Anti-Burden EO Does Not Cover Retirement-Related Regs

By John Iekel • July 20, 2017 • 0 Comments
President Trump’s recent executive order intended to cut tax regulatory burdens does not apply to retirement-related regulations and actions by the IRS, the Treasury Department has indicated in a recent notice.

The IRS in Notice 2017-38 listed regulations covered by President Trump’s Executive Order 13789 on April 21, instructing the Secretary of the Treasury to review all significant tax regulations concrete action to issued on or after Jan. 1, 2016, and submit two reports, followed promptly by alleviate the burdens of regulations that meet criteria the order outlines. The order is aimed particularly at regulations that:

  • impose an undue financial burden on U.S. taxpayers;

  • add undue complexity to federal tax law; or

  • exceed the statutory authority of the IRS.

Notice 2017-38 notes that between Jan. 1, 2016, and April 21, 2017, Treasury and the IRS issued 105 temporary, proposed and final regulations. It reports that during this period, Treasury and the IRS issued one regulation — under Internal Revenue Code Section 385 — that the Office of Management and Budget designated as “significant” as defined by Executive Order 12866.

In the notice, the IRS says that 53 of the 105 regulations issued during the relevant review period are minor or technical and generated minimal public comment; it reexamined the other 52 per Trump’s executive order. Of those 52, the Treasury identified eight that meet at least one of the criteria in Executive Order 13789; none of them are directly related to retirement benefits.

Comments Requested

The Treasury is requesting comments on whether the eight regulations it listed in the notice should be rescinded or modified. But it also notes that under Executive Order 13777, “Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” it is to conduct a broader review of existing regulations, including tax regulations beyond those addressed in Notice 2017-38. In a Request for Information published in the Federal Register of June 14, 2017 (82 F.R. 27217), the Treasury invited public comment concerning regulations that should be modified or eliminated in order to reduce unnecessary burdens. Comments can be submitted by July 31, 2017. Comments can be submitted electronically through the federal eRulemaking Portal at