WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service plans to issue guidance soon on the kinds of physician recruitment activities that could undermine the tax-exempt status of nonprofit hospitals and their bonds, an agency official said last week.

T.J. Sullivan, a special assistant for health care at the IRS, told lawyers meeting here for a course on tax-free charitable organizations that the agency is drafting a general counsel memorandum on physician recruitment. He said it will resemble a memorandum the agency issued last year on joint ventures between hospitals and doctors.

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