When a taxpayer seeks review of a tax assessment or tax refund denial, the Department issues a determination on that review to that specific taxpayer. The Department publishes some of these determinations as Washington Tax Decisions (WTD) under RCW 82.32.410. Determinations can be recommended for publication by anyone, both in and outside of the Department. Once recommended, the proposed WTD goes through an internal Department review process. It is also sanitized to remove any language that could identify who the taxpayer is in the WTD.
The Department is starting this pilot program to allow stakeholders to comment on proposed WTDs before they are published. The proposed WTDs provided below have already been sanitized. After receiving feedback from you, the Department will decide whether to publish the proposed WTD or make edits to it before publishing. To receive notification on WTD Publication Comment activity, sign up for email or text notifications.
Please note this is a pilot program, and the Department may decide to end it if we are not receiving comments or if the comments provided do not help improve the quality of the WTDs published.
Examples of edits/comments we are looking for:
We welcome comments and proposed edits you believe will make the proposed WTD a better final product. Here are examples of comments or proposed edits that are helpful:
- Information you believe would still identify the taxpayer and needs further sanitization.
- Edits you believe improve the legal accuracy of the proposed WTD. We cannot make substantial edits so please limit your edits to what is essential to make the proposed WTD clearer.
- Removing discussion you think is irrelevant or distracts from the analysis that has more publication value.
- If you believe the proposed WTD reaches the incorrect result, please explain why and provide legal authority for your recommendation.
- Proposing a footnote to clarify a point that could be confusing to taxpayers who will rely on the WTD.
Comments and edits we ask that you not provide:
- Edits that effectively change the outcome of the proposed WTD.
- Edits that alter key holdings in the proposed WTD. If you want to propose edits that alter a holding in the proposed WTD, consider objecting to publication of the proposed WTD and explaining why this is necessary.
- If you are aware of the taxpayer to whom the proposed WTD was issued, please provide comments that avoid revealing who that taxpayer is as these comments are disclosable for public records purposes.
- Please avoid substantial edits to the proposed WTD. If you feel those edits are necessary, explain why.
Proposed WTDs for November 2023
Draft Det. No. 18-0327
A Washington company that engages in stevedoring and associated activities exclusively in the state of Washington disputes the Department’s denial of its refund request to apportion its gross income under the stevedoring business and occupation (B&O) tax classification to states other than Washington. The petition is denied.
Draft Det. No. 21-0020
A limited liability company formed to acquire and lease an aircraft contests the assessment of use tax on the purchase price of the aircraft and a reseller permit misuse penalty. We grant the petition.
Draft Det. No. 18-0105
A [retail] store franchisor (Taxpayer) protests (1) the assessment of service and other activities business and occupation (B&O) tax on grounds that it was assessed the tax on income related to real property leases, and (2) the assessment of delinquent penalty for failure to file a reconciliation return on grounds that Taxpayer exercised due diligence. We deny the petition.
Public comment period
The Department requests comments and stakeholder feedback related to these proposed WTDs no later than December 16, 2023. After a review of the feedback, if any, the Department will consider the appropriate next steps in the process.
How to make a public comment
If you wish to make a public comment or have questions, please contact the Administrative Review and Hearings Division at DORARHDWTD@dor.wa.gov.