Tax Highlights of the Inflation Reduction Act
On August 16th, 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 into law. The Act is a slimmed down version of the Biden Administration's proposed Build Back Better legislation and addresses several key areas including:
- Increasing Internal Revenue Service (IRS) budget
- Implementing a corporate tax minimum
- Instituting and increasing tax credits focused on investing in green technologies
Notable items that were not addressed in the IRA include removing the $10,000 SALT cap and mandatory capitalization of research and development (R&D) expenses, both provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
The bill is over 300 pages in length with a number of wide-ranging components. In the following summary we'll provide the key points that will be affecting taxpayers in the coming years.
Additional funding to the IRS for tax enforcement
One of the most talked-about provisions involves increased funding for the IRS.
- Approximately $80 billion in funding over the next 10 years for tax services, operations support, business system modernization, and enforcement
- Enforcement - $46 billion
- Operations support - $25 billion
- Business systems modernization - $5 billion
- Taxpayer services - $3 billion
- An estimated $124 to $200 billion will be generated from enforcement and compliance efforts
- Enforcement is focused on taxpayers – both corporate and non-corporate – with income greater than $400,000
Extension of the business loss limitation of noncorporate taxpayers
The IRA extends the excess business loss limitation for noncorporate taxpayers.
- Two year extension on IRC Sec. 461(l) until December 31, 2028
- IRC Sec. 461(l) limits noncorporate taxpayers from deducting business losses above thresholds that are annually indexed for inflation
- These limits are $540,000 for married filing jointly and $270,000 for single and married filing single for the 2022 tax year
- Suspended amounts are converted to net operating losses and may be able to be used in subsequent years
Excise tax on repurchases of corporate stock
The IRA includes a 1% excise tax on stock repurchases by domestic public companies listed on an established securities market. The tax applies to repurchases executed after December 31st, 2022.
- 1% excise tax on the full market value (FMV) of stock repurchased by publicly traded US corporations
- Will impact redemptions and certain acquisitions and repurchases of publicly traded foreign corporation stock
- Not an income tax for purposes of ASC 740
- Includes special rules for “applicable foreign corporations” and “surrogate foreign corporations”
- Notable exceptions:
- Stock is contributed to employer sponsored retirement plan
- Stock repurchase is part of a corporate reorganization
- Total value of stock repurchased during the taxable year does not exceed $1 million
- Repurchase by securities dealer in ordinary course of business
- If the repurchase qualifies as a dividend
- If the repurchase is by a regulated investment company (RIC) or a real estate investment trust (REIT)
15% corporate alternative minimum tax
The IRA reinstates the corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT) for large corporations, which had been previously eliminated by the Trump Administration's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Two key elements to note is that this revised AMT only impacts corporations with annual profits exceeding $1 billion, and includes carve-outs for certain manufacturers and subsidiaries of private equity firms.
- 15% tax on adjusted financial statement income (i.e., this would be a book minimum tax)
- Affects tax years beginning after December 31, 2022
- Applies to corporations with profits over $1 billion based off adjusted financial income
- For US corporations with foreign parents, it would apply to income earned in the US of $100 million or more of average annual earnings in three prior years and where the overall international financial reporting group has income of $1 billion or more
- Treatment of split offs remains uncertain. Even though these are tax-free reorganizations for tax purposes, gain is recorded for financial accounting purposes
- Joint Committee on Taxation expects that this new tax would apply to only about 150 corporate taxpayers, approximately equal to 30% of the Fortune 500
Tax credit additions and modifications
A significant number of provisions add or enhance credits and incentives that pertain to domestic research and green energy initiatives. Noteworthy changes include:
Increased small business payroll tax credits for research activities:
- Qualified payroll tax credit for increasing research activities raised from $250,000 to $500,000
- First $250,000 will be applied against the FICA payroll tax liability. Second $250,000 will be applied against the employer portion of Medicare payroll tax.
- Applies for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2022
- Limited to tax imposed for calendar quarter with unused amounts being carried forward
- Qualifying small businesses are required to have less than $5 million in gross receipts in current year and no gross receipts prior to the 5 year period ending with the current year
Green initiative tax credits and incentives:
- Credits for purchasing new and previously-owned clean vehicles
- Extension of IRC Sec. 45L – New Energy Efficient Home Credit – extended to qualified new energy efficient homes acquired before January 1, 2033. Increase value of available credit for single-family homes to $2,500 and modified the credit available for multi-family homes.
- Extension, increase, and modifications to IRC Sec. 25C nonbusiness energy property credit
- Extension and modification of IRC Sec. 25D residential clean energy credit
- IRC Sec. 48 energy credit for businesses and investors
- Expansion of qualifying property, extension of credit including phasedown and phaseout rules, and introduction of incentives
- Credit for producing energy from renewable sources (IRC Sec. 45)
- Retroactive for facilities placed in service after December 31, 2021
- Extends beginning of construction deadline to projects beginning construction before January 1, 2025 including solar energy facilities
- Increased energy credit for solar and wind facilities in certain low-income communities
- New credit for clean hydrogen production
- New credit for zero-emission nuclear power
- Extension of incentives for biodiesel, renewal diesel, and alternative fuels
- Extension of biofuel producer credit
- New income and excise tax credits allowed for sustainable aviation fuel
- Modification of IRC Sec. 179D – Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deductions
- Modification of building qualifications
- Deduction increased from $1.88 per square foot to up to $5 per qualified square foot
- Changes in depreciation for certain green energy properties
The Inflation Reduction Act should have wide-ranging impacts on taxpayers, especially large corporations and high-net-worth individuals. In the coming weeks our tax leaders will dive into the specifics of the legislation, outline immediate and long-term impacts, and provide tax-planning strategies and considerations.