July 10, 2020
IRS releases BBA Roadmap to guide partnerships through centralized audit process
The IRS has published the "Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) Roadmap for Taxpayers" (Pub. 5388) to outline key audit actions, notifications and timeframes for partnerships under the BBA centralized partnership audit regime.
The single-page flowchart tracks audit activity from the time that the taxpayer files the original return through the final partnership adjustment (FPA) and closing procedures. It divides the flow of activity into three broad stages: (1) filing / audit selection, (2) audit process and (3) post audit. Each stage highlights, in addition to the flow of activity, the specific letters/forms used for taxpayer notifications and specific timeframes applicable to certain steps.
In the filing / audit selection stage, after filing the original return, the partnership representative acting on behalf of the partnership has the option to file an administrative adjustment request (AAR) before a Notice of Administrative Proceeding (NAP) is issued. The IRS must wait at least 30 days after the notice of selection for examination before issuing the NAP.
During the audit process stage, the examination leads to a notice of preliminary partnership exam changes (which the taxpayer can appeal), and ultimately to the notice of proposed partnership adjustment (NOPPA). The issuance of the NOPPA starts a 270-day period in which the partnership may request modifications.
In the post-audit stage, the partnership representative may submit modification requests (with appropriate supporting information) to reduce the imputed underpayment shown on the NOPPA. Following the issuance of the notice of final partnership adjustment (FPA), the partnership has 45 days to elect to push out the imputed underpayment to its partners and 90 days to petition court.
The "BBA Roadmap for Taxpayers" flowchart released by the IRS is a useful one-page reference tool that highlights that the various stages of an IRS audit conducted under the BBA partnership procedural rules.
After the expiration of the "People First Initiative" on July 15 (see discussion in Tax Alert 2020-0722), the IRS is expected to start examinations of several hundred individuals, according to comments made by IRS Large Business and International Division Commissioner Douglas O'Donnell on June 18 at a web conference sponsored by the New York University School of Professional Studies and CPA Academy. It is expected that many of these examinations would include partnerships. The release of this roadmap is likely a precursor to increased examination activity.