021. If the employee receives a distribution during 2021, that distribution is an RMD for the 2021 calendar year to the extent the total RMD for 2021 has not been satisfied even if the distribution is made on or before April 1, 2021, and accordingly, is not an eligible rollover distribution. However, to the extent the RMD for 2021 has been satisfied, subsequent amounts distributed in 2021 that would otherwise not be eligible rollover distributions may be rolled over.

Extended Deadlines Due to 2020 Waiver
If a plan permits an employee or beneficiary to elect whether the 5-year rule or the life expectancy rule applies in determining RMDs, then the deadline for making that election typically would be the end of calendar year following the calendar year of the employee’s death. For example, if a 50-year-old employee in a plan providing the election died in 2019 with his sister as his designated beneficiary, the plan provision would require the election by the end of 2020. However, that type of plan may be amended to permit the extension of the election deadline to the end of 2021.

The RMD waiver extends the time for making a direct rollover for a nonspouse designated beneficiary if the participant died in 2019. A special rule provides that if the 5-year rule applies to a benefit under a plan, the nonspouse designated beneficiary may determine the amount that is not eligible for rollover because it is an RMD using the life expectancy rule in the case of a distribution made prior to the end of the year following the year of death. This special rule is modified so that if the employee’s death occurred in 2019, the nonspouse designated beneficiary has until the end of 2021 to make the direct rollover and use the life expectancy rule.

Plan Amendments
The guidance provides a sample plan amendment for defined contribution plans that plan sponsors may adopt to implement waiver rules. Any plan amendment must be adopted no later than the last day of the first plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2022 (January 1, 2024, for governmental plans), and must reflect operation of the plan beginning with the effective date of the plan amendment. Timely adoption of the amendment must be shown by a written document signed and dated by the employer (including an adopting employer of a pre-approved plan). IRAs do not need to be amended.

Trump Signs PPP Application Extension Bill

On July 4, President Donald Trump signed into law a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application extension bill that Congress had quickly passed just before the Independence Day holiday. According to several senators, the measure was “surprisingly” introduced and approved by unanimous consent in the Senate late on June 30. It cleared the House the evening of July 1.

Most notably, the bill pushes out the PPP application window deadline five weeks from June 30 to August 8. “The resources are there. The need is there. We just need to change the date,” Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said. Prior to the extension, the small business loan program was set to expire at midnight on July 1 with over $130 billion left in funding.

Mnuchin, Rettig Testify
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles “Chuck” Rettig testified before House and Senate committees on June 30, just hours before the PPP application period was set to close.

“There appears to be bipartisan support to repurpose the [remaining] $134 billion for PPP,” Mnuchin told lawmakers during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on June 30. Mnuchin stated that “it should be done,” and that the administration is looking toward targeted industry-specific relief.

Additionally, Mnuchin told lawmakers that he has been having discussions about more PPP-related relief with the House and Senate Small Business Committees. Reportedly, lawmakers are currently considering an extension or a second round of the PPP.

As for “phase four” of Congress’s next economic relief package, Mnuchin again alluded to a narrower approach. “We would anticipate that any additional relief would be targeted to certain industries that have been especially hard-hit by the pandemic, with a focus on jobs and putting all American workers who lost their jobs, through no fault of their own, back to work.”

Meanwhile, several PPP-related bills have been introduced in the Senate over the last few weeks, and most recently a bipartisan PPP Forgiveness bill introduced on June 30. The Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Bill, authored by bipartisan members of the Senate Banking Committee, would streamline the forgiveness of certain PPP loans.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, also called for an extension of the small business loan program. “It is the last day small business can apply for PPP, but the economic crisis is not over. Senators Cardin, Shaheen, Coons and I will take to the Senate floor and demand we pass a bill to extend it,” Schumer said in a June 30 tweet.

IRS 2020 Filing Season, Agency Redesign
In other news, Rettig testified on June 30 before the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) on IRS operations during the 2020 tax filing season. Notably, Rettig told senators that the decision not to further extend the 2019 tax year filing and payment deadline beyond July 15 was made in consultation with professional services organizations, adding that too many due dates can be confusing for taxpayers.

To that end, Treasury first signaled in a June 29 press release that it would not further extend the 2020 filing season. “Treasury and IRS encourage taxpayers to file their taxes by July 15, or file for an automatic extension of time to file to October 15,” the press release stated.

“The IRS understands that those affected by the coronavirus may not be able to pay their balances in full by July 15, but we have many payment options to help taxpayers,” Rettig said in the press release. “These easy-to-use payment options are available on, and most can be done automatically without reaching out to an IRS representative.”

Additionally, Rettig told SFC members that the IRS is well underway in its redesign of the agency for the first time in over 20 years. As noted in Rettig’s testimony, the foundational components of a new holistic taxpayer experience will include the following:

  • Expanded Digital Services. An improved experience through self-service digital channels by building upon existing online accounts and introducing online accounts for tax professionals and business taxpayers.
  • Seamless Experience. Taxpayers should be guided to the resources and communication channels that will resolve their issues most effectively and efficiently.
  • Proactive Outreach and Education. Educate the taxpayer community by proactively providing information in the language, timing, and method taxpayers need or prefer.
  • Focused Strategies for Reaching Underserved Communities. Establish a consolidated program to engage with historically underserved communities to address issues of communication, education, transparency and trust, as well as access to quality products and services.
  • Ecosystem of Partnerships. Establish, shepherd, and facilitate a collaborative and interactive network of partnerships across the entire tax ecosystem and bring together existing efforts.
  • Enterprise Data Management and Advanced Analytics. An enterprise data management strategy that includes a cross-enterprise understanding of the customer experience, emerging needs and expectations, and operational data.