1.2.16  Policy Statements for the Rulings and Agreements Process

Manual Transmittal

June 21, 2013

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.2.16, Servicewide Policies and Authorities, Policy Statements for the Rulings and Agreements Process

Material Changes

(1) IRM 1.2.16.1 has been revised to correct IRM 1.2.16.1 (2), the link to recently revised policy statements posted on IRS.gov.

(2) The following policy statements are renumbered according to applicable IRS business processes:

  • IRM 1.2.16.1.1. P-7-73 (Formerly P-11-23), Rulings and determination letters in general.

  • IRM 1.2.16.1.2. P-7-74 (Formerly P-11-26), Rulings in absence of regulations issued under certain circumstances.

  • IRM 1.2.16.1.3. P-7-75 (Formerly P-11-30), Determination and opinion letters in pension plans of self-employed individuals.

  • IRM 1.2.16.1.4. P-7-76 (Formerly P-11-32), Rulings or determination letters on schemes or devices.

  • IRM 1.2.16.1.5. P-7-77 (Formerly P-11-37), Withdrawal of request for ruling or determination letter.

  • IRM 1.2.16.1.6. P-7-78 (Formerly P-11-38), Unpublished rulings not used as precedents.

  • IRM 1.2.16.1.7. P-7-79 (Formerly P-11-39), Effective date of revocation of a ruling to a taxpayer.

  • IRM 1.2.16.1.8. P-7-80 (Formerly P-11-40), Effective date of determination letter affecting deductible contributions.

  • IRM 1.2.16.1.9. P-7-81 (Formerly P-11-41), Effective date of revocation of determination letter to a taxpayer.

  • IRM 1.2.16.1.10. P-7-82 (Formerly P-11-68), Publication Standards.

  • IRM 1.2.16.1.11. P-7-83 (Formerly P-11-69), Form and scope of published rulings.

  • IRM 1.2.16.1.12. P-7-84 (Formerly P-11-70), Reliance by taxpayers on Revenue Rulings; exceptions provided.

  • IRM 1.2.16.1.13. P-7-85 (Formerly P-11-72), Taxpayer views on rulings or procedures proposed for publication generally not solicited in advance.

  • IRM 1.2.16.1.14. P-7-86 (Formerly P-11-73), Effective date of published rulings.

  • IRM 1.2.16.1.15. P-7-87 (Formerly P-11-74), Effective date of Revenue Ruling revoking or modifying previously published ruling.

  • IRM 1.2.16.1.16. P-7-88 (Formerly P-11-75), Proposed Revenue Rulings or Revenue Procedures are of a confidential nature; Advance delivery of copies of Revenue Rulings or Revenue Procedures to "tax services" permitted in certain instances.

  • IRM 1.2.16.1.17. P-7-89 (Formerly P-11-85), Publication of Internal Revenue Bulletin necessary to tax administration.

Effect on Other Documents

This supersedes IRM 1.2.16, dated August 28, 2007.

Audience

All Divisions and Functions

Effective Date

(06-21-2013)

Kathryn A. Greene
Director, Servicewide Policy, Directives
and Electronic Research

1.2.16.1  (06-21-2013)
Introduction to Rulings and Agreements related Policy Statements

  1. This IRM contains Policy Statements relating to the Rulings and Agreements Process. Each Policy Statement is now categorized by the process to which it belongs. Policy Statements apply to all Service personnel involved in the type of program, activity, function, or work process covered by them.

  2. Any Policy Statement approved after this revision of IRM 1.2.16 is posted to IRS.gov and can be accessed through the FOIA Reading Room web site (http://www.irs.gov/uac/Electronic-Reading-Room) under the heading "Recent Delegation Orders and Policy Statements." They will remain on the web until the next revision of this section.

    Note:

    If any Policy Statements have been inadvertently omitted from this Section they are still considered official and in full force and effect. Please send any discrepancies found to spder@irs.gov.

