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Tax Reform Provisions that Affect Businesses

As the IRS implements this major tax legislation, check this page for updates and resources to learn how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) affects businesses.

Income (including Gains and Losses)

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act extended the holding period with respect to certain carried interests (i.e. applicable partnership interests) to three years.

Carried interests are ownership interests in a partnership that share in the partnership’s net profits. Carried interests often are issued to investment managers in connection with the investment manager’s services. These interests often result in the holder receiving capital gains which are taxed at a lower rate, rather than ordinary income.

Resources: IR-2018-37Notice 2018-18

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Section 1031 changed like-kind exchanges and now it applies only to exchanges of real property and not to exchanges of personal or intangible property. An exchange of real property held primarily for sale still does not qualify as a like-kind exchange.

Deductions and Depreciation

Many owners of sole proprietorships, partnerships, trusts, and S corporations may be eligible for a new deduction – referred to as Qualified Business Income Deduction - allowing them to deduct up to 20 percent of their qualified business income.

Resources: IR-2018-162 , Section 199A – Qualified Business Income  Deduction FAQs , REG-107892 , Notice 2018-64, IR-2018-203

Newly amended section 163(j) of the Internal Revenue Code imposes a limitation on deductions for business interest incurred by certain large businesses. For most large businesses, business interest expense is limited to any business interest income plus 30 percent of the business’ adjusted taxable income.

Resources: IR-2018-82Notice 2018-28

Production Period for Beer, Wine, and Distilled Spirits

The Production Period for Beer, Wine, and Distilled Spirits provision provides an opportunity to deduct the interest expenses occurred during the “aging period” for these beverages (subject to other possible interest deduction limitations included in TCJA).

Resources: Production Period for Beer, Wine, and Distilled Spirits Frequently Asked Questions

Businesses can immediately expense more under the new law. A taxpayer may elect to expense the cost of any section 179 property and deduct it in the year the property is placed in service. The new law increased the maximum deduction from $500,000 to $1 million. It also increased the phase-out threshold from $2 million to $2.5 million.

Resources: FS-2018-9Notice 2018-30, Tax Reform Tax Tip 2018-68

Proposed regulations have been issued on the new 100-percent depreciation deduction that allows businesses to write off most depreciable business assets in the year they are placed in service by the business.

Resources: IR-2018-159 , REG-104397-18 , IR-2018-196,  Additional First Year Depreciation Deduction (Bonus) Frequently Asked Questions, Tax Reform Tax Tip 2018-157, IR-2018-203

The general recovery period for residential rental property is 27.5 years. The law changed the alternative depreciation system recovery period for residential rental property from 40 years to 30 years.

Resources: FS-2018-14 

The new law disallows employer deductions for (1) activities generally considered to be entertainment, amusement, or recreation; (2) membership dues for clubs organized for business, pleasure, recreation, or other social purposes; or (3) a facility used in connection with the above items, even if the activity is related to the active conduct of trade or business.

It also disallows deductions for expenses associated with transportation fringe benefits or expenses incurred providing transportation for commuting (except as necessary for employee safety ).

Resources: Employer Update, IR-2018-190 , Notice 2018-75, IR-2018-195Notice 2018-76, IR-2018-203, Comparison of  changes to fringe benefits under TCJA, Tax Reform Tax Tip 2018-162

The new law imposes dollar limitations on the depreciation deduction for the year the taxpayer places  the passenger automobile in service and for each succeeding year.

Resources: Revenue Procedure 2018-25

No deduction for certain payments made in sexual harassment or sexual abuse cases.

Resources: Notice-2018-23

The law suspends all miscellaneous itemized deductions that are subject to the 2 percent of adjusted gross income floor. 

Therefore, the business standard mileage rate listed in Notice 2018-03, which was issued before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed, cannot be used to claim an itemized deduction for un-reimbursed employee travel expenses in taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, and before Jan. 1, 2026. 

Resources: Notice 2018-42 , Notice 2018-03 



A general business credit employers may claim, based on wages paid to qualifying employees while they are on family and medical leave, subject to certain conditions.

Eligible employers who set up qualifying paid family leave programs or amend existing programs by Dec. 31, 2018 will be eligible to claim the employer credit for paid family and medical leave, retroactive to the beginning of the employer’s 2018 tax year, for qualifying leave already provided. Notice 2018-71 provides detailed guidance on the new credit in a question and answer format.

Resources: Tax Reform Tax Tip 2018-69, Frequently Asked Questions about Employer Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave, IR-2018-191, Notice 2018-71, Tax Reform Tax Tip 2018-149

The legislation requires taxpayers take the 20-percent credit ratably over five years instead of in the year they placed the building into service and eliminates the 10 percent rehabilitation credit for the pre-1936 buildings. This provision is effective for amounts that taxpayers pay or incur for qualified expenditures after December 31, 2017.

