IRS looks for recommendations on priority guidance on new tax law

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The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department are asking the public to recommend items that should be included on their 2018-19 Priority Guidance Plan, with the expectation that the new tax law will be at the top of the list.

In Notice 2018-43, which the Treasury and the IRS issued Friday, they pointed out that they use the Priority Guidance Plan each year to identify and prioritize the tax issues that should be addressed through regulations, revenue rulings, revenue procedures, notices, and other published administrative guidance.

The plan will identify the guidance projects that the Treasury and the IRS intend to work on as priorities from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019.

They noted that ever since last December when Public Law 115- 97, commonly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, was passed, the Treasury and the IRS have focused their efforts on guidance projects necessary to implement the new tax law. They expect to continue to concentrate on guidance for implementing the tax reform law for the balance of the current plan year and during the 2018-19 plan year. As a result, the Treasury and the IRS don’t expect to be able to complete a number of the guidance projects that were on the earlier 2017-18 Priority Guidance Plan, but they currently expect that many of these projects will be carried over to the 2018-19 Priority Guidance Plan.

In reviewing recommendations and selecting additional projects for inclusion on the 2018-19 Priority Guidance Plan, the Treasury and the IRS plan to consider the following factors:

1. Whether the recommended guidance resolves significant issues relevant to many taxpayers;

2. Whether the recommended guidance r educes controversy and lessens the burden on taxpayers or the IRS;

3. Whether the recommendation involves existing regulations or other guidance that’s outdated, unnecessary, ineffective, insufficient or unnecessarily burdensome and that should be modified, streamlined, expanded, replaced or withdrawn;

4. Whether the recommended guidance would be in accordance with Executive Order 13771, which President Trump signed shortly after taking office and called for reducing regulations and controlling regulatory costs, or other executive orders.

5. Whether the recommended guidance promotes sound tax administration;

6. Whether the IRS can administer the recommended guidance on a uniform basis; and

7. Whether the recommended guidance can be drafted in a manner that will enable taxpayers to easily understand and apply the guidance.

Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was enacted, the Treasury and the IRS have received a number of letters specific ally asking for guidance related to the implementation of provisions in the Act, they noted. Those suggestions have informed the projects that are currently in development and will also be considered in formulating the 2018-19 Priority Guidance Plan, along with any other recommendations for guidance related to the new tax law.

The Treasury and the IRS are asking for recommendations to be submitted by June 15, 2018, for possible inclusion on the original 2018-19 Priority Guidance Plan. Taxpayers can still submit recommendations for guidance at any time during the year, though. The Treasury and the IRS plan to update the 2018-19 Priority Guidance Plan periodically to reflect additional guidance that the Treasury and the IRS intend to publish during the plan year.

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Tax reform Trump tax plan Tax regulations IRS Treasury Department