  3. The following is a listing of all sections in the Policy Statement series:

    • IRM 1.2.1, Policies of the Internal Revenue Service;

    • IRM 1.2.10, Policy Statements for Organization, Finance and Management Activities;

    • IRM 1.2.11, Policy Statements for Information Technology Activities;

    • IRM 1.2.12, Policy Statements for Submission Processing Activities;

    • IRM 1.2.13, Policy Statements for the Examining Process;

    • IRM 1.2.14, Policy Statements for the Collecting Process;

    • IRM 1.2.15, Policy Statements for Human Resources Management Activities;

    • IRM 1.2.16, Policy Statements for the Rulings and Agreements Process;

    • IRM 1.2.17, Policy Statements for the Appeals Process;

    • IRM 1.2.18, Policy Statements for Criminal Investigation Activities;

    • IRM 1.2.19, Policy Statements for Communications, Liaison and Disclosure Activities;

    • IRM 1.2.20, Policy Statements for Penalties and Interest Activities;

    • IRM 1.2.21, Policy Statements for Customer Account Services Activities;

    • IRM 1.2.22, Policy Statements for Taxpayer Education and Assistance Activities;

    • IRM 1.2.23, Policy Statements for Office of Chief Counsel Activities;and

    • IRM 1.2.25, Policy Statements for Security, Privacy and Assurance Activities.

1.2.16.1.1  (06-14-1967)
Policy Statement 7-73 (Formerly P-11-23)

  1. Rulings and determination letters in general

  2. Rulings and determination letters are issued to individuals and organizations upon written requests, whenever appropriate in the interest of wise and sound tax administration, as to their status for tax purposes and as to the tax effect of their acts or transactions, prior to their filing of returns or reports as required by the revenue laws. Rulings are issued only by the National Office. Determination letters are issued only by District Directors and the Director of International Operations. Reference to District Director or district office in these policy statements also includes the office of the Director of International Operations.

1.2.16.1.2  (02-24-1960)
Policy Statement 7-74 (Formerly P-11-26)

  1. Rulings in absence of regulations issued under certain circumstances

  2. Requests for rulings on Code provisions under which regulations have not yet been issued are treated as follows:

    1. If the answer to the question raised is clearly covered in the Code, an unconditional ruling is made only after Committee reports are examined to make sure there is no ambiguity in the statute.

    2. If the answer in the statute is not entirely free from doubt, but is reasonably certain, a ruling is made but only after it is established that a business emergency requires a ruling or that unusual hardship will result from failure to obtain a ruling. If doubt exists as to interpretation of the Code provision, the ruling letter contains a caveat explaining that the ruling is without effect if regulations, when issued, conflict with its holding.

    3. If doubt as to interpretation of the law governing the question cannot be reasonably resolved before the issuance of regulations, no ruling is issued.

1.2.16.1.3  (06-14-1967)
Policy Statement 7-75 (Formerly P-11-30)

  1. Determination and opinion letters in pension plans of self-employed individuals

  2. In matters relating to pension plans of self-employed individuals the appropriate District Director issues determination letters relating to the qualification of pension and profit-sharing plans which covered self-employed individuals under sections 401(a) and 405(a) of the Code and relating to the status for exemption of related trusts and custodial accounts under section 501(a).

  3. District Directors will, upon request, furnish a written opinion as to the acceptability (for the purposes of sections 401(a), 405(a), or 501(a)) of the form of any master or prototype plan designed to include groups of self-employed individuals who may adopt the plan, where the plan is submitted by a sponsor that is a trade or professional association, bank, insurance company, or regulated investment company. A determination as to the exempt status of a trust or custodial account forming part of a master or prototype plan will be made at the time of approval of the plan as to form, if the sponsoring organization creates a master trust or custodial account.

