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Private-Ruling Requests Can Be Made Electronically, IRS Says

April 30, 2020, 2:54 PM

The IRS is allowing taxpayers to submit requests for private letter rulings and other legal advice electronically instead of on paper amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Under guidance released Thursday, the agency is also permitting the use of electronic signatures on the required documents. Revenue Procedure 2020-29 is the IRS’s latest attempt at easing correspondence with taxpayers, which has become more complicated because of Covid-19.

  • The IRS previously loosened some email and electronic signature policies to make it easier for taxpayers and their advisers to submit documents related to tax assessment and collection, such as waivers of tax deficiency notices.
  • The IRS said it will continue to accept paper submissions for legal advice but taxpayers may face delays because of limited personnel sorting and processing documents sent by mail. “Electronic submission in accordance with this revenue procedure will allow for more expeditious processing than paper submission,” the agency said.
  • The new revenue procedure is effective immediately and until modified or superseded.

To contact the reporter on this story: Allyson Versprille in Washington at aversprille@bloombergtax.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Patrick Ambrosio at pambrosio@bloombergtax.com; Kathy Larsen at klarsen@bloombergtax.com