Private Letter Rulings
- What is a Private Letter Ruling?
- Whom do I contact about a routine tax question?
- What if I don’t know if it is a routine tax question?
- Can Private Letter Rulings be used in an appeal before the Commission?
- How can I view previously issued Private Letter Rulings?
- What if I am sure I have a new question about the interpretation of a statute as it applies to certain facts?
- What if I receive a Private Letter Ruling and disagree with its conclusions?
A private letter ruling is a written, informational statement of the Commission’s interpretation of statutes or administrative rules and their application to a particular set of facts or circumstances. A private letter ruling typically addresses unusual or complex questions pertaining to a particular taxpayer. Private letter rulings are governed by Utah Administrative Code R861-1A-34.
It should be noted, the Commission does not issue private letter rulings to answer routine tax questions.
Routine tax questions are generally answered by the Technical Research Unit of the Tax Commission. You may call the Technical Research Unit at (801) 297-7705.
If you want a written answer to your Utah tax question, you may send a written request for the information to the Technical Research Unit by the following methods:
Technical Research Unit
Utah State Tax Commission
210 N 1950 W
Salt Lake City UT 84134-7000
Please include the following with your request:
- your contact information,
- a statement that you are requesting a written answer to your question(s),
- a description of the facts and circumstances of your situation, and
- any other pertinent information.
The Commission suggests that you send your question to the Technical Research Unit. Technical Research Unit’s contact information is above. If the Technical Research Unit receives your request and concludes that your question cannot be answered using the Utah statutes, rules, or prior decisions, then the Technical Research Unit may forward your question to the Commission for the Commission to answer through a private letter ruling.
Yes. If an appeal is filed subsequent to the issuance of a private letter ruling, the weight the Commission gives a private letter ruling in a subsequent appeal by the same taxpayer depends on the degree to which the underlying facts addressed in the private letter ruling were adequate to allow the Commission to thoroughly consider the issues and interests involved. Private letter rulings may be used in appeals by people other than the ones who requested the rulings; however, the weight the Commission gives the private letter rulings depends on the similarity of the facts presented in the appeals to the facts addressed in the private letter rulings.
The Commission will not issue a private letter ruling for any legal question also being addressed by an appeal pending before the Tax Commission.
The public may research and view redacted copies of most private letter rulings through the Searchable Database of Private Letter Rulings, located on the tab above. To protect the privacy of the people who have requested private letter rulings, the Commission has removed confidential information from the private letter rulings before publishing them. If you are able to identify a person, entity, or subject property when reading a private letter ruling posted on this website, please notify the Tax Commission immediately at email@example.com.
What if I am sure I have a new question
about the interpretation of a statute as it applies to certain facts?
If you want a private letter ruling, you may mail your letter requesting a private letter ruling to the following address:
Office of the Commission
Utah State Tax Commission
210 N 1950 W
Salt Lake City UT 84134
Alternatively, you may fax your letter to 801-297-2292 or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. To help the Commission get your private letter ruling request processed efficiently and in a timely manner, we ask that you send an electronic copy of the private letter ruling request in a Microsoft Word format.
Your letter requesting a private letter ruling should be addressed to the “Commissioners” and should include the following information:
- Your contact information
- A statement that you are requesting a private letter ruling
- A description of your facts
- Your Utah tax question(s)
- Other pertinent information
If you believe a particular answer to your tax question is correct, please also include the following:
- A statement of what you think is the correct answer
- The reasons you think that answer is correct
To see examples of request letters, you may view other private letter rulings through the Searchable Database of Private Letter Rulings, located on the tab above. Currently, there is no fee for you to request a private letter ruling from the Commission.
After the Commission receives your letter requesting a private letter ruling, the Commission will decide whether it will issue a private letter ruling to answer your tax question. If the Commission decides to issue a private letter ruling, the Commission will contact you and ask for a copy of your letter in Microsoft Word format if you have not already provided it. Also, the Commission may ask you additional questions about the facts you presented. Please keep the contact information you provide the Commission up-to-date. If the Commission decides not to issue a private letter ruling, your question may still be answered by the Technical Research Unit of the Tax Commission.
If you have additional questions about the procedures of private letter rulings or the status of your private letter ruling request, you may email your question to email@example.com or call either Christa Johnson, Executive Assistant, at 801-297-3901 or Aimee Nielson-Larios, Administrative Law Judge, through her clerk at 801-297-3904.
