The Internal Revenue Service is lowering its user fees for issuing letter rulings on tax matters when the rulings are practically identical.

The IRS issued Notice 2016-59 on Tuesday outlining a set of revisions to the requirements for the reduced user fee for substantially identical letter rulings. The reduced fee was originally described in a section of a revenue procedure the IRS released early this year, Rev. Proc. 2016-1. The new notice also corrects the amount of the user fee for Foreign Insurance Excise Tax Waiver Agreements as stated in an appendix of the original revenue procedure.

Section 15.07(2) of Rev. Proc. 2016- 1 describes the requirements for a reduced user fee for certain substantially identical letter rulings that have been requested for multiple entities with a common member or sponsor, or multiple members of a common entity. If the requirements are satisfied, Appendix A of the revenue procedure says the user fee for each additional substantially identical letter ruling, after the $28,300 fee or reduced fee, as applicable, has been paid for the first letter ruling request, is $2,700 for requests received after Feb. 1, 2015.

The IRS recently decided that the requirements for the reduced user fee should be changed to include substantially identical letter rulings requested by taxpayers who are parties engaged together in the same transaction affecting all requesting taxpayers. The IRS will include this additional basis for qualifying for a reduced user fee in Rev. Proc. 2017-1, which will be published next January. However, the IRS has decided to make the change effective immediately to reflect more properly its actual costs in preparing letter rulings. Until the revenue procedure is released next January, taxpayers can rely on the new Notice 2016-59 for purposes of requesting a reduced user fee. Section 3 of the notice describes the revised requirements for this reduced user fee.

Paragraph (A)(3)(e) of Appendix A of Rev. Proc. 2016-1 says the user fee for a request for a Foreign Insurance Excise Tax Waiver Agreement received on or after Feb. 2, 2015 is $8,000. Effective for requests received on or after Feb. 4, 2016, the user fee was decreased to $7,200; however, the decrease was inadvertently omitted from Rev. Proc. 2016-1. Section 4 of the new notice corrects this discrepancy.

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