ResourcesComparison of  changes to Rehabilitation tax credit under TCJA, Tax Reform Tax Tip 2018-161


Learn more about how international businesses will be impacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).


Under the law, a U.S. person that owns at least 10 percent of the value or voting rights in one or more controlled foreign corporations will be required to include its global intangible low-taxed income as currently taxable income, regardless of whether any amount is distributed to the shareholder.

Resources: IR-2018-186, REG-104390-18

The new law repealed section 847 for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017.  Under section 847, an insurance company that was required to discount its reserves could elect to take an additional deduction equal to the difference between the amount of unpaid loss reserves computed on a discounted basis and the amount computed on an undiscounted basis.

Resources: Repeal of Special Estimated Tax Payments

Many U.S. corporations elect to use a fiscal year end and not a calendar year end for federal income tax reporting purposes. Due to a provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), a corporation with a fiscal year that includes Jan. 1, 2018 will pay federal income tax using a blended tax rate and not the flat 21 percent tax rate under the TCJA that would generally apply to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017.

Resources: Notice 2018-38, IR-2018-99

Newly enacted section 965 of the Internal Revenue Code imposes a transition tax on untaxed foreign earnings of foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies by deeming those earnings to be repatriated. Foreign earnings held in the form of cash and cash equivalents are taxed at a 15.5 percent rate, and the remaining earnings are taxed at an 8 percent rate. The transition tax generally may be paid in installments over an eight-year period.

Resources: IR-2017-212, IR-2018-09, IR-2018-25, IR-2018-53, IR-2018-79, IRS-2018-131, REG-104226-18,  RP-2018-47Notice 2018-07, Notice 2018-13, Notice 2018-26, Notice 2018-78, Questions and Answers about Reporting Related to Section 965 on 2017 Tax Returns, Publication 5292

The new law treats a foreign taxpayer’s gain or loss on the sale or exchange of a partnership interest as effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States to the extent that gain or loss would be treated as effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States if the partnership sold all of its assets.

In this circumstance, the new law also imposes a withholding tax on the disposition of a partnership interest by a foreign taxpayer.

Resources: IR-2018-81, Notice 2018-08, Notice 2018-29

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2018-14 and Publication 15, Employer's Tax Guide to help businesses apply law changes to withholding. These materials are designed to help employers and employees with a variety of withholding matters during and after the transition to new, reduced tax rates and updated withholding tables.

More information is available in Notice 1036 and the IRS Withholding Tables Frequently Asked Questions.

Resources: IR-2018-05, IR-2018-205

Accounting Method Changes

The Production Period for Beer, Wine, and Distilled Spirits provision provides an opportunity to deduct the interest expenses occurred during the “aging period” for these beverages (subject to other possible interest deduction limitations included in TCJA).

Resources: Production Period for Beer, Wine, and Distilled Spirits Frequently Asked Questions

Changes in accounting periods and method of accounting (Transitional guidance under sec. 451 related to inclusion of income associated with advance payments.)

Resources: Notice 2018-35, Revenue Procedure 2018-29Revenue Procedure 2018-35, Revenue Procedure 2018-40, IR-2018-160

Eligible terminated S corporations are required to change from the overall cash method to an overall accrual method of accounting because of a revocation of its S corporation election, and they should make this method change for the C corporation’s first taxable year after such revocation.

Resources: Revenue Procedure 2018-17Revenue Procedure 2018-44

Opportunity Zones

Opportunity Zones are an economic development tool—that is, they are designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities. Opportunity Zones are designed to spur economic development by providing tax benefits to investors.

Resources: Opportunity Zones Frequently Asked QuestionsNotice 2018-48, Revenue Procedure 2018-16 

Other Information

Individuals and businesses have additional time to file an administrative claim or to bring a civil action for wrongful levy or seizure. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 extended the time limit for filing an administrative claim and for bringing a suit for wrongful levy from nine months to two years.

Resources: IR-2018-126 , Filing a Wrongful Levy Claim

Certain fines and penalties for violation of the law cannot be deducted. 

Resources: Notice 2018-23 

The law added new information reporting requirements for certain life insurance contracts under new IRC 6050Y.

Resources: IR-2018-104, Notice 2018-41 

The law changed the way that life insurance companies compute their reserves.

Resources: Revenue Ruling 2018-13 

The law made some changes affecting Health Savings Accounts and Pension Plans. 

Resources: IR-2018-19, IR-2018-107, Revenue Procedure 2018-27, Notice 2018-68 

The tax year 2018 annual inflation adjustments have been updated to reflect changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

Resources: IR-2018-94, Revenue Procedure 2018-18, Revenue Ruling 2018-11 

Alaska Native Corporations and Alaska Native Settlement Trusts may be able to take advantage of certain benefits in the recently enacted tax reform legislation. The new law also requires that certain contributions made by Native Corporations to Settlement Trusts in 2017 be reported to the Settlement Trusts by January 31, 2018.

Resources: IR-2018-16