WASHINGTON -- In the wake of a recent Supreme Court decision, the Internal Revenue Service appears to be abandoning a widely used revenue ruling that allows issuers to extend the maturity of their bonds without causing the bonds to be reissued under stricter tax laws, a bond lawyer said this week.

Brian G. Belislee, a lawyer with Briggs & Morgan in Minneapolis, found the IRS to be "predisposed to saying Revenue Ruling 73-160 is no longer good law" in telling him that it would probably issue an unfavorable letter ruling for a client that needed an extension of bond maturity to avoid financial hardship.

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