Tax Notes Today Quotes Greg Jenner on Lack of Response to Deadwood Tax Reg Suggestion Box

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“I think the reaction of the tax community speaks for itself. In a word: ‘Meh!’ ” —Greg Jenner on reaction of the tax community to crowdsourcing cleanup of tax regulations.
Tax attorney Greg Jenner was quoted in Tax Notes Today in an article titled “Treasury’s Deadwood Tax Reg Suggestion Box Still Largely Unused,” published May 7, 2018. (Subscription required.) The article discusses the reaction to a solicitation by the IRS for feedback on a proposed rule that lists 298 regulations the IRS and Treasury Department deem obsolete and intend to eliminate. As of May 10, the tally at a web-based suggestion box stood at three.

While some argue that before issuing new guidance to implement the Tax Cuts and Job Act, it makes sense to eliminate obsolete regulations, partly because the presence of outdated tax regulations can still trip up inexperienced tax practitioners, Jenner said that generally most practitioners know their practice areas well enough that obsolete tax regs aren’t an issue.

The tax rulemaking process is a zero-sum game in which “time devoted to chasing deadwood is not time devoted to new guidance,” Jenner said. “I don’t find the trade-off worthwhile.”

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