A married couple was unable to show that an IRS levy was invalid. The U.S. tax code allows the IRS to collect taxes by levy upon property belonging to a person who neglects or refuses to pay a tax liability within 10 days of notice and demand for payment. The IRS had sued the couple to reduce their outstanding federal tax liabilities (estimated at $262,000 in tax, interest and penalties) to judgment and foreclose tax liens on their property. The couple raised procedural objections to the levy, among other arguments. However, a U.S. District Court found that the IRS was justified under the tax code to collect their tax liability by levy.
The U.S. Tax Court ruled that a solar equipment manufacturer is required to use the accrual method of accounting. The court ruled that the manufacturer wasn’t entitled to use the installment sale method to report income from the sale of equipment it made. The reason: The equipment was the personal property of the kind includible in inventory. Unless otherwise permitted by the IRS, a taxpayer required to use an inventory must use the accrual method of accounting to account for purchases and sales. Agreeing with the IRS, the court held that the taxpayer wasn’t a “qualified small business” for purposes of an IRS exception to the required use of the accrual method.
The IRS is temporarily waiving the penalty for using dyed fuel on Florida highways. It took the step to minimize and prevent disruptions to the supply of fuel for diesel-powered highway vehicles because of Hurricane Dorian. The relief is available only if the vehicle operator, or the person selling the fuel, pays the tax of 24.4 cents per gallon that’s normally applied to diesel fuel for highway use. Ordinarily, dyed diesel fuel isn’t taxed, because it’s sold for uses exempt from excise tax, such as farming, heating homes, and fueling municipal buses. Relief from the penalty in Florida is immediate and will remain in effect through Sept. 15.