Saturday, August 21, 2021

Coddington Tax Services Closed for New Consulting Clients

 On July 12th, 2021, I accepted a new role at Source Advisors as Director of Tax Accounting Methods & Credits in their Cost Segregation practice. Coddington Tax Services will continue to serve clients with existing engagements through the end of 2021. If you need assistance with LIFO inventories, cost segregation, 45L or 179D energy efficiency studies, research credit, or any of the other services offered by Source Advisors, please feel free to reach out to me at <>. 

I will keep this blog up indefinitely for reference purposes.

Best regards,


Monday, December 28, 2020

Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020

 On December 27th, 2020, the President signed into law a spending bill that included the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020. This new law includes several relevant tax extenders and technical corrections.

1. Section 102 of the act permanently extended the Code section 179D deduction for energy efficient commercial property. For property placed in service post-December 31, 2020, the deduction amounts will now be indexed for inflation. The Secretarys of Treasury and Energy will also be able to affirm new, updated energy savings standards. These standards will be no newer than two years prior to the beginning of construction of the building. 

2. Sections 146, 137, and 138 of the act provide a one-year extension of the Code section 45L, 3-year racehorses, and Indian reservation property. 

3. Section 115 of the act provides a five-year extension of 7-year recovery period for motorsports complexes. 

4. Section 2020 of the act provides a 30-year ADS recovery period for pre-2018 residential rental property with a section 163(j)(7)(B) election. This standardizes the recovery period for all residential rental property subject to the real property trade or business election for unlimited interest deductions. Without this change, pre-2018 residential rental property used a 4--yea recovery period. Since this is structured as a technical correction of the TCJA, I anticipate the Service will issue transitional guidance that allows taxpayers to treat this as a method change and file a Form 3115 OR allow an amended return.

5. Section 132  provides a two-year extension of various provisions of the section 48 energy credit. 

Friday, February 7, 2020

Random Tax Research Tips

Many tax practitioners use Google as their first or primary tax research resource. Even though I pay for the truly excellent Lexis Advance Tax research platform, when I look up a Code section or Treasury regulation,  I usually start by googling the citation and clicking on the Cornell website. But this isn't about me, it's a tax research tip. Here's how to do this:

  1. Google your citation. For example, if I want to look up Code section 472, I would search for <IRC 472> (without brockets). This will usually take you directly to a link to Cornell. 
  2. If you are searching for a Code section under 100 or so, you might get spurious results related to Internet Relay Chat or something else that uses the "IRC" acronym. As you train Google, these will go away at the top of your search results.
  3. When searching for Treasury regulations, you can use "Reg 1.472-1" or "26 CFR 1.472-1". You can even search for "1.472-1", but some browsers interpet this as math and only show that result, resulting in extra clicks to get where you need to go. 
  4. If the Reg cite has a letter in it, Google will usually interpret that appropriately. This search for the bonus depreciation regs is a good example. This does not always work. Google interprets (i) as an imaginary number. A search for the MACRS LKE regs yields a calculator as the top result.
  5. If you do not know how to find the Code section you need, try Googling your search term(s) and add either "IRC" or "Code section" (or even "Code §") to your search.
  6. If you click on the LMGTFY links in the last sentence, you can see that these lead to different results when searching for LIFO. 
  7. The first two lead you directly to where you need to be. The third one does not, at least not in the top results. 
  8. When searching for something, you might need to use different search terms, because writers cite the Code (or regs) in different ways. 
  9. Sometimes it helps to restrict your search to the IRS website. You can do this by adding <> (without brockets) to the search. For example, here is our earlier search for LIFO. This did not take you directly to the Cornell website, of course, but it does provide enough information to figure out the Code section. Eventually.
  10. When looking for a Code section, I do not find restricting the search to the IRS website to be very helpful. For more complicated searches where I am not looking for a Code section, it can be very useful.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Clarification on TCJA and the Cash Method

Last Friday, the Service released CCA 202002013, which clarifies the impact of the TCJA on cash basis taxpayers. The issue is fairly simple. In the TCJA, Congress modified certain rules in Code section 451. This Code section provides the general rules to determine when taxpayers must include an item in gross income. Congress made substantial modifications to the rules under this section for accrual basis taxpayers. The question the Service addressed was whether this also affected when cash basis taxpayers take into account income. The answer was "no".

While this may seem like a straightforward issue, many practitioners have been confused by these new provisions. This has been especially true when the taxpayer has an AFS and uses accrual for book and cash for tax.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

New Final and Proposed TCJA 100% Bonus Depreciation Regs Effective Dates

Today, the Federal Register's Public Inspection desk published advance copies of Treasury Decision 9874 and REG-106808-19, final bonus depreciation regulations and new, proposed bonus depreciation regulations, respectively. These regulation packages are scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on September 24, 2019.

