IRS Guidance: Notices & Announcements

There are circumstances in which the IRS must take quick action to provide taxpayer guidance that would otherwise take the form of a regulation, revenue ruling or procedure. Notices and Announcements provide this kind of expedited procedural or substantive tax guidance. They may be relied upon by taxpayers to the same extent as revenue rulings and procedures.

  • A notice is a public pronouncement of an IRS position generally made while regulations are still being drafted and have not yet been made available to the public. Notices are often used to solicit public comments on tax issues being addressed by the IRS, such as proposed revenue procedures. They are the only guidance available on the tax issue being addressed and are generally very authoritative.
  • An announcement is also a public pronouncement, but it is relevant only in the immediate or short-term. It may summarize a tax law or regulation (without any substantive interpretation), announce what a soon-to-be-published regulation will say, or notify taxpayers that a deadline is approaching.

Publication of Notices and Announcements

IRS Notices and Announcements are published along with other IRS guidance in the Cumulative Bulletin (CB), a consolidated semi-annual IRS publication of its official rulings and procedures. The CB is permanent and indexed. For example, this past March, Bulletin No. 2016-13 contained a number of Notices and Announcements, including a Notice concerning partnership audits instituted as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (“BBA”) and an Announcement of the revocation of IRC 501(c)(3) tax exempt status for a nonprofit organization that failed to meet the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code.

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