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IRS Announces Suspension of Guidance

To comply with an executive order and memorandum, the Internal Revenue Service won’t issue revenue rulings and procedures.

On Jan. 30, 2017, Present Donald J. Trump issued “Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” (Executive Order). According to the Executive Order, its purpose is to ensure that the executive branch is prudent and financially responsible in the expenditure of both private and public funds. To manage the costs associated with complying with federal regulations, the Executive Order requires that for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be eliminated. Moreover, in “Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies,” issued Jan. 20, agencies are prohibited from sending regulations to the Federal Register until an agency head or department head appointed by President Trump reviews such regulations.

Internal Revenue Service Response
To comply with the Executive Order and the memorandum, the IRS announced on Feb. 13 that “for a while,” it wouldn’t release new formal guidance, including revenue rulings and revenue procedures. The IRS will, however, release private letter rulings, chief counsel memoranda and routine guidance such as updates on interest rates and mileage allowances.

According to Robert Wellen, IRS associate chief counsel, “The chief counsel's office has been in communication with Treasury about how this kind of regime might affect the tax regulatory process.”


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