Sales Tax Slice: D.C. Soaks YMCA Swimmers, Forgoes Revenue from Poolside Loungers

Last week, D.C. published regulations interpreting the district’s recent expansion of its sales tax base to include previously nontaxable services. Beginning Oct. 1, the district extended its sales tax to a motley assortment of services: bottled water delivery, bowling alley and billiard parlor services, car washing, carpet and upholstery cleaning, rug repair, health club services, self-storage and tanning.

Individual Income Tax Insights: 2015 State Tax Amnesty Update

A handful of states have either enacted or are considering legislation that creates tax amnesty programs for a limited period of time in 2015. Tax amnesty programs offer qualified taxpayers leniency with regard to the penalties assessed based on their outstanding tax liability.

“High” Taxes—States Continue to Look to Marijuana to Generate Revenue

As Colorado and Washington continue to experiment with legalized marijuana, state lawmakers’ attention has turned to preserving the new revenues and tweaking tax provisions. Meanwhile, at least nine other state legislatures this year have considered proposals to legalize and tax marijuana sales.

Property Tax Post: For Big-Box Retailers, a Tale of Two ‘Dark Stores’

In Indiana, far from the limelight now held by that state’s controversial “religious freedom” law, the tax community is abuzz about real estate valuation methods, proposed legislation, and the so-called “dark store theory.” At issue: how to value big-box retail stores and other large commercial properties for property tax purposes.

Sales Tax Slice: Kansas to Disaster Relief Workers: “You Were Never Here.”

Last week, Kansas enacted a use tax law under which disaster relief workers temporarily entering the state are considered not to be physically present within it. The effect of the law is to exempt from use tax property brought into the state by these workers. While the legislature might have simply stated that such property is exempt from use tax, it instead accomplished this result by deeming disaster relief workers to not be physically present within the state.

Extras On Excise: Are Online Travel Companies Winning the Fight Over Hotel Taxes?

The longtime battle between state and local governments and online travel companies (OTCs) over the proper tax base for hotel occupancy taxes rages on in 2015, with a recent Hawaii Supreme Court decision and pending decisions in two other popular tourist destinations, California and Florida. Also, legislators in Maryland are considering legislation that could end the debate over what OTC revenue is taxable there.

Property Tax Post: Keep An Open Mind About Open Space Property Tax Exemptions

What is the value of preserved open space? That is the question addressed in an article featured in the New York State Bar Association Journal this month, written by David Wilkes, a partner at Huff Wilkes LLP, and Glenn Hoagland, Executive Director of the Mohonk Preserve, a conservation area in the Appalachian Mountains north of New York City.

Corporate Close-Up: Are Corporate Income Taxes Politically Viable?

As first reported by the Daily Tax Report’s Chris Marr, Alabama’s Republican Governor, Robert Bentley, recently made headlines when he proposed $541 million in tax increases, including combined corporate reporting, to help fund a budget shortfall and infrastructure programs in the fiscally conservative state.

Weekly Round-Up: 24 Months Through the Crystal Ball - Emerging Trends in State and Local Taxation

For businesses operating across state lines, state taxation is like standing with one foot on each of two logs in a flowing river: even during calm periods, staying above water is a challenge, David A. Fruchtman, chair of Rimon P.C.'s State and Local (Subnational) Taxation practice, writes in this week’s issue of the Bloomberg BNA Weekly State Tax Report. And these are not calm times, he notes.

SURVEY: Reporting Adjustments to State Tax Revenue Departments

Bloomberg BNA, the Council On State Taxation and Marilyn Wethekam (Horwood, Marcus & Berk Chartered) are seeking input from practitioners on the issues taxpayers should be aware of when reporting adjustments from tax authorities such as the Internal Revenue Service.

Property Tax Post: Pennsylvania Legislature Mulls Eliminating Residential Property Tax

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced plans to focus on reducing the property tax burden and to offset the loss of revenue for schools through statewide funding, from the natural gas production tax, personal income tax and sales tax. Pennsylvania joins several other states, like Kansas, Texas and Washington, that are looking to reform their property tax and school funding approaches.