  4. Since a determination as to the qualification of a particular employer's plan can be made only with regard to facts peculiar to such employer, a letter expressing the opinion of the Service as to the acceptability of the form of a master or prototype plan will not constitute a ruling or determination as to the qualification of a plan as adopted by any individual employer nor as to the exempt status of a related trust or custodial account. District Directors will issue determination letters upon request, regarding the qualification of individually designed plans and plans of employers who adopt previously approved master or prototype forms of plans. At the same time a determination will be made regarding the exempt status of a related trust or custodial account when the employer establishes his/her own trust or custodial account and does not join a master trust established by the sponsoring organization.

  5. A determination as to the qualification of a bond purchase plan covering self-employed individuals will, upon request, be made by the appropriate District Director.

1.2.16.1.4  (11-04-1968)
Policy Statement 7-76 (Formerly P-11-32)

  1. Rulings or determination letters on schemes or devices

  2. A favorable ruling or determination letter is not issued on the tax consequences of schemes, devices, and plans that have as their principal purpose the avoidance or reduction of Federal taxes.

1.2.16.1.5  (02-24-1960)
Policy Statement 7-77 (Formerly P-11-37)

  1. Withdrawal of request for ruling or determination letter

  2. The withdrawal of a request for ruling or a determination letter is permitted at any time prior to the signing of the letter of reply. However, the District Director is notified of the withdrawal of a request for a ruling if such notification is considered advisable by the National Office.

1.2.16.1.6  (06-14-1967)
Policy Statement 7-78 (Formerly P-11-38)

  1. Unpublished rulings not used as precedents

  2. Unpublished rulings and technical advice memorandums are not relied on, used, or cited, by any officer or employee of the Service as precedent in the disposition of other cases.

1.2.16.1.7  (06-14-1967)
Policy Statement 7-79 (Formerly P-11-39)

  1. Effective date of revocation of a ruling to a taxpayer

  2. A ruling found to be in error or no longer in accord with the position of the Service may be modified or revoked. Modification or revocation may be effected by a notice to the taxpayer to whom the ruling originally was issued, or by a Revenue Ruling or other statement published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin. Except in rare or unusual circumstances, the revocation or modification of a ruling will not be applied retroactively with respect to the taxpayer whose tax liability was directly involved in such ruling if:

    1. there has been no misstatement or omission of material facts;

    2. the facts subsequently developed are not materially different from the facts on which the ruling was based;

    3. there has been no change in the applicable law;

    4. the ruling was originally issued with respect to a prospective or proposed transaction; and

    5. the taxpayer directly involved in the ruling acted in good faith in reliance upon the ruling and the retroactive revocation would be to the taxpayer's detriment.

1.2.16.1.8  (01-26-1979)
Policy Statement 7-80 (Formerly P-11-40)

  1. Effective date of determination letter affecting deductible contributions: When an organization that has been listed in IRS Publication No. 78 as an organization contributions to which are deductible under section 170 of the Code subsequently ceases to qualify as such, and the ruling or determination letter issued to it is revoked, contributions made to the organization by persons unaware of the change in the status of the organization generally will be considered allowable until (a) the date of publication of an announcement in the Internal Revenue Bulletin that contributions are no longer deductible, or (b) a date specified in such an announcement where deductibility is terminated as of a different date.

  2. In appropriate cases, however, this advance assurance of deductibility of contributions made to such an organization may be suspended pending verification of continuing section 170 qualification. Notice of such suspension will be made in a public announcement by the Service. In such cases, allowance of deductions for contributions made after the date of the announcement will depend upon statutory qualification of the organization under section 170.

  3. If an organization whose status under section 170(c)(2) is ultimately revoked initiates a proceeding for declaratory judgment under section 7428, special reliance provisions apply. If the decision of the court is adverse to the organization, it shall nevertheless be treated as having been described in section 170 for purposes of deductibility of contributions from individuals (up to a maximum of $1,000) and from other organizations described in section 170, for the period beginning on the date that notice of suspension or revocation was published and ending on the date the court first determines that the organization is not described in section 170. This reliance, however, is not extended to any individual who was responsible, in whole or in part, for the activities (or failures to act) on the part of the organization that were the basis for the revocation.