Final Regulations Effective Date

The final regulations will be effective when published in the Federal Register, which is scheduled to be on September 24, 2019.

Proposed Regulations Reliance Date

The proposed regulations provide that taxpayers may rely on them prior to the eventual publication of final regulations in the Federal Register. If a taxpayer chooses to rely on these proposed regulations, they must rely on these proposed regulations in their entirety, i.e. there is no picking and choosing provisions upon which to rely. The different provisions in the proposed regulations have slightly different effective dates for reliance.

  • The General Rule. Taxpayers may rely on these regulations for qualified property acquired and placed in service or planted or grafted after September 27, 2017 for taxable years ending on or after September 28, 2017.
  • The Rule for Components. If a taxpayer constructs a larger, self-constructed property and the manufacture, construction, or production began before September 28, 2017, taxpayers may rely on these proposed regulations for components that are qualified property acquired or self-constructed after September 27, 2017 in taxable years ending on or after September 28, 2017.

Impact of the Effective Dates

Because these regulation packages will be published in between the 9/16 and 10/15 deadlines, tax practitioners may need to discuss the disparate impact of these regulations on pass-through entities and C corporations/individuals. For example, consider an individual taxpayer that treated all floor plan financing interest as taken into account and the taxpayer owns both C- and S-corp auto dealerships. The entity returns have or will be filed at the extended filing deadlines. In this situation, the S-corp returns may have different filing positions for 2018 due to the unavailability of these new proposed regulations at the 9/16 filing deadline! How can this be fixed?

For some issues, such as claiming bonus depreciation for auto dealerships above the interest cap by permanently forgoing interest deductions, taxpayers may need to amend their previously filed 2018 tax returns. For other areas, taxpayers may be able to amend their 2018 tax returns or file a Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method under the previously issued Rev. Proc. 2019-33 to make certain late elections or revoke certain elections under the TCJA bonus depreciation rules. In many other areas, taxpayers may be able to file a Form 3115 under the one-year rule of section 6.01 of Rev. Proc. 2018-31 with their 2019 tax returns to comply with these regulations. This would apply to the example in the previous paragraph. Alternatively, the taxpayer could amend their 2018 return prior to filing their 2019 return.

If you need assistance with these issues, please feel free to reach out to me. My contact information can be found here.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Rev. Proc. 2018-40

On August 20th, 2018, the Service published Rev. Proc. 2018-40 in the Internal Revenue Bulletin. This revenue procedure modifies Rev. Proc. 2018-31 to include the new small taxpayer accounting method changes from the TCJA. These changes affect non-tax shelter taxpayerswith less than $25 million in average, annual gross receipts over the prior three years, (determined at the single employer level).  Generally, non-tax shelter taxpayers with less than $25 million in average, annual gross receipts are permitted to use the cash method, avoid UNICAP, avoid the PCM, and either treat inventory as non-incidental materials & supplies or follow their book inventory method. It is important to note that the aggregation rules of section 448(c) apply notwithstanding the language in the revenue procedure that appears to apply the test at the taxpayer level.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The TCJA and Contribution in Aid of Construction

Section 13312 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act substantially overhauled section 118 of the Internal Revenue Code. This relatively unpopular Code section fulfills a somewhat unique role. It allows corporations to exclude certain payments from gross income. These payments reduce the taxpayer's basis in the assets to which the payments relate. (For a more in-depth discussion of section 118, the underlying proposed regulations issued in 2000, found here, provide a very good overview.) Over the last decade, the Service has often been involved in contentious disputes over section 118's scope. These controversies usually focus on  a specific class of nonshareholder contributions to capital, contributions in aid of construction, and whether the case law permits non-corporate taxpayers to use an approach like section 118.

In overhauling section 118, Congress provided that contributions in aid of construction as a (potential) customer or any contribution by a governmental entity or civic group (other than as a shareholder) would no longer qualify as non-shareholder contributions to capital. In the legislative history, the Conference Committee went on to explain that it intends for the provision to continue apply only to corporations. The act is generally effective for contributions made after December 22, 2017, with some exceptions for Master Development Plans approved by governmental entities prior to that date. Why does this matter?

For many years, taxpayers have been applying this nonshareholder contribution to capital approach to non-corporate entities' contributions in aid of construction. They exclude the contribution from income and reduce the basis of the related assets. Word on the street has been that, as of last year, only one of the Big 4 firms would even write opinions blessing this approach. Gven the much lower income tax rates going forward and the 2.5% asset limitation for under section 199A, it might be advisable for passthrough entities who have taken this approach to file Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method to reduce their IRS audit risk.

If you have passthrough entity clients who have received substantial payments from government entities to pay for construction and the payments were excluded from gross income and the bases of the related assets reduced by the amount of the payments, please feel free to contact me about making this method change.