- 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.
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
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 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:
- By mail:
210 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84134
- By fax: 801-297-3919