Do you want to know whether a prospective transaction violates the tax law? You can get the IRS to tell you, by filing a private letter ruling (PLR) request. The IRS is ordinarily bound by its answer.
You can ask just about anything. Of course, you have to pay for it, but then at least the IRS will give you the news—good or bad.
For example, a same-sex couple wanted to know whether they could deduct as a medical expense the cost of in vitro fertilization for a female surrogate. They filed a PLR request, and the IRS ruled against them.
But most businesses file PLR requests when they need relief from missing an important filing deadline, such as filing a late election for taxation as an S corporation. Businesses also often request PLRs to change accounting methods or tax years.
How It Works
PLRs are usually issued by the IRS National Office. You must file ... Log in to view full article.