Authored by: Michael Wronsky and Michelle Hobbs
On Jan. 20, the White House imposed a moratorium on all federal regulations. Per a presidential memorandum issued to the heads of all executive departments and agencies by White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, no new regulations are to be sent to the Federal Register until reviewed and approved by the new administration. Regulations that have been sent to the Federal Register but not yet published (a requirement for the law to become effective) must be withdrawn for review and approval. Those that have been published but are not yet effective are to have their effective dates postponed until 60 days following the memorandum issue date. The memorandum references an exception for “emergency situations or other urgent circumstances relating to health, safety, financial, or national security matters.”
Such orders halting regulatory activity are not uncommon. Both of the previous two administrations took similar actions; Barack Obama’s in 2009, and George W. Bush’s in 2001.
Recently released tax rules that had not yet been published in the Federal Register have since been withdrawn in compliance with this memorandum, including the proposed partnership audit regulations, final and temporary section 871(m) dividend equivalent regulations, and the final section 7704 regulations on publicly traded partnerships. At this time, it is unclear whether these regulations ultimately will be published, and if so, to what extent, if any, they would be modified as a result of the administrative review process.
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