Online Version of Form 15-003, Updated June 30, 2010
The Mississippi Department of Revenue (DOR) is the state agency responsible for the administration of the state’s revenue laws and other areas of the law as determined by the Mississippi Legislature. You may seek information from the DOR concerning your responsibilities under these tax laws and may request the agency to provide advice and guidance concerning those obligations.
Your request for advice may be through an informal or formal means. The binding effect of the response on the DOR will vary depending on the type of request made. This publication is only a guideline to inform you of options that are available to you.
Publications of the agency are available that provide information useful for complying with the laws administered by the DOR. You may receive information through instructions included with forms, notices written concerning law changes or procedural changes, booklets, and other publications of the agency. The information provided is general in nature and intended to answer those questions most frequently asked. It is not all-inclusive and does not cover every factual situation.
You may obtain information on the agency website at www.dor.ms.gov. The website contains links to other web sites operated by other government agencies, tax related organizations, and tax software providers. On its website, the DOR strives to provide quality information, but makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website.
In any situation where the information provided does not adequately address your particular circumstances, it is advisable that you seek a letter ruling.
Many questions may be answered easily over the telephone or in person by a DOR employee. A DOR employee may give unsolicited oral advice or directions. Typically, oral advice and directions are given by DOR employees during audit meetings, conferences, and hearings with taxpayers and other persons. Any such answer, advice, or direction given orally by a DOR employee is advisory only and not binding on the DOR. For a response that is binding on the DOR, see Letter Rulings and Declaratory Opinions discussed below.
As with oral inquiries, many questions may be asked and answered quickly and easily by e-mail or fax. A DOR employee may give unsolicited advice or direction by e-mail or fax. The DOR allows for a written request for letter rulings to be delivered to the Office of Tax Policy and Economic Development by e-mail. Except requests for letter rulings that are docketed and tracked, e-mail and fax communications are not maintained indefinitely to verify the authenticity and substance of the communications. For this reason, except for a letter ruling, any e-mail or fax communication from a DOR employee is advisory only and not binding on the DOR. For a response that is binding on the DOR, see Letter Rulings and Declaratory Opinions discussed below.
Any taxpayer or other person seeking information concerning the laws administered by the Department of Revenue may request a letter ruling when they need private, written advice regarding their particular facts and circumstances. A letter ruling is written, informal guidance from the Department of Revenue designed to provide such advice.
Until a letter ruling expires or is retracted, the taxpayer or person requesting the letter ruling may rely upon the advice in this letter ruling unless there is a change in law or regulation, or the issuance of a judicial decision that the ruling is incorrect. The advice contained in the letter ruling may only be relied upon as long as the information provided to the Department of Revenue is factual and complete with no material omissions and no changes have occurred in the particular facts and circumstances from the information provided.
The response to a request for a letter ruling is limited to the taxpayer making the request and the response is limited to the specific facts involved.
A letter ruling is valid for a period of 7 years from the date of its issuance unless invalidated by a law change, regulation change, judicial decision, or retraction. At the time the letter ruling expires, the taxpayer or person affected may re-submit his request, update his information, and request another letter ruling.
In the event that the Department of Revenue discovers that its letter ruling was incorrect, a retraction letter will be sent to that taxpayer or person. The effect of the retraction letter will be prospective from the date of the retraction letter.
All requests for tax exemption letters, even from government entities, are considered letter rulings.
If you would like a letter ruling, please send your request in writing to:
Office of Tax Policy and Economic Development
P. O. Box 1033
Jackson, MS 39215
Alternatively, the letter ruling request may be hand delivered to the attention of the Office of Tax Policy and Economic Development at 1577 Springridge Road, Raymond, MS.
The taxpayer or person requesting a letter ruling should provide adequate information in order for the Department of Revenue to accurately answer the question, as well as document the request. Important information to provide includes:
- Name of the taxpayer and the name of the person in charge of business operations.
- Contact information including phone number, mailing address, and physical location if different.
- Tax account numbers. Please provide your FEIN (federal employer identification number) and the tax account number(s) for the tax type (sales, use, income, withholding, etc.) to which your request applies. For example, if the request relates to corporate income tax, you would provide your FEIN. If the request relates to sales tax, you would provide your FEIN and the sales tax account number(s) for your company.
- Specific details about the issue or question you have.
- Information about your business sufficient to completely understand your situation and particular circumstances.
There are numerous circumstances under which a letter ruling will not be issued. See Title 35, Part I, Chapter 01, of the Mississippi Administrative Code for a more detailed explanation of the letter ruling process.
A declaratory opinion is a formal response to a taxpayer inquiry. The opinion and its request will be available for public inspection. The taxpayer must sign a confidentiality waiver to authorize the DOR to disclose the contents of the declaratory opinion.
Unlike a letter ruling, a declaratory opinion does not automatically expire. A person receiving a declaratory opinion can act in good faith in accordance with that opinion unless and until a court of competent jurisdiction declares the opinion to be wrong.
The declaratory opinion will be issued based on the specific circumstances indicated by the person requesting same. If this person incorrectly stated the circumstances, then the declaratory opinion will be ineffective since it addresses circumstances that do not exist. A declaratory opinion may lose its effectiveness by a law change or by a change in the facts or circumstances of the person for whom the declaratory opinion was issued.
The declaratory opinion is only binding on the DOR in regard to the person who requested the opinion. The opinion is not applicable to persons similarly situated to the person requesting the opinion or to the successor or purchaser of a business or operation that is the subject of the declaratory opinion.
All requests received for declaratory opinions must be mailed or delivered to the Office of Tax Policy and Economic Development. Faxed or e-mailed requests for declaratory opinions will not be accepted. The request must include a completed transmittal form and an executed confidentiality waiver signed by the taxpayer. A log will be maintained of all requests.
There are numerous circumstances under which a declaratory opinion will not be issued. See Title 35, Part I, Chapter 01 of the Mississippi Administrative Code for a more detailed explanation of the declaratory opinion process.
This publication provides general information and does not constitute a regulation of the Department of Revenue. Please be aware that legislation, regulations, court decisions, notices, and announcements could affect the accuracy of this publication. Please see Chapter 77, Title 27 of the Miss. Code Ann., and Title 35, Part I, Chapter 01 of the Mississippi Administrative Code for a more detailed explanation of the law and administrative procedures of the Mississippi Department of Revenue. June 30, 2010.