Request a New Letter Ruling

A Letter Ruling is a written document that states the Department of Finance’s position on how a law is applied to a specific set of facts submitted by the taxpayer. A Letter Ruling may be requested for any tax or charge that we administer. Our Legal Division issues Letter Rulings on behalf of the Finance Commissioner.

Requesting a Letter Ruling on a Matter of Law
Complete a Request for Letter Ruling form and submit a $250 processing fee payable to the "New York City Department of Finance." Send payment and documents to:

New York City Department of Finance
Legal Affairs Division
375 Pearl Street, 30th Floor
New York, NY 10038

Once we receive your request for a ruling, we will mail an acknowledgement letter to the person who made the request. That letter will have a number that has been assigned to the ruling request; please use the request number in all future correspondence with us regarding this matter.

After reviewing the request, we may ask for additional information.

Power of Attorney POA-1

Under what circumstances will the Department of Finance refuse to issue a letter ruling?

  • A letter ruling will not be issued on questions pertaining to the following City taxes that are administered by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance: Sales and related taxes, resident personal income tax, nonresident earnings tax, mortgage recording tax, leaded motor fuel tax, and beer and liquor excise tax.
  • Covering an issue or set of facts regarding which a Notice of Determination or a Notice of Disallowance of a claim for refund or credit which has been issued to the taxpayer;
  • Covering an issue or set of facts regarding which any taxpayer who has been granted leave to appeal or which the Department of Finance is seeking or has been granted leave to appeal an adverse decision to any court of the State of New York or the United States;
  • Covering an issue, which is clearly and adequately addressed by statutes, regulations, published rulings, or other official pronouncement of the Department of Finance;
  • When the issue presented pertains to subject matter which, in accordance with a public pronouncement, is under study by the Department of Finance, or
  • If the conclusion reached in such a ruling would require a factual determination, which is properly an audit function.
Will the Department of Finance issue a letter ruling based on a hypothetical situation?
Beginning January 24, 2000, Legal Affairs has accepted certain requests for letter rulings submitted by representatives without disclosing the name of the taxpayer provided the requester states in writing that to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, no Notice of Determination or Disallowance has been issued to any taxpayer covering the issues or facts presented in the request. Any such ruling will be considered to be issued on hypothetical facts. However, pursuant to 19 RCNY 16-10(d), the Department of Finance reserves the right, at its discretion, not to issue a ruling on hypothetical facts.

How long does it take to receive a letter ruling?
A ruling will be mailed to the taxpayer or the taxpayer's authorized representative within 90 days of the receipt of a complete request for such a ruling. Legal Affairs may extend the 90-day period within which a ruling must be issued for a period of up to 30 additional days, and, if they do, they will notify the taxpayer or the taxpayer's authorized representative. At any time before their expiration, the 90-day or additional 30-day periods may be extended by a written agreement between the taxpayer and Legal Affairs.

What is the proper procedure for withdrawing a request for a letter ruling?
A taxpayer may withdraw a request for a ruling at any time within 30 days of the date of the acknowledgment letter. Thereafter, no request for a ruling may be withdrawn without the written approval of Legal Affairs. Where a taxpayer withdraws a request for a ruling, the Department of Finance will not return the application fee of $250 accompanying such request. Failure to provide information requested by Legal Affairs may be deemed a withdrawal of a request for a ruling.

Additional Information

  1. A letter ruling only applies to the person the ruling is addressed to and only if the facts submitted are true.
  2. You cannot rely on a letter ruling issued to another person.
  3. The Department of Finance may revoke a letter ruling under certain circumstances. 

Redacted Letter Rulings are published online for informational and research purposes without the taxpayer's name, address and/or other identifying information.