  4. Except when reliance under declaratory judgment procedures is applicable, the Service is not precluded from disallowing any contributions made after an organization ceases to qualify under section 170 where the contributor (a) had knowledge of the revocation of the ruling or determination letter; (b) was aware that such revocation was imminent; or (c) was in part responsible for, or was aware of, the activities or deficiencies on the part of the organization that gave rise to the loss of qualification.

1.2.16.1.9  (02-24-1960)
Policy Statement 7-81 (Formerly P-11-41)

  1. Effective date of revocation of determination letter to a taxpayer

  2. A determination letter found to be in error or no longer in accord with the position of the Service may be modified or revoked. A District Director is not authorized to limit the revocation of the determination letter to a prospective application only, but refers the matter to the National Office for consideration.

1.2.16.1.10  (01-28-1977)
Policy Statement 7-82 (Formerly P-11-68)

  1. Publication Standards

  2. The purpose of publishing Revenue Rulings and Revenue Procedures in the Internal Revenue Bulletin is to promote correct and uniform application of the tax laws by Internal Revenue Service employees and to assist taxpayers in attaining maximum voluntary compliance by informing Service personnel and the public of National Office interpretations of the internal revenue laws, related statutes, treaties, and regulations, and statements of Service procedures affecting the rights and duties of taxpayers. Therefore, issues and answers involving substantive tax law under the jurisdiction of the Internal Revenue Service will be published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, except those involving:

    1. issues answered by statute, treaty, or regulations;

    2. issues answered by rulings, opinions, or court decisions previously published in the Bulletin;

    3. issues that are of insufficient importance or interest to warrant publication;

    4. determinations of fact rather than interpretations of law;

    5. informers and informers' rewards; or

    6. disclosure of secret formulas, processes, business practices, and similar information.

    Procedures affecting taxpayers' rights or duties that relate to matters under the jurisdiction of the Service will be published in the Bulletin.

1.2.16.1.11  (05-18-1967)
Policy Statement 7-83 (Formerly P-11-69)

  1. Form and scope of published rulings

  2. Publication of rulings and other communications involving substantive tax law will be made in the Internal Revenue Bulletin in the form of Revenue Rulings. The conclusions expressed in Revenue Rulings will be directly responsive to and limited in scope by the pivotal facts stated in the Revenue Ruling. Also, the stated facts will be so technically oriented that field employees and taxpayers may clearly understand what was, and what was not, decided.

1.2.16.1.12  (04-16-1968)
Policy Statement 7-84 (Formerly P-11-70)

  1. Reliance by taxpayers on Revenue Rulings; exceptions provided

  2. Taxpayers generally may rely upon Revenue Rulings published in the Bulletin in determining the applicability of the tax law to their own transactions and need not obtain ruling letters provided (a) the facts and circumstances in their cases are substantially the same, and (b) the positions stated in the Revenue Rulings are still determinative when considered in the light of subsequent legislation, regulations, court decisions, and Revenue Rulings.

1.2.16.1.13  (02-17-1973)
Policy Statement 7-85 (Formerly P-11-72)

  1. Taxpayer views on rulings or procedures proposed for publication generally not solicited in advance

  2. Comments and suggestions from taxpayers or taxpayer groups on rulings or procedures proposed for publication in the Internal Revenue Bulletin may be solicited if such action is justified by special circumstances. Conferences on proposed Revenue Rulings or Revenue Procedures will not be granted outside representatives except where such action is justified by special circumstances. Such conferences as are scheduled will be at the direction of the Service.

1.2.16.1.14  (10-22-1968)
Policy Statement 7-86 (Formerly P-11-73)

  1. Effective date of published rulings

  2. A Revenue Ruling published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin applies retroactively unless the Revenue Ruling includes a specific statement indicating the extent to which it is to be applied without retroactive effect.

