IRS Issues 2013–2014 Priority Guidance Plan
On Aug. 9, the Treasury Department released its 2013–2014 Priority Guidance Plan. In IRS Notice 2013-22, the department solicited suggestions from all interested parties, including taxpayers, tax practitioners, and industry groups, to help formulate a Priority Guidance Plan that focuses resources on guidance items that are most important to taxpayers and tax administration.
The current 2013–2014 Priority Guidance Plan contains 324 projects that the IRS intends to work on actively during the plan year, but doesn’t place any deadlines on their completion. Projects relating to the LIHTC program include issuing: (1) guidance on the application of the design and construction accessibility requirements under the Fair Housing Act; (2) regulations relating to compliance monitoring, including issues identified in Notice 2012-18 (Physical Inspections Pilot Program); (3) a revenue procedure updating Revenue Procedure 2007-54, which provides relief under Section 42 in the case of a presidentially declared disaster; (4) guidance concerning the exception under Section 42(d)(6) for any federally or state-assisted building; and (5) final regulations concerning utility allowances under Section 42(g)(2)(B)(ii) for sub-metered buildings.
In addition, under the General Tax Issues category, the IRS listed guidance relating to the Supreme Court’s recent decision in United States v. Windsor, which determined that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled that persons of the same sex who are legally married under state law may not be deprived of federal benefits that are provided to married couples of the opposite sex.
This topic was recently discussed in an LIHC Newsletter published on Aug. 27 by Grace Robertson of the IRS. The issue is whether a gay couple, who are married under state law, can be found eligible for the LIHTC program under the exception in the student rule that allows married couples who file jointly to qualify, even if every household member attends school full time.
According to Robertson, registered domestic partners and same-sex partners who are legally married under state law cannot file federal tax returns as “married filing separately” or “married filing jointly” because federal law doesn’t treat same sex partners as married for federal tax purposes. Therefore, the rule continues to be applied only for couples of the opposite sex. Robertson also notes the section of the 2013-2014 Priority Guidance Plan indicating that the IRS intends to provide guidance on the Supreme Court’s decision that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.