Washington, D.C. – Cause of Action Institute has secured access to a series of previously undisclosed memoranda of agreement between the IRS and the White House, which the IRS claims exempts it from prepublication review of its rules.  The release includes agreements between the IRS and White House from 1983 and 1993 that contain “exemptions from regulatory review.”

The IRS has resisted providing the memos to Congress, which have been sought by the Senate Finance Committee but to-date have not yet been provided.  The memos were also discussed in a recently released Government Accountability Office audit.  However, until today, the memos have not been made public.

Click here to access the memos.

Cause of Action Institute President and CEO, and former federal judge, Alfred J. Lechner, Jr.: “Agencies of the federal government should not operate by secret agreement with the White House.  Lawful prepublication reviews are critical to the regulatory process to ensure that rules are developed in a fair and transparent manner. The IRS has skirted these rules for far too long.”

Typically, agencies submit their rules to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for regulatory review before publication.  However, the IRS has long claimed an exemption from this rule.  As Cause of Action Institute argued to the Supreme Court in an amicus brief, “Over the past ten years, the IRS has submitted only eight rules to OIRA [the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs] for regulatory review and deemed only one of those rules significant.  Those eight rules are less than one percent of the final rules the IRS published in the Federal Register over the same period.”