On April 5, the Senate by a vote of 87-12 approved H.R. 4, the “Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011.” The measure, which retroactively repeals expanded Form 1099 information reporting rules added by recent legislation, was passed by the House on March 3 by a vote of 314-112. Thus, H.R. 4 (the Act) is cleared for the President’s expected signature.
Here are highlights of the tax changes in the Act.
Original information reporting rules. Before amendment by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-240) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, P.L. 111-148), Code Sec. 6041 generally required payments totaling at least $600 in a single calendar year to a single recipient to be reported to IRS. Reporting on Form 1099 was required only when the payor was considered to be engaged in a trade or business and has made the payment in connection with that trade or business. The type of payment that most commonly triggered the reporting requirement was payment for services.
There were a number of exemptions from Code Sec. 6041 ‘s reporting requirements under prior law, notably including payments to corporations (which were exempt under Reg. § 1.6041-3(p)(1)).
Pre-Act law—changes made by 2010 legislation. Beginning in 2012, Sec. 9006 of PPACA added payments of amounts in consideration for any type of property and gross proceeds—i.e., it added payments for goods or other property—to the list of payments subject to information reporting.
Sec. 9006 of PPACA further provided that, beginning in 2012, payments to non-tax-exempt corporations—which had previously been exempt from the reporting requirement—would be subject to information reporting.
Additionally, for payments made after 2010, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 provided that, subject to limited exceptions, a person receiving rental income from real estate would be treated as engaged in the trade or business of renting property for information reporting purposes. In particular, rental income recipients making payments of $600 or more to a service provider (for example, a painter or plumber) in the course of earning rental income would have to provide an information return to the service provider and IRS.
New law. For payments made after December 31, 2011, the Act repeals the provisions in Sec. 9006 that impose a reporting requirement for payments to corporations and payments for goods or other property. (Code Sec. 6041(a), Code Sec. 6041(i), and Code Sec. 6041(j), as amended by Act Sec. 2) And for payments made after December 31, 2010, the Act also repeals application of the information reporting requirements to recipients of rental income from real estate who are not otherwise considered to be engaged in the trade or business of renting property. (Code Sec. 6041(h), as repealed by Act Sec. 3)
In other words, under the Act, the information reporting rules effectively revert to the way they read before enactment of PPACA and the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.
Revenue offset. The Act provides an offset for the lost revenue from repealing the new information reporting provisions, estimated at $21.9 billion. It increases the amount of “excess advance payments” of the premium assistance credit (enacted as part of the 2010 health care reform legislation to help lower-income individuals acquire affordable health insurance coverage) that a taxpayer must repay under Code Sec. 36B(f)(2) for tax years ending after December 31, 2013. The credit is available for a taxpayer who does not receive health insurance through his employer (or his spouse’s employer) and whose income falls between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty line (FPL), based on the most recently filed tax return.
Under pre-Act law, if the taxpayer’s income increases such that the credit exceeds that to which his current income level actually entitles him to, but his income is still under 500% of FPL, he had to repay some credit amounts. The limit on amounts he had to repay were capped and ranged from $600 to $3,500.
New law. Under the Act, for tax years ending after December 31, 2013, the repayment caps are increased for taxpayers with household income of at least 200% but less than 400% of FPL, and full repayment is required for taxpayers whose incomes exceed 400% of FPL. (Code Sec. 36B(f)(2)(B)(i), as amended by Act Sec. 4)