On March 2, 2010, the SEC and the IRS executed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) outlining their commitment to enhance compliance by the municipal securities industry with the rules and regulations each agency is responsible for enforcing. The MOU provides that the SEC and the IRS will work cooperatively to identify issues and industry trends, and develop strategies to enhance performance of each agency’s responsibilities within the tax exempt bonds/municipal securities industry.
The MOU specifically aims to (1) improve coordination and information sharing between the SEC and the IRS, and (2) promote educational and outreach events within the two agencies and the tax exempt bonds/municipal securities industry as a whole. To aid in the agencies’ cooperative efforts, the MOU provides for the creation of a Tax Exempt Bond/Municipal Securities Committee, which will coordinate discussions between the agencies regarding policy, procedure and compliance issues within the industry. In addition, the SEC and IRS agree to share information regarding, among other things, market risks, practices, and events relating to tax exempt bonds/municipal securities that may be of interest to the other agency. The agencies also agree to consider training opportunities addressing laws, policies, procedures and other issues the agencies encounter in completing their respective missions.
Through cooperative relationships such as this, the SEC and other regulatory agencies are better suited to protect investors by ensuring that they obtain the information necessary to make informed investment decisions and by ensuring that the securities industry operates in accordance with the laws put in place to protect investors.
A complete copy of the MOU can be found here.