IRS to bring back aggregation for information return filing

The IRS has issued proposed regulations amending the rules for determining whether information returns must be filed using magnetic media (electronically). The proposed regulations would require that all information returns, regardless of type, be taken into account to determine whether a person meets the 250- return threshold and, therefore, must file the information returns electronically. The proposed regulations also would require any person required to file information returns electronically to file corrected information returns electronically, regardless of the number of corrected information returns being filed.

Background

Under Reg. §301.6011-2, a person is not required to file an information return electronically unless the person is required to file 250 or more information returns during the calendar year. A different threshold applies for partnership filers. Under a non-aggregation rule, the 250-return threshold applies separately to each type of information return and each type of corrected information return filed. In other words, the forms are not combined for determining whether the 250-return threshold is met. When originally published, the non-aggregation rule helped to reduce cost and ease the burden on taxpayers. Today, taxpayers file most information returns electronically, because it is more prevalent and accessible, less costly, and often easier than paper filing.

Non-aggregation rule removed

The IRS has concluded that determining the 250-return threshold on a form-by-form basis without aggregation is no longer necessary. The new rules provide that if a person is required to file a total of 250 or more information returns of any type covered by Reg. §301.6011-2(b) during a calendar year, the person must file them electronically. Corrected information returns are not taken into account in determining whether the 250-return threshold is met. Further, a person must electronically file corrected information returns covered by Reg. §301.6011-2(b) if the information returns originally filed for the calendar year must be filed electronically. If a person must file less than 250 information returns for the calendar year, neither the original returns nor the corrected returns need to be filed electronically. The proposed regulations will not change existing rules that allow persons to request a waiver of the electronic filing requirement. Finally, the proposed regulations would amend the penalty for failure to file correct information returns under Reg. §301.6721-1(a)(2)(ii) by removing references to the non-aggregation and the prior corrected return rules.

Comments are invited

Comments are requested. Send submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-102951-16), Room 5205, IRS, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Submissions may be hand-delivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-102951-16), Courier’s Desk, IRS, 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20224. Alternatively, persons may submit comments electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov (IRS REG-102951-16). For further information contact: on the regulation, Michael Hara, (202) 317-6845; on the submission of comments and requests for a public hearing, Regina L. Johnson, (202) 317-5177 (not toll-free calls). (IRS REG-102951-16, (RIN 1545-BN36), May 31, 2018.)

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