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Taxpayer Bill of Rights - Private Letter Rulings

Updated January 2023

Private letter ruling legislation was not debated during the 2022 legislative session and will continue as a MNCPA legislative issue for 2023. Clear tax guidance continues to be a concern and will be something the MNCPA continues advocating for.

The issue

Authoritative guidance from tax administrators is an integral part of ensuring taxpayer and tax preparer compliance with tax laws. This guidance is also vital in determining the correct tax liability. MNCPA members and businesses throughout Minnesota often need guidance to properly apply tax law and ensure the proper amount of tax is collected and remitted (if owed).

Private letter rulings are one component of a taxpayer bill of rights supported by the MNCPA. Other key provisions include: establishing at private letter ruling program to address unique tax situations that may not fit perfectly with the way a tax law is written; limiting the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s authority to make sales tax assessments that are inconsistent with prior audit positions taken by DOR; expanding DOR’s authority to abate penalties and allowing a taxpayer to choose a dual audit if auditing both sales and use tax and either individual income or corporate franchise tax.

The 2023 priority is to establish a private letter ruling program and provide certainty for taxpayers when they are taking a tax position.

Why you should care

Voluntary compliance is more cost-effective for all and easier to accomplish with guidance from those charged with enforcing the tax code.

What you can do

Contact your legislators and ask them to support legislation creating a private letter ruling program in Minnesota to provide tax advisers and taxpayers more certainty when filing a tax return.

Influencing positive change

MN State Capitol

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