On Feb. 13, the IRS and Treasury announced a notice of proposed rulemaking that would eliminate 298 tax regulations. The move to scrap hundreds of regulations is a response to Executive Orders 13789, 13771, and 13777, which seek to identify regulations that are unnecessary, create undue complexity, impose undue burdens, and/or fail to provide clarity and useful guidance.

The regulations identified by Treasury for elimination fall into three categories:

  1. they refer to parts of the tax code that have been repealed;
  2. they have been substantially modified since enactment and the regulations do not currently account for the changes; and
  3. they represent expired temporary provisions that are no longer applicable.

As the Treasury prepares to write regulatory guidance for the 2017 Tax Act, the elimination of these regulations may provide some cushion as the agency must simultaneously comply with an Executive Order mandating that two regulations be identified for removal for every new rule.