State Tax Snapshot: Some States Don’t Issue, Release Private Letter Rulings

One of the main challenges in researching state tax issues is the lack of statutes or regulations on many important topics.

To fill this gap, most state tax departments issue private letter rulings to provide taxpayers with guidance on specific questions.

But some states do not issue private rulings at all, while others do not make them available to the public, according to a panel discussing the transparency obligations of state and local government at the American Bar Association’s Tax Section Meeting in Washington, D.C., May 11.

Forty-six out of the 50 states issue private letter rulings, the panelists said. The four states that do not issue public letter rulings, according to the panelists, are: Alaska, Kentucky, Minnesota, and South Dakota.

Seven states issue public letter rulings, but do not release them to the public. These jurisdictions are Arkansas, District of Columbia, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, Washington, and Wyoming, the panelists said.

By Steven Roll
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