IRS finalizes centralized partnership audit regulations

By Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.

The IRS on Friday issued final regulations (T.D. 9844) that implement the centralized partnership audit regime that now governs partnership audit procedures.

The final regulations affect partnerships for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, and ending after Aug. 12, 2018, as well as partnerships that elected to apply the centralized partnership audit regime to partnership tax years beginning on or after Nov. 2, 2015, and before Jan. 1, 2018. They will be effective upon their official publication in the Federal Register, which is scheduled for Feb. 27. (The IRS had posted the regulations to its website in December, just before the partial federal government shutdown.)

Under the centralized audit regime, tax is generally determined, assessed, and collected at the partnership level. It was enacted by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, P.L. 114-74, and amended by the Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act of 2015, P.L. 114-113, and the Tax Technical Corrections Act of 2018, part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, P.L. 115-141. It replaces the former partnership audit procedures implemented by the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, P.L. 97-248.

The regulations finalize portions of proposed regulations issued last August (REG-136118-15) with a number of changes in response to comments received in writing and at a hearing on Oct. 9. The comments are discussed in depth in the 255-page preamble to the final regulations. The IRS also noted that it had already issued final regulations on partnership representatives and opting out of the centralized regime.

Sally P. Schreiber, J.D., (Sally.Schreiber@aicpa-cima.com) is a JofA senior editor.

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