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TAX TAKE: Waiting on the Bluebook

Tax Alert

The tax policy community is anxiously awaiting the release of the Joint Committee on Taxation's "General Explanation of Tax Legislation Enacted in the 116th Congress," commonly known as the "Bluebook." This post-enactment report will contain a comprehensive analysis and explanation of all tax legislation that was enacted in 2019 and 2020. Although traditionally released after each Congress, anticipation for this pending Bluebook is particularly high given the numerous pieces of COVID-19 relief legislation that were enacted on an expedited basis and, therefore, without accompanying legislative history.

Although the precedential value of the Bluebook as post-enactment legislative history is subject to some debate, its comprehensive analysis of recently enacted legislation will be particularly informative in light of the absence of traditional committee and conference reports. Perhaps most importantly, it will inform future Treasury Department regulations and other guidance. It will also be interesting to see how the Bluebook explanations align with the FAQs and other informal guidance that were issued under numerous COVID-19 relief provisions, such as the new employee retention tax credit. In addition to explaining recently enacted legislation, the Bluebook also traditionally identifies potential technical corrections. 

The timing of the release of the Bluebook is uncertain, but taxpayers will benefit from a quick review and analysis of the report once it is made publicly available. #TaxTake

In The News

Jorge commented on the IRS "quick refund" processing delays noting the IRS is currently taking more than 10 months to process these refunds. He said that while he recognizes the pandemic has imposed challenges on the agency, the delays are particularly challenging for businesses relying on the refunds.

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