Counsel Statement and Invitation for Public Comment on PLR User Fee Increase


January 4, 2021

The Office of Chief Counsel has conducted its biennial review of the user fees for private letter rulings (PLRs) and other rulings contained in Rev. Proc. 2021-1, 2021-1 I.R.B. 1 (Jan. 4, 2021), in accordance with the requirements for setting such fees provided in IRC section 7528.  Based on our data establishing the average time for responding to a ruling request and other factors, including average attorney costs and overhead, this revenue procedure includes a 26.7 percent increase in the user fee for requests for PLRs from the Office of Chief Counsel.  Substantially discounted fees remain available for most taxpayers with annual adjusted gross income below $1 million.  The fee increase for higher income taxpayers is driven by a combination of the costing methodology utilized, a decline in the overall number of rulings issued, and an increase in the relative complexity of the rulings that are requested.

Cognizant of the fact that increased user fees in recent years may, in part, explain the decline in the overall number of rulings requested, the Office of Chief Counsel is considering whether there are alternative  fee structures that could better match the fee charged with the complexity and work involved in issuing the ruling.  The letter ruling process plays a critical role in tax administration by providing taxpayers with up-front assurance on the treatment of an issue, thereby avoiding costly and time-consuming back-end compliance activity.  The letter ruling process also helps the Service identify areas that require further explanation or guidance.  To advance these goals, the Office of Chief Counsel is soliciting public input on how the fee structure for letter rulings might better match the specific rulings requested.

Any comments on the determination of user fees for requests for PLRs under IRC section 7528 may be submitted electronically to  The Office of Chief Counsel requests that comments be received by March 1, 2021.