United States

File now or extend? RSM tax professionals examine the smart approach

Wait for Treasury Department legislative action challenges deadlines

AUDIOCAST  | 

Tax policy now

tax_policy_now_audio_recording.mp3

As taxpayers continue to wait for the Treasury Department’s guidance and legislative action on several lingering policy questions, two of RSM’s top tax professionals see upside for middle market companies to obtain an extension to file their return.

“Every taxpayer needs to decide based on their own fact pattern, and that’s probably going to have to be delayed until after the traditional deadlines in March and April,” said Matt Talcoff, RSM’s national tax industry leader. “We generally advise our clients that, with this magnitude of a difference in the guidance waiting, we really think it’s best to wait.”

Talcoff and Jim Alex, RSM’s national tax go-to-market leader, examined the decision to file now or wait in RSM’s “Tax Policy Now” audiocast. They also discussed the so-called retail glitch, a drafting error to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) for qualified improvement property.

From talking to policymakers on Capitol Hill, they are convinced a legislative fix will not come to fruition until after the presidential election, despite bipartisan support to address the glitch sooner. “Our advice has always been: be prepared,” Talcoff said. “Look at it as if you don’t have the provision. Look at it as if it’s going to apply to us later. …Look at ways to accelerate depreciation and take that benefit federally and for state purposes.”

In assessing whether middle market companies should pursue an extension to file their tax return, Alex highlighted the ongoing wait for clarity regarding section 163(j), the limitation on business interest deduction. “There’s a final regulation, which is fully ready to be released, but there’s a proposed regulation that is moving slower, unfortunately,” Alex said. “Treasury has indicated they wanted to release both at the same time, which means probably late March.”

Alex also forecasted an April timeline for Treasury to complete its international tax guidance on several provisions. “For taxpayers that have an international footprint, this further favors extending,” Talcoff added.

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