Saturday, February 18, 2017
Sam Brunson (Loyola-Chicago), The (Near) Future of Treasury Regulations:
Today’s Tax Notes reports [No Substantive IRS Guidance Coming for a While, Official Says] that the IRS has announced that it will not release pretty much any new formal guidance (including revenue rulings and revenue procedures) for the foreseeable future. [Fn: It will continue to release routine guidance, like updated interest rates and updated mileage allowances.]
Why not? A confluence of an Executive Order and a January 20 memorandum. The EO, Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Cost, requires that, for every new regulation issued, two existing regulations be eliminated.
The January 20 memorandum further prohibits agencies from sending regulations to the Federal Register until they’ve been reviewed by an agency or department head appointed by Trump.
Whatever one thinks of the regulatory state, this lack of potential tax regulations and guidance is bad for taxpayers. Taxpayers have to comply with tax rules, even where Congress hasn’t drafted them clearly, or didn’t anticipate a particular set of events. ...
([I]t’s worth pointing out that the IRS will continue to issue private letter rulings, meaning taxpayers who have enough money will still be able to get comfort on ambiguous tax positions.)