The Internal Revenue Service has published updated guidance on the circumstances under which tax disclosures are adequate to avoid penalties for taxpayers and preparers.

Revenue Procedure 2011-13 updates Rev. Proc. 2010-15 and identifies the circumstances under which the disclosure on a taxpayer's income tax return with respect to an item or a position is adequate for the purpose of reducing the understatement of income tax under Section 6662(d) of the Tax Code and for the purpose of avoiding the tax return preparer penalty under Section 6694(a) with respect to income tax returns..

The revenue procedure does not apply with respect to any other penalty provisions (including the disregard provisions of the Section 6662(b)(1) accuracy-related penalty, the Section 6662(i) increased accuracy-related penalty in the case of nondisclosed noneconomic substance transactions, and the section 6662(j) increased accuracy-related penalty in the case of undisclosed foreign financial asset understatements).

The new revenue procedure applies to any income tax return filed on 2010 tax forms for a taxable year beginning in 2010, and to any income tax return filed on 2010 tax forms in 2011 for short taxable years beginning in 2011.

If Section 6662 applies to any portion of an underpayment of tax required to be shown on a return, an amount equal to 20 percent of the portion of the underpayment to which the section applies is added to the tax (the penalty rate is 40 percent in the case of gross valuation misstatements under Section 6662(h), nondisclosed noneconomic substance transactions under Section 6662(i), or undisclosed foreign financial asset understatements under section 6662(j)). Section 6662(b)(2) applies to the portion of an underpayment of tax that is attributable to a substantial understatement of income tax.

Section 6662(d)(1) provides that there is a substantial understatement of income tax if the amount of the understatement exceeds the greater of 10 percent of the amount of tax required to be shown on the return for the taxable year or $5,000.

Section 6662(d)(1)(B) provides special rules for corporations. A corporation (other than an S corporation or personal holding company) has a substantial understatement of income tax if the amount of the understatement exceeds the lesser of 10 percent of the tax required to be shown on the return for a taxable year (or, if greater, $10,000) or $10,000,000. Section 6662(d)(2) defines an understatement as the excess of the amount of tax required to be shown on the return for the taxable year over the amount of the tax that is shown on the return reduced by any rebate (within the meaning of Section 6211(b)(2)).

In the case of an item not attributable to a tax shelter, Section 6662(d)(2)(B)(ii) provides that the amount of the understatement is reduced by the portion of the understatement attributable to the item if the relevant facts affecting the item’s tax treatment are adequately disclosed in the return or in a statement attached to the return, and there is a reasonable basis for the tax treatment of the item by the taxpayer.

Section 6694(a) imposes a penalty on a tax return preparer who prepares a return or claim for refund reflecting an understatement of liability due to an “unreasonable position” if the tax return preparer knew (or reasonably should have known) of the position. A position (other than a position with respect to a tax shelter or a reportable transaction to which section 6662A applies) is generally treated as unreasonable unless (i) there is or was substantial authority for the position, or (ii) the position was properly disclosed in accordance with Section 6662(d)(2)(B)(ii)(I) and had a reasonable basis. If the position is with respect to a tax shelter (as defined in Section 6662(d)(2)(C)(ii)) or a reportable transaction to which section 6662A applies, the position is treated as unreasonable unless it is reasonable to believe that the position would more likely than not be sustained on the merits.

Revenue Procedure 2011-13 will appear in IRB 2011-3 dated Jan. 17, 2011.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access