Everything is getting blurry!! Where am I? The sands seem to be shifting under my feet. I get this way when the Treasury Department keeps changing the definitions of words for temporary periods. In other words, they say that a word in a statute has a particular meaning for one year and a different meaning for the following year.
Literally on the last day of the year, the Treasury Department has issued an edict that the word “obligation” will not mean what we thought it would mean on the first day of next year (i.e., tomorrow).
I am talking about Notice 2010-12 that extends the application of Notice 2008-91 for another year. On October 27, 2008, the Treasury Department published Notice 2008-91, which describes a temporary elective exclusion from the definition of “obligation” for purposes of Code § 956. The temporary period was set to expire on December 31, 2009. Notice 2010-12 extends the temporary period until December 31, 2010.
The Notice provides that the Treasury Department does “not anticipate extending the [modified definition] to any additional periods.” They sound like they are addicted to this new-found power to redefine words, but that “really, we can kick the habit.”
If the Treasury Department, rather than Congress and the President, can temporarily change the definition of “obligation” in Code § 956(c)(1)(C) from one year to the next, it would be nice if they would change the definition of “15%” in Code § 1(h)(1)(C) to “zero” - - - - - - just for one year - - - - - - only on an elective basis - - - - - - please??