The American Institute of CPAs ( has renewed its call for immediate guidance on new Code Sec. 199A. The AICPA highlighted questions about qualified business income (QBI) of pass-through income under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ( P.L. 115-97). “Taxpayers and practitioners need clarity regarding QBI in order to comply with their 2018 tax obligations,” the AICPA said in a February 21 letter to the Service.

New Deduction

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created Code Sec. 199A. The deduction is temporary and begins this year.

Generally, qualified taxpayers may deduct up to 20 percent of domestic QBI from a partnership, S corporation or sole proprietorship. Congress put in place a limitation based on wages paid, or on wages paid plus a capital element, among other requirements. Certain service trades or businesses generally may not take advantage of the deduction but there are exceptions.

Almost immediately after passage of the new tax law, the AICPA and other tax professional groups urged on the IRS to move quickly on guidance. Recently, the National Society of Accountants (NSA) reported that the IRS would issue guidance on Code Sec. 199A this summer.

Immediate Concern

The AICPA identified several areas of immediate concern. They are:

  • Definition of Code Sec. 199A qualified business income.
  • Aggregation method for calculation of QBI of pass-through businesses.
  • Deductible amount of QBI for a pass-through entity with business in net loss.
  • Qualification of wages paid by an employee leasing company.
  • Application of Code Sec. 199A to an owner of a fiscal year pass-through entity ending in 2018.
  • Availability of deduction for Electing Small Business Trusts (ESBTs).


The AICPA asked the IRS to describe what activities are included in the definition of a services trade or business. “The guidance should clarify that the definition of the term ‘accounting services’ includes any services associated with the determination of tax liabilities including preparation, tax planning, cost segregation services, services rendered with respect to tax credits and deductions, and similar consultative services,”the AICPA told the Service.