By Chelsea Marmor and Tim Gustafson

The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts issued a franchise tax letter clarifying that “total mileage” for purposes of computing the Texas special apportionment formula for transportation receipts may either include or exclude “empty miles” provided symmetry is maintained between a taxpayer’s numerator and denominator. “Empty miles,” or deadhead miles, are miles traveled without goods or passengers. The policy allows taxable entities to either include empty miles in both the numerator and denominator of the apportionment formula, or exclude empty miles from both. The Comptroller indicated the governing rule will be amended to clarify the treatment of empty miles.  Letter No. 201609008L, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, September 8, 2016.