George Hani commented on the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS's) newly issued revenue procedure for cases that have been docketed in the Tax Court. Hani said the clarifications improved the revenue procedure language and that some of the clarifications involved areas where practitioners thought they knew what was intended but the language could have been clearer. Hani was one of the contributors to the American Bar Association comment letter, which said that requests for time frames, such as for referral to Appeals or the decision by the taxpayer or chief counsel to keep the case from Appeals, is one area he hopes will be addressed in the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM). "Obviously that is an easier document to adjust and modify as they gain experience with how the rules work and when time frames are unrealistic or don't work appropriately, and that is completely understandable," he said.
The IRS has been receptive to the comments, particularly the clarifications of ambiguous language, however some of the remaining suggestions are likely to be addressed in the IRM. "[O]thers may just be where the government has decided it wants to retain a bit of flexibility," Hani said. "While taxpayers understandably prefer certainty, the government sometimes understandably prefers flexibility."