Every year, the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service issue a Priority Guidance Plan to identify the guidance that they intend to focus on during the next 12 months. Every quarter, as guidance is completed and other guidance projects are identified, the plan is updated and reissued. There is no guarantee that guidance projects listed on the Priority Guidance Plan will be issued; by contrast, the absence of a project does not necessarily guarantee that guidance will not be issued. Rather, the Priority Guidance Plan reflects a rough consensus between Treasury Department and the IRS, with the benefit of public input, that the projects identified are important and should be allocated resources.

On August 15, 2016, Treasury and the IRS issued the 2016-2017 Priority Guidance Plan. This year’s plan includes 281 projects that Treasury and the IRS have identified as priorities. Over 60% of the projects are carry-overs -- matters that were listed last year but were not completed, notwithstanding the fact that they were identified as a priority. Several projects have been carry-overs for many years. One project relates to finalizing regulations that were first proposed in 1985.

A few of the projects new for this year include:

  • Guidance on the definition of compressed natural gas for excise tax (Section 4041) and the alternative fuel credit (Section 6426) purposes.
  • Guidance under the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance providers fee (Section 9010) on the definition of net premiums written.
  • Guidance on the definition of income for support trusts (Section 682).
  • Guidance regarding over-the-counter currency options contracts (Section 1256) given the Sixth Circuits recent opinion in Wright v. Commissioner.
  • Guidance regarding qualified residence interest deductions (Section 163(h)(3).)
  • Guidance on the revocation and denial of passports in the case of certain tax delinquencies (Section 7345).

Treasury and the IRS invite the public to comment on the projects identified in the Priority Guidance Plan, as well as other projects that should be included in future editions of the Plan. Read the full 2016-2017 Priority Guidance Plan.