Corporate Close Up: Massachusetts and Other States Offer Amnesty to Raise Revenue

States often offer amnesty to taxpayers as a way of raising a significant amount of revenue in a short period of time. Since 1982, according to records kept by the Federation of Tax Administrators, there have been 121 amnesty periods established by 46 states, the District of Columbia and New York City. Three-quarters of those jurisdictions have conducted programs more than once. Massachusetts will add one more to the list as a result of recent legislation.

Incentives Watch: The Good, the Bad, and the Costly

The old saying goes, “you need to spend money to make money.” Well, for a handful of states that conventional wisdom alone might not be enough anymore. When it comes to awarding tax credits, states want to know just how much they need to spend and what they stand to make for their trouble.

Weekly Round-Up: Massive E-Filing Fraud Delays Income Tax Refunds Nationwide

After reports of suspicious activity in at least 19 states, TurboTax has temporarily turned off service in all states, Bloomberg BNA State Tax Law Editor Radha Mohan and Bloomberg BNA correspondents Tripp Baltz, Michael Bologna, Martha Kessler, Nora Macaluso, Chris Marr, and Mark Wolski write in this week’s issue of the Weekly State Tax Report.

Sales Tax Slice: Will Tax Holidays Encourage Greener Appliance Choices?

Maryland is among what appears to be a growing number of states using sales tax holidays to encourage greener purchases.  At least half a dozen others, including Texas, Virginia, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, and Georgia, have offered such holidays, allowing consumers to purchase Energy Star-certified products tax-free for as much as one weekend per year.

Weekly Round-Up: Proposed Property Tax on Nonprofits Sparks National Debate

As municipalities continue to face budgetary shortfalls, Gov. Paul LaPage's (Me-R) proposal to permit communities to tax nonprofit organizations has sparked a nationwide debate, Bloomberg BNA State Tax Law Editor Radha Mohan writes in this week’s issue of the Weekly State Tax Report.

Incentives Watch: Boeing Tax Credits Don’t Fly with Unions

Let this figure roll around in your head for a minute: $8.7 billion. It’s the approximate gross domestic product of Malta and the amount that PetSmart was recently sold for. In late 2013, Boeing received $8.7 billion in tax incentives from Washington state, the largest ever tax incentive from a state government. Two of Boeing’s labor unions, however, are now saying that those tax credits should have some prerequisites.

Weekly Round-Up: States Reluctant To Raise Taxes in 2015

As states ring in the New Year, there is hope that the slow progress that characterized the states’ fiscal health in 2014 will continue in 2015, Bloomberg BNA State Tax Law Editor Radha Mohan writes in the 2015 State Tax Outlook.

Individual Income Tax Insights: U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Constitutionality of Same-Sex Marriage at the State Level

This year will likely be one for the history books, as the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to rule on: (1) whether all states must allow same-sex marriage ceremonies within their borders, and (2) whether same-sex marriages performed in states recognizing such unions must also be recognized by states that do not — two issues the court before has consistently refused to consider.

Corporate Close-Up: Tax Reform on the Horizon for New York City

New York City’s corporate tax system has long been a font of controversy within the business community. Its arcane nature, lack of significant reforms and failure to conform to the state of New York’s tax system have caused distress for years to corporate taxpayers. However, New York recently implemented sweeping reforms at the state level for corporate tax

Weekly Round-Up: Property Tax Reform Takes Center Stage in 2015 Legislative Sessions

Using the momentum from recent victories, Gov. Ottor (R-Idaho), Gov. Branstad (R-Iowa), Gov. LePage (R- Me.), Gov. Dayton (D- Minn.) and Gov. Walker (R-Wis.) all made promises to continue to reform property taxes in their state of the state or inaugural addresses, Bloomberg BNA State Tax Law Editor Radha Mohan writes in this week’s issue of the Bloomberg BNA Weekly State Tax Report.

