Opinion Letter No. 92-10
August 1, 1992
Department of Taxation Written Determinations
The Department of Taxation’s written determinations,
or opinion letters, concerning the applicability of
the State franchise tax to loans in which the borrower is located
out of state are protected from
required disclosure to the public under the UIPA.
Using the federal definition of the term "return information"
for guidance, the OIP found that such
opinion letters constitute return information, the disclosure of
which is a criminal offense under State
law. The OIP noted that Congress, unlike the State Legislature,
has adopted specific provisions
allowing for the disclosure of written determinations by the IRS.
Because of the significant public
interest in the disclosure of the Department of Taxation’s
advisory opinions, the OIP recommended
that the Department and the State Legislature adopt provisions similar
to those of Congress. OIP
Op. Ltr. No. 92-10 (Aug. 1, 1992)
NOTE: This opinion letter has been materially affected by Act 115,
Session Laws of Hawaii 1994,
which permits the Department of Taxation to disclose segregated
copies of written opinions, and
creates administrative and judicial appeals processes.