If you are issued a private letter ruling and think the Commission misunderstood your facts or you have additional facts that may be relevant, you are welcome to contact the Commission. This may be done through the methods discussed in the above section titled “What if I am sure I have a new question about the interpretation of a statute as it applies to certain facts?”
Additionally, you may also appeal your private letter ruling in the following two ways.
First, you may file a petition for declaratory order, which would serve to challenge the Commission’s interpretation of statutory language or authority under a statute. This petition must be in written form and submitted within thirty (30) days after the date of the issued private letter ruling. You may submit your petition by any of the means given below. Failure to submit your petition within the 30-day time frame could forfeit your appeal rights. Declaratory orders are discussed in Utah Administrative Code R861-1A-34 C, and in Utah Administrative Code R861-1A-31.
Second, you may file a petition for redetermination of agency action if your private letter ruling leads to an audit assessment, a denial of a claim, or some other agency action at a division level. This petition must be written and may use form TC-738, Petition for Redetermination. Your petition must be submitted by any of the means given below, within thirty (30) days, generally, of the date of the notice of agency action that describes the agency action you are challenging.
For additional general information, see Tax Commission Appeals. You may file an appeal through any of the means provided below:
- Best way—by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- By mail:
210 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84134
- By fax: 801-297-3919
Searchable Database of Private Letter Rulings
Due to the number of rulings available, we can’t offer a full listing. Instead, we’ve provided this database that includes rulings dating back to 1989. Hint: put your search phrase in “quotes” to search for an exact phrase.
If you are able to identify a person, entity, or subject property when reading a private letter ruling posted on this website, please notify the Tax Commission immediately at email@example.com.
Recent Private Letter Rulings
|Number||Response||Response Date||Posted||Posted Date||Subject Matter|
|12-006||2012-09-04||Sep 4, 2012||2012-09-05||Sep 5, 2012||Private Letter Ruling Request on the Application of the Utah Special Fuel Tax|
|12-005||2012-11-28||Nov 28, 2012||2012-11-28||Nov 28, 2012||Laboratory Testing Services Performed in Utah for Out-of-State Customers|
|12-008||2012-11-26||Nov 26, 2012||2012-11-28||Nov 28, 2012||Validity of a Paper-Filed Utah Tax Return Signed Through An Alternative Signature Method|
|10-012||2012-12-06||Dec 6, 2012||2012-12-10||Dec 10, 2012||Sales Tax Treatment of Web-Based Database Services|
|12-002||2012-12-07||Dec 7, 2012||2012-12-10||Dec 10, 2012||Utah Sales Tax Treatment of Sales of Access to Online News Service|
|12-009||2013-02-08||Feb 8, 2013||2013-02-25||Feb 25, 2013||Sales Nexus and Corporate Franchise Tax Nexus Analysis for Out-of-State Companies Attending Festival and Tradeshow in Utah|
|12-010||2013-02-08||Feb 8, 2013||2013-03-07||Mar 7, 2013||Sales Taxation Implications of Sales of Gift Codes|
|13-005||2013-10-30||Oct 30, 2013||2013-11-19||Nov 19, 2013||Refundable Motion Picture Tax Credit|
|03-018||2013-12-12||Dec 12, 2013||2013-12-04||Dec 4, 2013||Manufacturing Equipment and Industrial Fuel Use Exemptions|
|13-003||2013-12-04||Dec 4, 2013||2013-12-09||Dec 9, 2013||Sales Taxability of the “Cloud Collaboration Service Offering”|
|13-002||2013-12-10||Dec 10, 2013||2013-12-17||Dec 17, 2013||Whether the Manufacturing Equipment Exemption would Exempt the Purchases of Certain Refinery Assets from Utah Sales and Use Tax|
|13-004||2013-12-13||Dec 13, 2013||2013-12-17||Dec 17, 2013||Utah Capital Gain Transaction Credit|