Weekly Round-Up: The Potential Impact of Declining Oil Prices on the Budget in Texas

In this week’s issue of Bloomberg BNA’s Weekly State Tax Report, Paul Stinson, Bloomberg BNA's correspondent in Austin, Texas, interviewed Texas Senator-Elect Paul Bettencourt (R) about the fundamental problems with the property tax in Texas, and the chances for margin tax reform in the upcoming legislative session.

Corporate Close-Up: New Year, New Rates

When the clock hit midnight on Jan. 1, 2015, many corporations had more to celebrate than the start of a new year. For taxpayers in eight states, 2015 brings significantly lower corporate tax rates.

Sales Tax Slice: Are Local Taxes Creating Compliance Issues for Businesses?

An increasing number of municipalities are enacting new taxes and stepping up enforcement to drive economic development goals.  This adds an extra layer of compliance issues for multistate corporations that must now contend with more local tax jurisdictions in addition to state jurisdictions.

Weekly Round-Up: The Next Wild Frontier of Sales Tax

The next wave of digital innovation is telematics, or the "Internet of Things" and represents one of the fastest growing sectors of the Internet and our economy,Michael T. Dillon, Esq., founder and...

Sales Tax Slice: Fruit Trees as Exempt Farm ‘Equipment’?

It's no surprise that a laundry list of items that qualify for Illinois' sales and use tax exemption for machinery and equipment used in farming includes tractors, combines, bailers, irrigation equipment, cattle and poultry feeders, and excludes improvements to real estate such as fences, barns, roads, grain bins and silos. But, as what may seem a surprising request, one nonprofit organization requested guidance from the Illinois Department of Revenue as to whether nursery stock, such as fruit- and nut- producing trees, qualify as exempt farming equipment.

Corporate Close-Up: Due a Tax Refund? Better Ask

It is generally the taxpayer’s obligation to request a refund of any overpayment of taxes. However, two recent developments suggest that some jurisdictions are taking divergent positions on this...

Sales Tax Slice: Is Tennessee’s Drone Exemption at Odds with FAA Ban?

When most people hear the term "drone," they envision a futuristic military device operated in an overseas war zones. But drones, formally known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), have a growing application in the civilian market in the United States. Models have been designed and built for a variety of uses, including film, agriculture, power line and pipeline inspection, police work and firefighting. UAVs are viewed by many as the new frontier of aviation. States are starting to take notice of this new technology and make adjustments to their tax policy.

Weekly Round-Up: The Case for Qui Tam Tax Claims

Many state and local tax practitioners say qui tam tax claims—a whistleblower law that allows private citizens who allege tax fraud to sue on the government's behalf—should be excluded from...

Extras on Excise: Running Out of Gas Tax?

New Hampshire drivers will soon pay more per gallon in gas tax, and in return their Interstate 93 widening project will be funded, along with other highway projects.   On the heels of several...

Sales Tax Slice: “Amazon Laws” Come in a Variety of Flavors

While Congress drags its feet on enacting a law like the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would give qualifying states clearer taxing authority over remote vendors, several states have taken matters into their own hands by enacting so-called "Amazon" or "click-through nexus" laws.

State Tax Snapshot: Can’t Buy Me Love?

It would be reasonable to think that happy and harmonious times would be ahead for state lawmakers in 2014. For the first time since the Great Recession, the states are experiencing relative...

Sales Tax Slice: A Year in Review

As 2013 draws to an end, it’s natural to reminisce about such an eventful year.   Indeed, 2013 had many noteworthy events – a royal birth, a new pope, and a third (THIRD!?) Red Sox World Series...

