Legal Alert

Tax-Exempt Bonds: Telephonic Public Hearings Now Permanent

March 22, 2022

For public hearings held on or after March 18, 2022, new Revenue Procedure 2022-20, released by the Internal Revenue Service, allows issuers and approving governmental units to conduct telephonic public hearings for tax-exempt private activity bonds. Treasury Regulation § 1.147(f)-1(d)(2) requires that a public hearing be held in a location that is convenient for residents of the governmental unit approving the bonds.

The regulation states that a location is presumed convenient if the public hearing is located in the approving governmental unit’s capital or seat of government. To satisfy the Revenue Procedure, a teleconference must be accessible to the public by calling a toll-free telephone number. If a toll-free telephone number is available for a public hearing, additional access may also be offered to that public hearing by other telephone numbers, internet-based meeting technology, or in-person attendance.

Previously, in response to COVID restrictions, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2020-21 and Revenue Procedure 2021-39 on May 4, 2020, and August 31, 2021, respectively, which permitted a public hearing to be held by teleconference accessible to the residents of the approving governmental entity, by calling a toll-free number. Revenue Procedure 2022-20 modifies and supersedes these prior Revenue Procedures by permanently permitting teleconference hearings.

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