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January 2005 Plain Language Regulations

Disclosure of Relative Values of Optional Forms of Benefit
These proposed regulations revise final regulations under section 417(a)(3) that were published on December 17, 2003, concerning content requirements applicable to explanations of qualified joint and survivor annuities and qualified preretirement survivor annuities payable under certain retirement plans.  The 2003 regulations specify requirements for disclosing the relative value of optional forms of benefit payable from certain retirement plans.  These proposed regulations partially defer the effective date with respect to additional disclosures required under the 2003 regulations and clarify a few related issues.  REG-152914-04.  Published January 28, 2005.
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Fuel Tax Guidance
This notice provides notice on certain excise tax provisions in the Internal Revenue Code that were added or affected by the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.  These provisions relate to: alcohol and biodiesel fuels; the definition of off-highway vehicles; aviation-grade kerosene; claims related to diesel fuel used in certain buses; the display of registration on certain vessels; claims related to sales of gasoline to state and local governments and nonprofit educational organizations; two party exchanges of taxable fuel; and the classification of transmix and certain diesel fuel blendstocks as diesel fuel.  Also, this notice requests comments from the public on these provisions as well as other excise tax provisions that were added or affected by the Act.
Notice 2005-04. (2005-02 IRB 289).  Published January 10, 2005.
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Elimination of Forms of Distribution in Defined Contributions Plans
Section 411(d)(6)(E) by the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Act of 2001 (EGTRRA), these final regulations amend section 1.411(d)-4, Q&A-2(e) of the Income Tax Regulations.  The final regulations will retain the rules under which a defined contribution plan may be amended to eliminate or restrict a participant's right to receive payment of accrued benefits under a particular optional form of benefit without violating the section 411(d)(6) anti-cutback rules if, once the plan amendment takes effect for a participant, the alternative forms of payment that remain available to the participant include payment in a single-sum distribution.  These final regulations remove the condition for a 90-day advance notice to participants that was previously applicable to these plan amendments.
TD 9176.  Published January 25, 2005.
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Written Contracts or Agreements for the Acquisition of Property and Services for Tax Administration Purposes
Disclosure of Returns and Return Information in Connection with Written
Contracts or Agreements for the Acquisition of Property and Services for Tax Administration Purposes. These proposed regulations describe the circumstances under which officers and employees of the Treasury Department, a State tax agency, the Social Security Administration, or the Department of Justice may disclose returns and return information to any person to obtain property or services for tax administration purposes.  The proposed regulations clarify the existing regulations with respect to redisclosures of returns or return information by contractors, especially with regard to redisclosures by contractors to agents or subcontractors, and clarify that the civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized inspection or disclosure of returns or return information apply to the agents or subcontractors. 
REG-148867-03.  Published January 12, 2005.
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Returns Required on Magnetic Media
These temporary regulations relate to the requirements for filing corporate income tax returns and returns of organizations required to file returns under section 6033 on magnetic media pursuant to section 6011(e) of the Internal Revenue Code.  The term magnetic media includes magnetic media permitted under applicable regulations, revenue procedures, or publications, including electronic filing. 
TD 9175.  Published January 12, 2005.
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Returns Required on Magnetic Media
These proposed regulations by cross-reference to temporary regulations, relate to the requirements for filing corporate income tax returns, S corporations, and returns of organizations required to file returns under section 6033 on magnetic media pursuant to section 6011(e) of the Internal Revenue Code.  The term magnetic media includes magnetic media permitted under applicable regulations, revenue procedures, or publications, including electronic filing. 
REG-130671-04.  Published January 12, 2005.
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Revision of Income Tax Regulations under Sections 358, 367, and 884
These proposed regulations will provide certain international tax rules to account for statutory mergers and consolidations effected pursuant to foreign law involving one or more foreign corporations.  A companion notice of proposed rulemaking provides that certain statutory mergers and consolidations would qualify for tax-exempt treatment if they are affected pursuant to foreign law.  In light of this proposed change to the treatment of statutory mergers and consolidations, this document contains amendments to the international tax regulations that would account for statutory mergers and consolidations under foreign law.
REG-125628-01.  Published January 5, 2005.
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Mergers Effected Under Foreign Law
These proposed regulations amend previously proposed regulations that provided a functional definition of "statutory merger or consolidation," section 368(a)(1)(A).  These proposed regulations delete the requirement that transactions must be carried out under domestic law in order to qualify as statutory mergers or consolidations.
REG-117969-00.  Published January 5, 2005.
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Flat Rate Supplemental Wage Withholding
Employers pay supplemental wages, such as bonuses, to employees in addition to regular wages.  These proposed regulations describe the rules that apply in determining the amount of income tax withholding on supplemental wages.  Generally, employers are permitted under certain circumstances to withhold income tax based on a flat percentage rate (currently 25 percent), without reference to the employee's Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate.  These proposed regulations also describe the mandatory income tax withholding at the highest income tax rate (currently 35 percent) that applies to supplemental wages in excess of $1,000,000 that an employee receives from an employer during any calendar year.  The withholding at the highest income tax rate on supplemental wages in excess of one million dollars paid by an employer to an employee during a calendar year was provided for in the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 and applies to such wage payments made after December 31, 2004.  REG-152945-04.  Published January 5, 2005.
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Removal of Section 6661 Regulations
This final regulation removes regulations sections 1.6661-1 through 1.6661-6 relating to an addition to tax in the case of a substantial understatement of income tax liability made pursuant to section 6661 of the Internal Revenue Code.  These regulations are obsolete because section 6661 was repealed for tax returns due (determined without regard to extensions) after December 31, 1989.  In addition, this final regulation corrects a reference to section 6661(b)(2)(C)(ii) in section 1.448-1T(b)(1)(iii) to clarify that the definition of "tax shelter" is now found in section 6662(d)(2)(C).
TD 9174.  Published January 5, 2005.
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Fees for copies of Exempt Organization Materials
Section 6104 of the Internal Revenue Code provides that the IRS and exempt organizations must make certain material about tax exempt organizations available to the public.  The temporary regulations published in the Federal Register on July 9, 2003, provide guidance about the maximum fees which the IRS and the exempt organizations may charge for providing copies of such material.  The fees are limited to the fees charged for copies under the Freedom of Information Act, except that an exempt organization is not required to provide the first 100 pages free of charge (as is the IRS for non-commercial use requesters).  The final regulations adopt without change the temporary regulations.  TD 9173.  Published January 5, 2005.
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Gross Estate; Election to Value on Alternate Valuation Date
These final regulations will amend section 20.2032-1(b) to reflect the change made to section 2032 by the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984.  The regulations also provide guidance on making a protective section 2032 election, and requesting relief to make the section 2032 election or protective election and the section 2056A(d) election under sections 301.9100-1 and 301-9100-3 of the Procedure and Administration Regulations.  TD 9172.  Published January 4, 2005. Download Full Text

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