1.2.16.1.15  (10-22-1968)
Policy Statement 7-87 (Formerly P-11-74)

  1. Effective date of Revenue Ruling revoking or modifying previously published ruling

  2. Where Revenue Rulings revoke or modify rulings previously published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, the authority of section 7805(b) of the Internal Revenue Code ordinarily is invoked to provide that the new rulings will not be applied retroactively to the extent that the new rulings have adverse tax consequences to taxpayers.

1.2.16.1.16  (09-03-1987)
Policy Statement 7-88 (Formerly P-11-75)

  1. Proposed Revenue Rulings or Revenue Procedures are of a confidential nature

  2. The contents and status of proposed Revenue Rulings or Revenue Procedures are of a confidential nature until they are available to the public and to Service field offices through publication in the Internal Revenue Bulletin. During the period prior to publication, the following information regarding a Revenue Ruling or Revenue Procedure cannot be disclosed to any one outside the Service: (1) the position to be taken by the Service on a particular issue; (2) where the document has been routed for development or clearance; or (3) the current status of the project. Exceptions may be made only by the Commissioner, the Senior Deputy Commissioner, the Deputy Commissioners or the issuing Assistant Commissioner.

  3. Advance delivery of copies of Revenue Rulings or Revenue Procedures to "tax services" permitted in certain instances

  4. When it is determined to be in the best interest of the Service and the public, advance copies of Revenue Rulings or Revenue Procedures may be delivered to publishers of "tax services," with the understanding that such Revenue Rulings or Revenue Procedures are of a confidential nature and subject to the restriction that the contents not be published before Monday publication date of the Internal Revenue Bulletin in which the Revenue Rulings or Revenue Procedures will appear.

1.2.16.1.17  (05-18-1973)
Policy Statement 7-89 (Formerly P-11-85)

  1. Publication of Internal Revenue Bulletin necessary to tax administration

  2. The Internal Revenue Bulletin is the authoritative instrument of the Commissioner for announcing official rulings and procedures, acquiescences and nonacquiescences in adverse reported decisions of the United States Tax Court, and other Service pronouncements of general interest. Also published in the Bulletin are other important tax matters such as Public Laws and related Committee Reports, Executive Orders, tax treaties, new or amended regulations (Treasury Decisions), and certain court decisions. Publication in the Bulletin is for guidance of Service personnel and the general public on Federal tax matters in order to promote uniform administration and voluntary compliance with the tax laws. Frequent communication and permanent reference are provided through publication of a weekly Bulletin and a semi-annual Cumulative Bulletin. An Index-Digest System is published for use by Service employees and the public in researching matters contained in the Bulletin.

Exhibit 1.2.16-1 
All Active Policy Statements for the Rulings and Agreements Process

New Number Old Number Title
7-73 11-23 Rulings and determination letters in general
7-74 11-26 Rulings in absence of regulations issued under certain circumstances
7-75 11-30 Determination and opinion letters in pension plans of self-employed individuals
7-76 11-32 Rulings or determination letters on schemes or devices
7-77 11- 37 Withdrawal of request for ruling or determination letter
7-78 11-38 Unpublished rulings not used as precedents
7-79 11-39 Effective date of revocation of a ruling to a taxpayer
7-80 11-40 Effective date of determination letter affecting deductible contributions
7-81 11-41 Effective date of revocation of determination letter to a taxpayer
7-82 11-68 Publication Standards
7-83 11-69 Form and scope of published rulings
7-84 11-70 Reliance by taxpayers on Revenue Rulings; exceptions provided
7-85 11-72 Taxpayer views on rulings or procedures proposed for publication generally not solicited in advance
7-86 11-73 Effective date of published rulings
7-87 11-74 Effective date of Revenue Ruling revoking or modifying previously published ruling
7-88 11-75 Proposed Revenue Rulings or Revenue Procedures are of a confidential nature
and
Advance delivery of copies of Revenue Rulings or Revenue Procedures to "tax services" permitted in certain instances
7-89 11-85 Publication of Internal Revenue Bulletin necessary to tax administration

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