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Internal Revenue Bulletin:  2016-40 

October 3, 2016 

INCOME TAX


It is the policy of the Internal Revenue Service to announce at an early date whether it will follow the holdings in certain cases. An Action on Decision is the document making such an announcement. An Action on Decision will be issued at the discretion of the Service only on unappealed issues decided adverse to the government. Generally, an Action on Decision is issued where its guidance would be helpful to Service personnel working with the same or similar issues. Unlike a Treasury Regulation or a Revenue Ruling, an Action on Decision is not an affirmative statement of Service position. It is not intended to serve as public guidance and may not be cited as precedent.

Actions on Decisions shall be relied upon within the Service only as conclusions applying the law to the facts in the particular case at the time the Action on Decision was issued. Caution should be exercised in extending the recommendation of the Action on Decision to similar cases where the facts are different. Moreover, the recommendation in the Action on Decision may be superseded by new legislation, regulations, rulings, cases, or Actions on Decisions. Prior to 1991, the Service published acquiescence or nonacquiescence only in certain regular Tax Court opinions. The Service has expanded its acquiescence program to include other civil tax cases where guidance is determined to be helpful. Accordingly, the Service now may acquiesce or nonacquiesce in the holdings of memorandum Tax Court opinions, as well as those of the United States District Courts, Claims Court, and Circuit Courts of Appeal. Regardless of the court deciding the case, the recommendation of any Action on Decision will be published in the Federal Register.

The recommendation in every Action on Decision will be summarized as acquiescence, acquiescence in result only, or nonacquiescence. Both “acquiescence” and “acquiescence in result only” mean that the Service accepts the holding of the court in a case and that the Service will follow it in disposing of cases with the same controlling facts. However, “acquiescence” indicates neither approval nor disapproval of the reasons assigned by the court for its conclusions; whereas, “acquiescence in result only” indicates disagreement or concern with some or all of those reasons. “Nonacquiescence” signifies that, although no further review was sought, the Service does not agree with the holding of the court and, generally, will not follow the decision in disposing of cases involving other taxpayers. In reference to an opinion of a circuit court of appeals, a “nonacquiescence” indicates that the Service will not follow the holding on a nationwide basis. However, the Service will recognize the precedential impact of the opinion on cases arising within the venue of the deciding circuit.

The Commissioner does NOT ACQUIESCE in the following decision:

Giant Eagle, Inc. v. Commissioner,[1]

822 F.3d 666 (3rd Cir. 2016),

rev’g T.C. Memo 2014–146

Action On Decision 2016–03

Nonacquiescence to the holding that all events fixing a liability for federal income tax purposes occur when discount fuel purchase coupons are issued to a customer for retail grocery purchases.

Notice 2016–52Notice 2016–52

Notice 2016–52 provides guidance relating to certain transactions, undertaken in anticipation of foreign-initiated adjustments to foreign income tax liabilities of section 902 corporations, which will be treated as splitter arrangements under section 909.

Notice 2016–55Notice 2016–55

This notice provides that the IRS will not assert that cash payments an employer makes to § 170(c) organizations (in exchange for vacation, sick, or personal leave that its employees elect to forgo) constitute gross income or wages of the employees under certain circumstances.


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