Sales Tax Slice: An Expensive Inventory Material Handling System Apparently Did Not Increase Property Value - Thus Installation Is Not Exempt

Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse missed out on a sales tax refund of $396,568.56 in New Jersey because it was unable to provide sufficient evidence to prove that the installation of a pricey inventory material handling system in its warehouse was a capital improvement, and thereby did not qualify for an exemption.   Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse v. New Jersey Dir. of Taxn. , N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div., No. A-0535-11T3, 11/26/13.


Sales Tax Slice: Not Owning, Knowing How to Use a Computer Is Reasonable Cause Not to File Returns and Pay Electronically

The Massachusetts Commissioner of Revenue would not budge when it came to giving an unincorporated small-business owner and operator, with a 20-year exemplary tax record, a break on not complying with its electronic-filing mandate, but was forced to back down following a ruling by the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board. Cocco v. Massachusetts Comr. Of Rev. , Mass. App. Tax Bd., Nos. C310367, C311626, C314426, 10/30/13.

Weekly Round-Up: Hotel Occupancy Tax Dispute Heats Up

State interest in a contentious, costly dispute pitting online travel companies (OTCs) like Expedia Inc. and LP against cities, counties and states is likely to increase, following a...

Bloomberg BNA Launches Major State Tax Expansion

B loomberg BNA has launched a major expansion of its state tax product offerings . At a time when state taxes continue to grow in complexity and importance, Bloomberg BNA has added must-have...

Expert Insight: Codification of Economic Substance—The “Apple” of States’ Eyes?

The recent congressional hearings regarding Apple's tax planning strategies highlighted some of the methods the company is using to reduce its federal tax burden.   Last year, a story in the New York Times focused on the company's strategy for avoiding taxes in California and several other states.

Expert Insight: COST's Hot State Tax Topics in 2013

In this Expert Insight, we speak with Ferdinand Hogroian and Fred Nicely from the Council on State Taxation (COST) about the issues they expect to be “hot topics” in 2013.  COST is a nonprofit...

Sales Tax Slice: Are Flying Trapeze Artists Subject to Sales Taxes?

States are continually looking for ways to raise revenues. One source of state revenue that is often overlooked by the public is taxes on admissions and services. But determining which types of admission charges or services are subject to tax can be a "high-wire act" on its own because these tend to vary from state to state.


Sales Tax Slice: Are State Sales Tax Regimes Going the Way of Mail on Saturday?

Following a $15.9 billion loss in the past year, the U.S. Postal Service announced plans to discontinue Saturday deliveries for everything except packages. A major part of the U.S. Postal Service's financial woes stem from the rise of email over traditional letters and the increased popularity of package deliveries from internet transactions. The emergence of the World Wide Web has also had a negative impact on state coffers.

Sales Tax Slice: Should Online Travel Companies Collect Tax on Full Price of Rooms?

While the recent cold snap and snowy conditions that spread across the country may have inspired you to explore online travel company websites for getaway deals, a federal judge in Texas has had both eyes fixed on online travel companies (OTCs) and their bid to overturn a 2009 decision in favor of 173 cities in Texas.

Sales Tax Slice: Feeling the Sales Tax Burn on Your Gym Membership?

Ten days ago when many of us celebrated the new year with resolutions to exercise more often or improve physical fitness, it's likely that sales taxes were not a factor impacting the choice of mechanism for implementing these life-improving changes. However, and in addition to general excitement over the season of freshly-minted gym membership cards and first-time reservations with enthusiastic fitness trainers, health and fitness clubs must be motivated to comply with differing state rules for sales taxes imposed on these transactions.

Expert Insight: The State Tax Treatment of Series LLCs

In this “Expert Insight,” well-known tax attorney and BNA Multistate Tax Advisory Board member Bruce Ely answers our questions about the emergence of Series LLCs and the questions surrounding the...

Weekly Round-Up: The Multistate Tax Compact on Trial

On Nov. 13, the California Franchise Tax Board filed a petition with the California Supreme Court requesting review of the California Court of Appeal's decision in Gillette Co. v. Franchise Tax...

