Implementing the new tax law will dominate the guidance landscape for 2018, practitioners said at a recent Tax Reform Conference sponsored by the DC Bar Association. NSA Executive VP John Ams, who attended the conference, said that a number of Treasury and IRS attorneys responsible for implementation of the tax reform bill were panelists at the conference but few had any answers. “That’s something we are looking at” was the most frequent response to questions posed by conference participants said Ams.
Mark Mazur, Treasury Department assistant secretary for tax policy under President Barack Obama, a panelist at the conference said that, “There are a thousand things that are crying out for guidance,” even as he acknowledged that he was unable to receive answers to his questions either. “The IRS is probably multiplying time sensitivity versus importance. We’ll see where things fall out.” Mazur, now director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, said he thinks pass-throughs are going to be a big issue, but with limited IRS budgets, “Treasury and IRS are going to have to go through some kind of ruthless prioritization.”