Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Business Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2018

Sales And Use Tax Court Decisions

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Superior Court (Associated Sales Tax Consultants); State Board of Equalization v. . . . (1992)

Board Records that Interpret Regulations Are Considered Part of the Agency's Working Law and Are subject to the Public Records Act

A business providing advice to taxpayers on the construction and application of the Sales and Use Tax Law requested records from the Board relating to the Board's interpretation of two tax regulations pursuant to the California Public Records Act (PRA). The business offered to pay fees for copying and for excising confidential taxpayer information from the requested records.

The court held that the request was sufficiently specific and that it sought the Board's "working law" which is a matter of public interest. The court stated that the Board could not restrict disclosure merely because the records contained confidential taxpayer information since such information could be excised without destroying the utility of the records. The fact that the records were sought for commercial use was irrelevant, since the PRA does not differentiate among those who seek access to public information. The court also stated that it was not an abuse of discretion to require the Board's preparation of a document list to assist the taxpayer in identifying the records it wished to obtain. State Board of Equalization v. Superior Court (Associated Sales Tax Consultants) (1992) 10 Cal.App.4th 1177.