In an effort to resume normal operations while dealing with the coronavirus, the IRS issued Rev. Proc. 2020-29. Under the Revenue Procedure, taxpayers may electronically submit requests for private letter rulings, closing agreements, determination letters and information letters. The IRS will continue to accept paper submissions, however, electronic submissions will allow for more expeditious handling of the request.
The procedure temporarily modifies Rev. Proc. 2020-1, which provides the procedures for requesting letter rulings, closing agreements, determination letters and information letters. This new Revenue Procedure allows for the electronic submission of those requests. The procedure also applies to determination letters issued by the Large Business and International Division. The new procedure does not modify the submission procedures for determination letters issued by the Small Business/Self Employed Division, Wage and Investment Division or Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division.
Rev. Proc. 2020-29, allows taxpayers to request advice either by fax, or via email using compressed and encrypted email attachments. If a taxpayer submits a request via email, the taxpayer must include an image of the signed “Acknowledgment of the Risks of Email” document. That document is attached to the revenue procedure as Attachment A. Any compressed and encrypted email attachments must be compatible with Secure ZIP. Due to the security risks associated with compressed and encrypted email attachments, the IRS recommends submitting requests via fax. Additionally, a taxpayer that has already submitted a paper copy of a request, may make an electronic submission, but should indicate that it is a duplicate request.
A submission request under jurisdiction of the Associate Chief Counsel Office can be faxed to (877) 773-4950, and a determination letter request under the jurisdiction of a LB&I can be faxed to (844) 249-6231. A Taxpayer that submits a request that exceeds 10 MB or 50 page should break the submission into smaller components and sequentially number the submissions.
The email address for requests that fall under the jurisdiction the Associate Chief Counsel Office is: email@example.com. The email address for determination requests under the jurisdiction of LB&I is: firstname.lastname@example.org. A Taxpayer that submits a request that exceeds five MB should break the submission into smaller components, none that exceed five MB, and sequentially number the submissions.
The Revenue Procedure also allows electronic signatures rather than wet signatures, as was previously required with Rev. Proc. 2020-1. The electronic signature procedures apply to either electronic or paper submissions. An acceptable electronic signature is an image of a signature, scanned or photographed and formatted as a tiff, jpg, jpeg, pdf, Microsoft Office suite or Zip file.
Taxpayers should consult their tax advisor if considering filing a submission impacted by this IRS guidance.