IRS regulations generally affect all taxpayers that acquire, produce, or improve tangible property but especially impact lodging facilities, as these require continual upgrades, remodeling, and refreshes. Hospitality finance executives should be alert to the numerous elections required with 2014 tax returns.
There’s no easy way to say it—the lodging industry will likely face tax challenges in the next 12 months. The past year was fraught with congressional bickering, partisanship, gridlock, and, consequently, no passage of any major tax legislation. There was plenty of drama too, including the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act, congressional hearings over lost and retrieved IRS emails, and so-called corporate inversions, with U.S. companies acquiring foreign corporations, swapping headquarters, and reducing their U.S. tax load. This was all capped off by a shift in control of the U.S. Senate after the midterm elections.
Through it all, Congress and the Obama Administration have talked about various fixes to the tax code, but reform has largely remained at the bottom of the to-do list. Now, the new head of the Senate Committee on Finance and the newly minted chairman of the House Committee of Ways & Means, say that tax reform is a top priority.
And at the insistence of the National Taxpayer Advocate, the IRS has recently adopted an official Taxpayer Bill of Rights. It’s not the Magna Carta but certainly a step in the right direction. As 2015 begins, the most important impact of 2014 will be the new rules that will affect tax compliance and tax return requirements, which either stem from the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (TIPA) or will be triggered by earlier legislation, rulings, and treasury regulations.
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