Tax Administration:

IRS' Interpretative Guidance Implementing the Tax Reform Act

GGD-89-40: Published: Jun 19, 1989. Publicly Released: Jun 19, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) provision to taxpayers of interpretative guidance regarding the implementation of the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

GAO found that IRS: (1) developed an implementation plan involving the publication of 135 regulations, 25 revenue rulings, 13 revenue procedures, 33 notices, and 11 announcements to provide interpretative guidance to taxpayers for the 1987 filing season; (2) planned to issue 174 of the guidelines before the start of the 1987 filing season; (3) issued 11 of 92 regulations, 14 of 25 revenue rulings, none of 13 revenue procedures, 28 of 33 notices, and 10 of 11 announcements it planned to publish before the start of the 1987 filing season; (4) issued 28 regulations, 9 revenue rulings, 7 revenue procedures, and 2 notices during the 1987 filing season; (5) had not issued by April 1988 51 regulations, 1 revenue ruling, 3 revenue procedures, 3 notices, and 1 announcement it had planned for the 1987 filing season; (6) had not issued by April 1989 26 regulations, 1 revenue ruling, 3 revenue procedures, 2 notices, and 1 announcement it had planned for the 1987 filing season; (7) issued an additional 22 regulations, 10 revenue rulings, 9 revenue procedures, 77 notices, and 78 announcements not included in its original implementation plan by the end of April 1988; (8) did not identify any problems that could be attributed to insufficient interpretative guidance; and (9) as a result of complaints it received after publishing a revised tax withholding form without obtaining public comments, obtained taxpayers' comments on new and revised tax forms and on commonly used forms.

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