Going the way of the dinosaur? Endangered tax regulations

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

tax regulations, tax reform, tax law, TrumpWhile we may wish that all tax regulations were endangered and soon to be extinct, there are certainly some that are more worthy for extinction than others. In April of 2017, President Trump issued an executive order designed to reduce tax regulatory burdens.

The order instructed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to review “all significant tax regulations” issued on or after January 1st, 2016, and submit two reports:

  • A 60-day interim report identifying regulations that impose an undue financial burden on U.S. taxpayers; add undue complexity to the federal tax laws; or exceed the statutory authority of the IRS
  • A final report to President Trump by September 18, 2017 with recommendations for “specific actions to mitigate the burden imposed by regulations identified in the interim report”

No tax regulations were spared from initial review. From January 1, 2016, through April 21, 2017, the Treasury and the IRS issued 105 temporary, proposed and final regulations. The initial review determined that about half of them were minor or technical in nature and generated only minimal public comment. So the focus was put on the remaining 52 regulations as potentially significant.

Of those, the Treasury concluded that eight tax regulations met at least one of the criteria specified by the President. It is intended that the final report will propose reforms ranging from streamlining rule provisions to full repeal. For a complete list of the Endangered regulations, see IRS Notice 2017-38. As mentioned in the notice, you have opportunity to comment on them by August 7, 2017.

Dale F. Jensen, CPA