In recent years, the tax community has engaged in an effort to promote transparency in tax administration. This effort culminated in Maryland with the passage of Senate Bill 843 by the 2016 General Assembly and was enacted in Chapter 582 of the Acts of 2016 (the “Act”). Included in a statute that largely addressed the evaluation process of certain tax credits are four lines that could provide Maryland taxpayers with the ability to obtain guidance through private letter rulings (“PLRs”).
Specifically, the Act required the Comptroller to adopt procedures and protocols related to the implementation of a PLR process intended to provide guidance to taxpayers. The legislation was hailed in tax blogs and tax publications, such as Tax Analysts and the Council On State Taxation’s Scorecard on Tax Appeals & Procedural Requirements. In their article for the October 2017 edition of Tax Talk, Eversheds Sutherland attorneys Jessica Eisenmenger and DeAndre Morrow discuss that the kudos may have been premature, as Maryland’s 2017 legislative session has called into doubt the future prospects of the Act’s PLR process.