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Highway Funding Bill Ushers in New Tax Return Due Dates and Other Important Changes

August 13, 2015

As reported by The Journal of Accountancy on July 31, the short-term highway funding extension passed by the Senate—and signed by President Obama—at the end of July contains several important tax provisions (H.R. 3236). The bill was passed by the House of Representatives, 385–34. The bill modifies the due dates for several common tax returns, overrules the Supreme Court’s Home Concrete decision, requires that additional information be reported on mortgage information statements, and requires consistent basis reporting between estates and beneficiaries. Here is a summary of the changes:

Due date modifications for business and other tax returns

  • The act sets new due dates for partnership and C corporation returns, as well as FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), and several other IRS information returns.
  • For partnership returns, the new due date is March 15 (for calendar-year partnerships) and the 15th day of the third month following the close of the fiscal year (for fiscal-year partnerships). (Currently, these returns are due on April 15 for calendar-year partnerships.) The act directs the IRS to allow a maximum extension of six months for Forms 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income.
  • For C corporations, the new due date is the 15th day of the fourth month following the close of the corporation’s year. (Currently, these returns are due on the 15th day of the third month following the close of the corporation’s year.)
  • Corporations will be allowed a six-month extension, except that calendar-year corporations would get a five-month extension until 2026 and corporations with a June 30 year end would get a seven-month extension until 2026.
  • The new due dates will apply to returns for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2015. However, for C corporations with fiscal years ending on June 30, the new due dates will not apply until tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2025.
  • The due date for FinCEN Form 114 is changed from June 30 to April 15, and for the first time taxpayers will be allowed a six-month extension.
  • The due date for Form 3520, Annual Return to Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts, will be April 15 for calendar-year filers with a maximum six-month extension.

Additional information is now required on returns relating to mortgage interest

The bill also amended Sec. 6050H requiring new information on the mortgage information statements that are required to be sent to individuals who pay more than $600 in mortgage interest in a year. These statements will now be required to report the outstanding principal on the mortgage at the beginning of the calendar year, the address of the property securing the mortgage, and the mortgage origination date. This change applies to returns and statements due after Dec. 31, 2016.

Consistent basis reporting between estate and beneficiaries

The act also amends Sec. 1014 to mandate that anyone inheriting property from a decedent cannot treat the property as having a higher basis than the basis reported by the estate for estate tax purposes. It also creates a new Sec. 6035, which requires executors of estates that are required to file an estate tax return to furnish information returns to the IRS and payee statements to any person acquiring an interest in property from the estate.

These statements will identify the value of each interest in property acquired from the estate as reported on the estate tax return. The new basis reporting provisions apply to property with respect to which an estate tax return is filed after the date of enactment.

Our firm will keep you informed on these and other changes that affect your tax planning and reporting. If you have any questions about the changes outlined here, please contact us.

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