AN 96(4)

The Sales And Use Tax Manual Is Obsolete

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Announcement is to inform tax practitioners, taxpayers and Department of Revenue Services employees that the Sales and Use Tax Manual that the Department formerly distributed to its employees and that has been republished and circulated by the Education and Research Foundation of the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants since 1980 should no longer be relied upon.

MANUAL NOT UPDATED SINCE 1989: The Sales and Use Tax Manual consisted largely of excerpts from letters that had been written, long before the Manual was compiled, by Department employees in various divisions of the Department. In compiling the Manual in 1980, the Department redacted any information from those letters that might identify the taxpayers to which those letters were written. From 1980 until 1989, the Department periodically revised the Manual. During 1989, the Legal Division was assigned the responsibility within the Department of issuing rulings. Those rulings were intended to constitute the Department's official interpretation of Connecticut tax laws and regulations, as applied to a specific set of facts. Those rulings, after the redaction of any information that might identify the taxpayer to which the ruling was issued, were numbered and published by the Department. Those rulings, and the administrative pronouncements (at that time consisting of Bulletins, LSNs and TSSNs) that were issued by the Department, were intended to supplant the Manual. Consequently, the Manual was no longer revised after 1988. While Department officials in open forums indicated that the Manual would no longer be revised, there still exists some confusion about the precise status of the Manual.

MANUAL "OBSOLETE": The Department has made it a practice to declare an administrative pronouncement or ruling to be obsolete where, because of changes in the law on which a pronouncement or ruling was based, the pronouncement or ruling is no longer considered authoritative and should not be relied upon for future transactions or future taxable periods. See, e.g., AN 94(1), AN 94(2) and AN 94(4). By declaring a pronouncement or ruling to be obsolete, the Department intends to eliminate unnecessary research and to reduce the possibility of erroneous decisions by taxpayers and tax practitioners. The fact that a pronouncement or ruling is obsolete does not affect its past validity or its application to past transactions or past taxable periods.

Unlike an administrative pronouncement or ruling, the Manual contains a multitude of letter excerpts, interpreting dozens of sections of the Sales and Use Taxes Act, a significant number of which have been amended numerous times since 1989. (Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-407 alone has been amended by more than 20 public acts since 1989.) Therefore, for the same reasons that the Department obsoletes pronouncements or rulings, and because of the extreme difficulty in identifying those portions of the Manual that are affected by changes in the law and those that are not so affected, and because the Department's formal interpretation of the law is contained in rulings and administrative pronouncements, the letter excerpts in the Sales and Use Tax Manual are no longer considered determinative on or after the date of issuance of this Announcement. Furthermore, to the extent that any letter excerpts conflict with a previously issued ruling or administrative pronouncement (including the current categories of administrative pronouncements: Special Notices, Policy Statements, Informational Publications or Announcements), such letter excerpts are not considered determinative with respect to transactions occurring on or after the effective date of such ruling or administrative pronouncement.

EFFECT OF THIS DOCUMENT: An announcement is a document which alerts taxpayers to important information. Such information may include new Department policies or procedures.

EFFECT ON OTHER DOCUMENTS: Sales and Use Tax Manual is obsolete.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: To order forms and publications or for further information, call the Department of Revenue Services at 860-297-5962 (Hartford area or out-of-state) or 1-800-382-9463 (in-state). Forms and publications may be ordered through voice-mail 24-hours a day by choosing Option 3 on your touch tone telephone.

Electronic Delivery Options: You can also obtain tax forms and publications 24-hours a day from our Website.

Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD/TT) users only call 860-297-4911 during business hours.

AN 96(4)
Sales and Use Taxes
Issued: 8/29/96