California Office of Tax Appeals Requests Attorney General Opinion Related to its Controversial Proposed Regulation
The saga related to the recently pulled proposed amendments to the California Office of Tax Appeals (“OTA”) regulations seeking to limit the agency’s jurisdiction to decide appeals involving questions related to the validity of other California regulations continues. On June 29, the OTA sent in a formal request to the Attorney General requesting a written opinion on whether the OTA has “the legal authority and jurisdiction to issue a written opinion declaring a provision in the California Code of Regulations…to be invalid and to refuse to enforce the regulation on that basis[.]”
You may recall that the OTA proposed an amendment to its regulations earlier this year that would have limited the agency from reviewing or opining on the validity of another agency’s regulations, but subsequently withdrew the contentious proposal after staunch opposition from interested parties. Commentators have noted that the Attorney General’s website states in its Frequently Asked Questions that, “The Attorney General declines opinion requests that involve legal issues that are pending in a judicial or administrative proceeding. Issuing an opinion on a question that is at issue in litigation might be perceived as an attempt to influence the litigation. When the Attorney General’s Opinion Unit becomes aware that a question raised in an existing request has become the subject of litigation, the assignment to prepare the opinion is cancelled.” As there are several cases pending at OTA regarding the validity of various California regulations, it will be intriguing to see how the Attorney General responds to the OTA’s request.
Those interested in providing comments to the Attorney General regarding the OTA’s request can contact Deputy Attorney General Karim Kentfield by email at Karim.Kentfield@doj.ca.gov or by phone at (415) 510-3833.
If you have questions about OTA’s request or need assistance with any other tax matter, please get in touch today with our dedicated team of attorneys at Bewley, Lassleben & Miller, LLP.