Sales Tax Slice: Voluntary Disclosure Could Pave the Way to a Fresh Start

The dawn of a new year signals a time to begin anew and leave behind the cares and bad habits of the previous year. In the state tax arena, the opportunity for a fresh start goes beyond New Year's resolutions.   Many states offer voluntary compliance programs aimed at providing favorable treatment to taxpayers that voluntarily disclose the nonpayment or underpayment of sales or use tax obligations.


State Tax Snapshot: And the Winner Is...

Each year, Bloomberg BNA presents the Latcham Award for Distinguished Service in State and Local Taxation. The award is named for Franklin C. La tcham, Advisory Board chair and founder of BNA...

Sales Tax Slice: Tax Planning for Turkey Day, Black (Thursday?) Friday, and Cyber Monday

With only days remaining to prepare for Thanksgiving, Black (Thursday?) Friday, and Cyber Monday, we should all take a few moments to mentally and physically prepare for the festivities, count our blessings, and be thankful for the sales and use tax guidance that has been so graciously provided by our state and local governments.  Without their forethought and attention to detail, we could spend all day trying to determine if, when, and how much tax applies to retail transactions.

State Tax Snapshot: With FTB Set to Appeal Gillette, Practitioners Eye Opportunities

 In its petition to the California Supreme Court for review of the ruling in the Gillette case regarding apportionment of multistate income, the Franchise Tax Board will focus on findings in the appellate court's decision related to the impairment of contracts and rules for reenactment of state laws, Laura Mahoney reported for Bloomberg BNA's Daily Tax Report .

Weekly Round-Up: Chainbridge Under Fire…Again

Chainbridge Software LLC “unlawfully violated the fundamental purpose” of tax code Section 482 in a transfer pricing study it conducted for the District of Columbia, BP Products North America Inc....

Sales Tax Slice: Cleaning Up in Sandy's Wake

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, businesses, homeowners, and governments from the Mid-Atlantic to New England are facing an enormous task of cleaning up, repairing, and rebuilding property. The state tax implications reach many different tax types, but one area in particular that frequently causes confusion is the application of sales and use tax to repair and installation services, and construction materials and services, especially for transactions involving contractors and subcontractors.

Sales Tax Slice: Have Your Cake, And Eat It, Tax Exempt?

With grocery stores striving to meet the needs of increasingly busy families, the availability of prepared meals offered at grocery stores is on the rise. The broad spectrum of food preparedness levels is geared toward consumer convenience, but presents a tax-headache for businesses seeking to comply with differing state-drawn lines between nontaxable grocery items and taxable prepared foods.

State Tax Snapshot: 2013 BBNA State Tax Department Survey to Cover Additional Topics

The 2013 Bloomberg BNA Survey of State Tax Departments will cover additional topics concerning state taxation. The annual survey aims to provide answers to certain gray areas for which state tax departments typically offer little guidance. Each year, new queries are added to the questionnaires that are sent to state tax department officials in the fall.

State Tax Snapshot: Do You Know Where Your Web Server Is?

Compliance requirements arising from the location of internet servers are among the most challenging issues to resolve, nearly a third of the tax executives polled by KPMG LLP said in a recent survey . This problem is made worse by another main finding of the survey: most tax professionals are generally not included in discussions with top management of other departments in their organizations to provide tax perspectives on cloud initiatives.


State Tax Snapshot: Where Do Obama and Romney Stand on BATSA?

One of the few things on which both parties seem to agree is the need for significant tax reform. While much of the attention is on federal issues, neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney has said where he stands on pending federal bills that would bring about fundamental changes in state taxation.

State Tax Snapshot: States Reaping Benefits of Deferring Sales Tax for Amazon

Since 2011, Amazon has entered into agreements with several states. Under the typical agreement, Amazon promises to locate facilities within a jurisdiction in exchange for the state's agreement to defer sales tax collection until a future tax year. These agreements would be supplanted or preempted if federal legislation is enacted.

