Reg Watch

• The IRS has proposed a rule that clarifies the policy for the disclosure of information from an individual’s tax return to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the agency that determines eligibility for health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act. Starting in 2014, “affordable insurance exchanges will provide competitive marketplaces for individuals and small employers to directly compare available private health insurance options … on the basis of price [and] quality.” Eligibility depends partially on the “modified adjusted gross incomes “of the person … claiming the credit.” This proposal allows the IRS to calculate and provide income information to HHS when an income figure is not readily available — such as cases of a taxpayer previously being claimed as a dependent or a taxpayer whose income consists of tax-free Social Security payments. Comments are due by Aug. 31.


• The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a division of the Treasury Department, has proposed a rule to impose two measures against JSC Credex Bank, listed as a financial institution of “primary money laundering concern.” The first would “require any domestic financial institution to maintain records, file reports, or both, concerning the aggregate amount of transactions” from a “financial institution operating outside of the United States found to be of primary money laundering concern.” The other measure would authorize a “prohibition against the opening or maintaining” accounts that “receive deposits from, or make payments … on behalf of a foreign bank” by American financial institutions and agencies for entities thought to be “of concern.” The measures are being proposed against Credex because of its “pervasive lack of transparency,” and it having “a disproportionately large volume of transactions for a bank of its size.” Its alleged “use by shell companies” also gives the agency cause for concern. Comments are due by July 30.


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• The Office of Federal Procurement Policy, a department within the Office of Management and Budget, has proposed a rule to revise the process known as “value engineering,” defined as “an effective technique for cutting waste and inefficiency, helping federal agencies save billions of dollars … improve performance, enhance quality” by removing “nonessential functions.” The agency is proposing modification to “reflect present-day buying strategies and practices, such as performance-based service contracting.” The provisions include ways to implement an increase in the use of value engineering and simplify the process, including reducing the number of projects required to be reported to OMB, simplifying the reporting format “to include a description of the methodology used to calculate savings,” updating terminology within the statute and removing the requirement that the agency’s inspector general inspect the programs every two years, among others. Comments are due by Aug. 7.