USA IRS : e-New for Tax Professionals 2020-52

By | December 24, 2020
(Last Updated On: December 26, 2020)

Inside This Issue


  1. News from the Justice Department’s Tax Division: IRS Commissioner comments on syndicated conservation easement guilty pleas
  2. Webinars: Archived videos available on the IRS Video Portal
  3. Technical Guidance

1.  News from the Justice Department’s Tax Division: IRS Commissioner comments on syndicated conservation easement guilty pleas

Stein Agee of Canton, Ga., and Corey Agee of Atlanta, Ga., pleaded guilty for their roles in a wide-ranging abusive tax scheme to defraud the IRS. According to court documents, from at least 2013 through 2019, S. Agee and C. Agee, then partners at an Atlanta accounting firm, marketed, promoted, and sold together with co-conspirators, investments in fraudulent syndicated conservation easement (SCE) tax shelters. However, the partnerships were a sham, as S. Agee, C. Agee, and their co-conspirators marketed the SCE tax shelters by promising investors that for every $1 invested in the partnership, the investor would receive more than $4 in charitable tax deductions.

“Two defendants pleaded guilty today in the first-ever criminal case by IRS-CI involving conservation easements,” said IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig. “It should be considered the next step in the IRS’ battle against abusive SCEs. The defendants and their co-conspirators used conservation easement donations to personally enrich themselves and allow wealthy tax clients to evade their tax obligations. The charges and guilty pleas demonstrate that participation in abusive SCEs will not be tolerated. Once again, the IRS recommends that anyone who participated in an abusive SCE consult independent counsel about coming into compliance.”

S. Agee and C. Agee both pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. They also face a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.

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2.  Webinars: Archived videos available on the IRS Video Portal

Videos on a wide range of tax-related topics are available on demand on the IRS Video Portal. The following 2020 National Tax Security Awareness Week webinars are among the offerings:

To view other archived webinars, please visit the IRS Video Portal and click the All Webinars link at the bottom of the page.

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3.  Technical Guidance

Notice 2021-02 provides the optional 2021 standard mileage rates for taxpayers to use in computing the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical, or moving expense purposes.

Notice 2021-03, in response to the continuing public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, extends from Jan. 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021, the temporary relief provided in Notice 2020-42, 2020-26 I.R.B. 986, from the physical presence requirement in Treasury Regulation section 1.401(a)-21(d)(6) for participant elections required to be witnessed by a plan representative or a notary public, and solicits comments on the relief.

Notice 2021-04 provides the final extension of the temporary dyed fuel relief provided in section 3.02 of Notice 2017-30, 2017-21 I.R.B. 1248.

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