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March 29, 2022

IRS Allows Telephonic TEFRA Hearings Indefinitely

On March 18, 2022, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2022-20, which modifies and supersedes Rev. Proc. 2020-21 and Rev. Proc. 2021-39, and permanently allows public hearings on proposed issues of qualified private-activity bonds to be held by teleconference.  

At the beginning of the pandemic, the IRS temporarily allowed public hearings to be held by public teleconference using a toll-free telephone number. As noted in a our prior news alert, this was a complete departure from previous guidance and determinations by the Treasury Department and IRS that prohibited TEFRA hearings from being held by teleconference with only remote attendance. The initial modification to the rules, Rev. Proc. 2020-21, was extended numerous times during the pandemic. The most recent extension allowed the use of teleconferences through March 31, 2022. This Revenue Procedure 2022-20 makes the modification permanent.

Public hearings are meant to provide a reasonable opportunity for interested individuals to express their views, orally or in writing, on a project. The location of the public hearing must be convenient for residents of the governmental unit. Prior to the pandemic, this meant a physical location and an in-person hearing. 

Now, according to Rev. Proc. 2022-20,

“[a] hearing that is held by teleconference accessible to the residents of the approving governmental unit by calling a toll-free telephone number will be treated as held in a location that, based on the facts and circumstances, is convenient for residents of the approving governmental unit for the purpose of § 1.147(f)-1(d)(2).”

Furthermore, the revenue procedure notes that other acceptable locations for public hearings include other telephone numbers, internet-based meeting technology, and in-person attendance, so long as the requirements of Section 1.147(f)-1(d)(2) of the federal regulations are met.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Sharon Brown, Public Finance Practice Area co-chair, at; Carolyn Trespasz, associate, at; or another member of the firm’s Public Finance Practice Area.

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