The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) administers the state’s corporate franchise and income taxes. The California Legislature authorized the FTB to promulgate regulations in order to implement and interpret the governing statutes. Beyond issuing formal guidance, however, the FTB historically, and routinely, has issued informal guidance on a broad array of topics and issues for the purported benefit of taxpayers, tax practitioners, and FTB staff alike.

While taxpayers and tax practitioners have disagreed with certain conclusions presented in the FTB’s informal guidance over the years, the materials by and large have provided valuable insight into the agency’s varied positions and interpretations, particularly for taxpayer reporting purposes. Regarding the points of disagreement, a question until recently remained as to what effect, if any, was to be given to the FTB’s informal guidance by a tribunal adjudicating a corporate tax controversy matter.

Two 2023 decisions, Appeal of Minnesota Beet and American Catalog Mailers Association, offered differing answers to this question that may affect current informal guidance and the issuance of guidance in 2024 and beyond.

In this installment of A Pinch of SALT in Tax Notes State, Eversheds Sutherland attorneys Tim Gustafson and Sharon Kaur examine the two decisions closely and identify their potential fallout.

Read the full article here.