New and Updated Agency Rules Concerning Taxability Letters and Taxpayer Rights

In January’s Tax Policy News, we announced that new Rule 3.1, relating to Private Letter Rulings and General Information Letters and amended Rule 3.10, relating to Taxpayer Bill of Rights, would be effective on Jan. 28, 2013.

We’ve created a new web page to summarize the information in Rule 3.1.

The Comptroller will issue a general information letter in response to a request for taxability information. Our response will refer the requestor to an existing resource, such as an administrative rule, a publication or a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ), to answer the question. You may want to search this list of resources to see if the answer to your question is already available, before writing to us.

A private letter ruling, on the other hand, is the Comptroller’s written determination on the application of relevant tax laws, rules and policies to a specific set of facts. When submitting a request for a private letter ruling, consult Rule 3.1 to make sure all requirements for requesting a private letter ruling are met, as the information on the web page is not intended to be a substitute for the rule.

We’ve also enhanced our Compact with Texans web page to explain when the agency will give taxpayers detrimental reliance relief in relation to the taxes, fees and other charges administered by the agency. This longstanding policy is now more clearly explained in Rule 3.10. Other aspects of the rule are updated as well, such as information about our customer service liaison, and ways to help taxpayers comply with the laws and provide input into Comptroller rules and procedures.

*Originally published in Tax Policy News; a monthly newsletter about Texas tax policy at