The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to dominate any regulatory and enforcement actions taken by the Internal Revenue Service in 2021 involving the public finance sector.
The pandemic is superseding other issues, such as the phase-out of Libor, efforts to reduce the cost of IRS private letter rulings and eliminating the adversarial elements in the IRS voluntary closing agreement program (VCAP) for tax-exempt and other tax advantage bonds.
In the early months of the pandemic, the IRS began granting regulatory relief and that has continued.
Most recently, a Dec. 11 memorandum issued by Sunita Lough, IRS deputy commissioner for services and enforcement, gives a six-month waiver through June 2021 for handwritten signatures on several forms, including the series Form 8038 pertaining to tax-exempt bonds.
The waiver allows electronic or facsimile signatures to suffice.
National Association of Bond Lawyers board member Matthias Edrich, a partner at Kutak Rock in Denver, said the Treasury and IRS