Procedure and administration: Federal Reserve banks; removal as depositaries,
[Federal Register: December 26, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 248)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
Internal Revenue Service
26 CFR Part 301
Removal of Federal Reserve Banks as Federal Depositaries
AGENCY: Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.
ACTION: Temporary regulations
SUMMARY: This document contains temporary regulations relating to the deposit of Federal taxes pursuant to section 6302 of the Internal Revenue Code. The regulations remove Federal Reserve banks as authorized depositaries for Federal tax deposits. The regulations affect taxpayers that make Federal tax deposits using paper Federal Tax Deposit (FTD) coupons (Form 8109) at Federal Reserve banks.
DATES: Effective Date: These regulations are effective December 26, 2000.
Applicability Date: These regulations apply to deposits made after December 31, 2000.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brinton T. Warren (202) 622-4940 (not a toll-free number).
Background and Explanation of Provisions
This document contains amendments to the Procedure and Administration Regulations (26 CFR part 301) relating to Federal tax deposits under section 6302(c) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). Section 6302(c) provides that the Secretary may authorize Federal Reserve banks, and incorporated banks, trust companies, domestic building and loan associations, or credit unions that are depositaries or financial agents of the United States, to receive any tax imposed under the internal revenue laws, in such manner, at such times, and under such conditions as the Secretary may prescribe. Pursuant to this authority, various regulations provide that Federal Reserve banks, as well as other authorized financial institutions, may receive certain Federal tax deposits.
In cooperation with the Treasury Department's Financial Management Service (FMS), the Federal Reserve System has been streamlining its Treasury Tax and Loan (TT&L) Operation to respond to the fact that the overwhelming majority of Federal Tax Deposits (FTDs) are now received electronically. The widespread adoption of electronic deposits by taxpayers is an important aspect of improving the efficiency, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of the Treasury Department's financial management. In general, compared to the universe of all tax deposits, the percentage of FTDs made with paper coupons has significantly declined. FTDs made with paper coupons at Federal Reserve banks now constitute only a tiny percentage of all tax deposits. For example, in Fiscal Year 1999, of the approximately 100 million Federal tax deposits, made by paper coupon and electronically, only about 270,000, or less than one half of one percent, were paper coupons presented at Federal Reserve banks. Additionally, the number of paper coupons presented at Federal Reserve banks has declined over twenty- five percent since 1997.
The Treasury Department has developed an array of other deposit options that are more convenient for taxpayers to use, and more economical to process, than deposits with Federal Reserve banks. For example, taxpayers may use their touch tone telephone or personal computer to make deposits 24 hours a day through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). For those taxpayers who still prefer paper coupons over electronic deposits, there are now more than 10,000 financial institutions nationwide that are designated as TT&L depositaries where taxpayers may make FTD deposits using paper coupons.
In response to the declining number of deposits being made with paper coupons at Federal Reserve banks, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis was selected, effective May 1, 2000, to serve as the only Federal Reserve bank accepting FTDs. Even after this consolidation, however, it is no longer cost-effective for the Federal Reserve bank in St. Louis to process the small number of paper coupons it receives annually. Accordingly, these temporary regulations remove all Federal Reserve banks as depositaries for Federal taxes. To mitigate any difficulties for those taxpayers who still do not wish to use the deposit alternatives discussed above, the Treasury Department has authorized a financial agent to receive and process FTD payments through the mail, thereby maintaining a mail-in alternative for taxpayers who do not have an account with an authorized financial institution and who do not wish to use EFTPS. The address for this mail-in alternative is Financial Agent, Federal Tax Deposit Processing, P.O. Box 970030, St. Louis, Missouri, 63197. The IRS is also issuing proposed regulations that remove Federal Reserve banks as depositaries of Federal taxes. See the notice of proposed rulemaking on this subject in the Proposed Rules section of this issue of the Federal Register.
It has been determined that this Treasury decision is not a significant regulatory action as defined in Executive Order 12866. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required. It also has been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to these regulations, and because the regulations do not impose a collection of information on small entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) does not apply. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, these regulations will be submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on their impact on small business.
The principal author of these regulations is Brinton T. Warren of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel, Procedure and Administration (Administrative Provisions and Judicial Practice Division). However, other personnel from the IRS and Treasury Department participated in their development.
List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 301
Employment taxes, Estate taxes, Excise taxes, Gift taxes, Income taxes, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
Amendments to the Regulations
Accordingly, 26 CFR part 301 is amended as follows:
Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 301 continues to read in part as follows:
Authority: 26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *
Par. 2. Section 301.6302-1T is added to read as follows:
Sec. 301.6302-1T Use of Federal Reserve banks after December 31, 2000
Federal Reserve banks are not authorized depositaries for Federal tax deposits made after December 31, 2000.
Dated: December 6, 2000. Robert E. Wenzel, Deputy Commissioner of Internal Revenue.
Approved: December 6, 2000. Jonathan Talisman, Acting Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy.
[FR Doc. 00-32567Filed12-22-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4830-01-U