Following the inauguration, President Trump's Chief of Staff issued a memorandum implementing a regulatory freeze common to changes in administration. The freeze withdraws all unpublished regulations for further review and approval by the new administration, including the final regulations issued last Thursday under Section 7704 of the Internal Revenue Code to provide qualifying income guidance with respect to the natural resource activities of publicly traded partnerships or "MLPs." The unpublished final regulations had been scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on January 24, 2017.
The timing of any review and approval of the unpublished regulations is uncertain. For now, the withdrawn final regulations will go back to the IRS and we'll continue living under the proposed regulations. As a practical matter, the withdrawn regulations will continue to be relevant to MLPs and those considering the formation of an MLP. Although the withdrawn final regulations are no longer authority which can be relied on unless published in the same or a modified form, the withdrawn regulations are indicative of the IRS position on many issues with respect to qualifying income.
We will keep you posted as we learn more.