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Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

IRS Grants Additional Extensions and Suspends Collection Activity

More Extensions Granted for Filing Returns

In addition to those previously announced, the IRS has granted extensions for filing of the following returns and payments of amounts due for any of the returns listed below due after April 1, 2020 and before July 15, 2020:

  • Form 706 - Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax;
  • Form 8971 – Information Regarding Beneficiaries Acquiring Property form a Decedent;
  • Form 709 – United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax;
  • Any Estate Tax payment due as a result of an election under sections 6166, 6161, and 6163;
  • Form 990-T – Exempt Organization Business Income Tax;
  • Form 990-PF – Return of Private Foundation or Section 4947 Trust;
  • Form 4720 – Return of Certain Excise Taxes; and
  • All estimated payments made on Form 990-W; 1040-ES, 1041-ES, 1120-W.

(This is a change from the extension of only the first quarter estimate to include the June 15, 2020, estimate).

Collection Actions

The IRS is suspending most collection actions between April 1, 2020 and July 15, 2020.  The specific actions are outlined below:

  • Installment Agreements
    • Those which are currently in place will have all payments suspended between April 1 and July 15. However, if you are paying by automatic debit, you must contact your bank to suspend the payment.  If you do so, please remember to contact your bank to have payments resume in July.
    • New installment agreements may be submitted on the IRS website for those eligible to automatically be qualified for an installment arrangement. All others will not currently be processed.
  • Offers in Compromise
    • Those with pending OICs will have until July 15 to provide any requested information. No request will be closed before July 15 unless the taxpayer has requested the closure;
    • All payments under current OICs may suspend payments until July 15. Be advised that interest continues to accrue during this period;
    • Any current OIC will not be defaulted for failure to file their 2018 return provided they file the return on or before July 15; and
    • New OIC applications may be filed but will not be worked. As a practical matter, these applications should not be prepared or submitted until closer to the July 15 date in order to avoid having to provide updated information.
  • Liens, Levies, and Passport Certifications
    • Automated liens and levies will be suspended during this period;
    • Liens and Levies initiated by field revenue officers will be suspended;
    • High income non-filers will continue to have collection actions during this period; and
    • New certifications to the Department of State for passport holds will be suspended during the period.
  • Private Debt Collection has not been suspended. However, from a practical standpoint there may not be much if any activity from private debt collectors.
  • Audits and Appeals
    • All in-person meetings have been suspended, but examiners will continue to work on matters remotely. Taxpayers are encouraged to respond to any correspondence they receive if they are able.
    • New audits (including correspondence audits) will not be started UNLESS the IRS deems it necessary to protect the government’s interest.
    • Appeals officers will continue to work cases. Conferences will be held by telephone or videoconference.

For questions, or more information, please contact BMD Tax Member, Priscilla Grant at pag@bmdllc.com or 330.253.5934.

Lockdowns, Landlords, & Litigation: Abercrombie & Fitch Flips The Script on Simon Property Group Inc.

Novel litigation between commercial property owners and tenants arises from COVID-19 lockdowns. Typically, owners sue for nonpayment of rent. But in Franklin County, Ohio, a large retail tenant turned the tables and sued the owner to recoup payments.

UPDATE: Ohio Businesses Remain Required to Post Exceptions to State-Wide Mask Mandate at All Entrances

On August 1, 2020, Lance D. Himes, Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Health, issued an amended order continuing the requirement that Ohio businesses post at all entrances any permitted exceptions they provide to customers, patrons, visitors, contractors, vendors and similar individuals to use facial coverings.

2020 Marcum National Construction Survey Marks a New, Post-Pandemic Construction Environment

The results of the 2020 Marcum National Construction Survey are in, and the construction industry’s outlook for the remainder of 2020 and beginning of 2021 remains cautiously optimistic despite the COVID-19 global pandemic. Ability to find skilled labor, healthcare expenses, and material costs remain the top concerns for the industry, while “lack of future work” joins the list.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits in the Wake of COVID-19

Several major “essential business” employers, including Walmart and Tyson, have been served with wrongful death lawsuits in relation to COVID-19. As many Ohio employees begin to return to work, employers should be prudent in following workplace safety practices.

We are Working in a Virtual, Video-Conferencing World – But What About Wiretapping?

Businesses and other organizations often have a need or desire to record telephone conversations related to their business interests and customer dealings; however, this practice is not always permissible as federal and state laws vary on this issue. Knowing and understanding your jurisdiction’s rules and regulations on this practice is essential to remaining in compliance with the law.