6 December 2021

Line items

Private tax debt collection contracts awarded

In News Release IR-2021-191, the IRS advised that three private companies had been awarded contracts to collect tax debts from taxpayers in new contracts beginning Sept. 23. The companies are CBE Group Inc. of Waterloo, Iowa; Coast Professional Inc. of Albion, N.Y.; and ConServe of Fairport, N.Y. CBE and ConServe were among the four previously contracted companies. The news release states that taxpayers will be contacted by one of the private collection agencies only after the IRS has notified the taxpayer and the taxpayer’s representative, if any, of the account’s assignment, along with the company’s name and contact information. The company will then send its own letter to the taxpayer and representative confirming the account transfer. Both letters will include information to help taxpayers identify the tax amount owed and confirm that any phone calls from the company are legitimate.

New per diem travel rates

The IRS issued its annual update of special per diem rates for substantiating ordinary and necessary business expenses incurred while traveling away from home (Notice 2021-52). The new rates, in effect from Oct. 1, 2021, to Sept. 30, 2022, include the transportation industry meal and incidental expenses rates; the rate for the incidental-expenses-only deduction; and the rates and list of high-cost localities for purposes of the high-low substantiation method. For purposes of the high-low substantiation method, the per diem rates are $296 for travel to any high-cost locality and $202 for travel to any other locality within the continental United States (CONUS), both slightly higher than previously. The amount of these rates that is treated as paid for meals for purposes of Sec. 274(n) is $74 for travel to a high-cost locality and $64 for travel to any other locality within CONUS, both also slightly higher than before.

Regs. authorize collection of excess sick and family leave credits

The IRS issued temporary and proposed regulations (T.D. 9953 and REG-109077-21) authorizing collection procedures for excess sick and family leave tax credits. A refund or credit of any portion of these tax credits to an employer, which may be allowed as an advance credit, may have to be repaid if paid or allowed erroneously in excess of the amount to which the taxpayer is entitled. The temporary regulations provide that excess sick and family leave tax credits are treated as underpayments of the employer’s share of Medicare payroll taxes (or comparable rate of Railroad Retirement taxes) and may be assessed as if they were those taxes, subject to applicable assessment and administrative collection procedures.