New Nevada Rule Adopted For Closing Tax Refund Hearings

A new state rule provides that Nevada taxpayers who want their requests for tax refunds to be heard behind closed doors will have to make a case to the state to support shutting the public out of the process.

The new rule is a reversal of past practice by the Tax Commission to move into closed sessions simply at the request of a taxpayer.

The regulation was adopted by the commission to implement legislation sought earlier this year to clear up inconsistencies between two laws: the state's open meeting law, which requires proceedings to be held in public, and a separate law requiring proprietary taxpayer information to be kept confidential by the agency.

Both Barry Smith, executive director of the Nevada Press Association, and Carole Vilardo, president of the Nevada Taxpayers Association, said the regulation satisfactorily resolves the inconsistencies between the two laws.