|13-006||2014-05-29||May 29, 2014||2014-06-03||Jun 3, 2014||* Rescinded June 20, 2014 * Trade-In Exemption Found in Utah Code § 59-12- 104(17) of the Utah Sales and Use Tax Act|
|11-007||2012-08-16||Aug 16, 2012||2012-08-20||Aug 20, 2012||Utah Sales Tax Treatment of Repair Services on Turbine Generators Located in Utah and Used to Generate Electricity for Sale|
|12-004||2012-05-31||May 31, 2012||2012-06-07||Jun 7, 2012||For Sales Tax Purposes, the Applicability of the Farming Operations Exemption Found in § 59-12-104(18) to Pipe Purchased by a Mutual Nonprofit Irrigation Company|
|11-005||2012-03-21||Mar 21, 2012||2012-03-26||Mar 26, 2012||Private Letter Ruling Request–Multi-Channel Audio and Video Service Tax Treatment of Certain Separately Stated Cable Charges|
|10-011||2012-02-24||Feb 24, 2012||2012-02-27||Feb 27, 2012||Sales Tax Treatment of Web-Based Remote Access Services|
|11-004||2012-01-24||Jan 24, 2012||2012-02-01||Feb 1, 2012||Applicability of Utah Admin. Code R865-9I-44 to a Nonresident Professional Athlete for the Situation Presented|
|11-006||2012-01-12||Jan 12, 2012||2012-01-17||Jan 17, 2012||Sales Tax Treatment of Sales of Online Services that Assist Human Resource Departments in the Job Application and Hiring Process|
|11-002||2011-12-21||Dec 21, 2011||2011-12-27||Dec 27, 2011||Sales Tax on Scaffolding Rentals and Related Charges|
|11-003||2011-11-15||Nov 15, 2011||2011-11-17||Nov 17, 2011||For Sales Tax Purposes, the Applicability of the Farming Operations Exemption Found in § 59-12-104(18) to Pipe Purchased by a Mutual Nonprofit Irrigation Company|
|09-002 Supp||2011-11-17||Nov 17, 2011||2011-11-17||Nov 17, 2011||Sales and use tax pertaining to Public Relations, Advertising/Marketing Firms, Media Buying, PowerPoint Presentations, Creative Design/Graphic Artists and Web Site Design/Programming|
|11-001||2011-09-09||Sep 9, 2011||2011-10-11||Oct 11, 2011||Sales Tax Treatment on Digital Certificate and Authentication/Resolution Services|
|14-001||2015-02-11||Feb 11, 2015||2015-02-11||Feb 11, 2015||Manufacturing Equipment Exemption|
|06-023||2014-11-30||Nov 30, 2014||2014-09-16||Sep 16, 2014||Compression Services|
|14-002||2015-04-23||Apr 23, 2015||2015-04-28||Apr 28, 2015||No ruling issued|
|15-001||2015-04-21||Apr 21, 2015||2015-04-28||Apr 28, 2015||Utah Sales and Use Tax Rate for Bakery Items Sold at Special Events|
|15-003||2015-04-22||Apr 22, 2015||2015-04-28||Apr 28, 2015||Proper Apportionment Methodology for a Freight Forwarder for Utah Corporate Franchise and Income Tax Purposes|
|15-004||2015-09-28||Sep 28, 2015||2015-10-08||Oct 8, 2015||Utah Sales and Use Taxability of Sales Involving Computer Software Interfaces|
|15-005||2015-11-16||Nov 16, 2015||2016-01-06||Jan 6, 2016||Sales and Use Taxability of Services or Computer Software Supporting Online Banking|
|15-006||2016-01-21||Jan 21, 2016||2016-03-03||Mar 3, 2016||Utah Sales and Use Tax Treatment of a Capital Lease for Energy Efficiency Upgrades to a Commercial Building|
|12-007||2016-08-16||Aug 16, 2016||2016-08-16||Aug 16, 2016||No ruling issued|
|15-007||2016-06-29||Jun 29, 2016||2016-10-11||Oct 11, 2016||Sales and Use Taxability of Sales of Table Top Point of Sale (“POS”) Device System in Restaurants|
|15-008||2016-07-20||Jul 20, 2016||2016-10-11||Oct 11, 2016||Multi-level Marketing|
|16-001||2016-07-01||Jul 1, 2016||2016-10-24||Oct 24, 2016||Application of the Exemption Found in Subsection (14)(c) of Utah Code Ann. § 59-12-104 to the Situation Presented|
|16-003||2017-03-31||Mar 31, 2017||2017-05-03||May 3, 2017||Sales and use tax for company operating an internet marketplace|
|16-004||2017-03-31||Mar 31, 2017||2017-05-11||May 11, 2017||Cloud storage and virtual computing environments|
|16-002||2017-08-09||Aug 9, 2017||2017-10-25||Oct 25, 2017||Selling pay-per-view music, pay-per-view movies, and multi-channel video services to hotels and hospitals|
|16-005||2017-08-09||Aug 9, 2017||2017-10-25||Oct 25, 2017||Selling memberships|