Tax Officials Release Official Guidance Release List

July 26, 2004 ( - Federal tax officials on Monday announced their "honey do" list when it comes to areas on which they'd like to issue official guidance for the coming fiscal year, including for issues such as ESOPs and health reimbursement arrangements.

Gregory Jenner, acting assistant secretary for Tax Policy, IRS Commissioner Mark Everson and IRS Chief Counsel Donald Korb said in a news release that their  to-do list includes 276 guidance projects they’d like to check off between July 2004 and June 2005.

Included in the document are 47 items dealing with retirement benefits, executive compensation, health care and other benefits and employment taxes.

These include guidance about:

  • ESOPs
  • guidance on health reimbursement arrangements (HRA)
  • electronic benefits communications
  • post-severance elective deferrals
  • the election between taxable and non-taxable benefits
  • the value of life insurance for split dollar and pension plans
  • guidance on inventive stock options
  • IRA “abuses.”

The officials said they will update their Priority Guidance Plan on a quarterly basis again this year.  “The quarterly updates allow us additional flexibility throughout the plan year to consider comments received from taxpayers and tax practitioners relating to additional projects and to respond to recent developments,” the officials said.

“The published guidance process can be fully successful only if we have the benefit of the insight and experience of taxpayers and practitioners who must apply the rules,” the officials said in the news release.