Weekly Roundup: What's in Store for the MTC?

California's quick repeal of the Multistate Tax Compact to protect the state from a huge revenue loss in the Gillette case leaves in doubt the strength of the Multistate Tax Commission, with the viability of the compact threatened by a taxpayer win.


State Tax Snapshot: A Threat to the Multistate Tax Commission Compact?

California recently enacted legislation (S.B. 1015) to withdraw from the Multistate Tax Commission Compact. Meanwhile, the state’s intermediate appellate court will soon issue a decision on whether the Compact’s provision affording a taxpayer the ability to elect a three-factor apportionment formula is binding on member states absent an express withdrawal from the compact.

Weekly Roundup: Obama Health Care Reform, Bane or Boon to the States?

Debate ensues on the fiscal impact of ObamaCare on the states, with o fficials from some states saying that the Medicaid expansion will be too costly for their states, and policy analysts claiming to the contrary--that the expansion will actually reduce state and local government costs for uncompensated care to the uninsured and offset some or possibly all of the states' increased Medicaid costs .

State Tax Snapshot: Still Reading State Tax Tea Leaves After Obamacare Decision

The issues before the U.S. Supreme Court in the Obamacare case included federal powers under the U.S. Commerce Clause, the federal government’s power to strip funds from states that balk at new requirements, and the Anti-Injunction Act. Before the decision, it seemed that the high court’s ruling might affect state tax jurisprudence.

Weekly Roundup: Time to Declare Independence from Sales Tax?

While efforts to prevent the further erosion of the sales tax base continue to fizzle, the VAT may offer the fireworks needed to revive state finances. The VAT certainly has been a mainstay in Europe, with the OECD having released this week a discussion draft of commentary on VAT neutrality. Perhaps now is time to look toward Europe, not in terms of 18th century enlightenment, but in terms of 21st century VAT.

State Tax Snapshot: Sales Tax Holidays

Sales tax holidays started in 1980, when Michigan and Ohio briefly experimented with tax breaks on automobiles. New York revived the tax holiday in 1997, with a temporary tax break on clothing priced up to $500. The tax break was intended to fight the tide of shoppers crossing into New Jersey and other neighboring states with lower sales taxes.

State Tax Snapshot: Prospects of Federal Bills Granting Authority to Collect from Remote Retailers

Judging from a presentation from government and business stakeholders at the Federation of Tax Administrators annual meeting last week, it seems that the states are on the verge of being granted the authority to collect sales tax from remote retailers. Also, a poll on Bloomberg BNA's State Tax LinkedIn group shows unanimous agreement that Congress is likely to enact such legislation by the end of 2013.

Weekly Roundup: Remote Sellers' Top 10 Sales Tax Issues

With pending federal legislation to provide states complying with simplification requirements with the authority to require remote sellers to collect sales tax, the time to begin establishing centralized registration systems and clear guidance as to "what is and is not taxable," has clearly come.

State Tax Snapshot: Gift Cards Targeted for Escheat Enforcement

Gift cards are exempt from unclaimed property reporting requirements in many states. In states where gift cards are subject to escheatment, a three-to-five year presumed abandonment period applies. But a growing minority of states are stepping up their efforts to subject unredeemed gift card amounts to escheatment.  

State Tax Snapshot: 2012 Personal Income Tax Rate Changes

With most state legislative sessions drawing to a close, jurisdictions are generally following the trend that began last year of avoiding tax increases, and in some cases, cutting taxes as revenues begin to climb back to pre-recession levels.

Weekly Round-Up: States Find Unclaimed Property Closes Revenue Gaps

While most states have avoided raising raise taxes over the past year, many jurisdictions are eyeing alternative sources of revenue such as unclaimed property. One advantage to this approach is that it generally avoids media scrutiny. Until it doesn’t -- as discovered by Delaware and New Jersey.

State Tax Snapshot: 5 Innovative Developments in State Taxation

It would be reasonable to assume that progress in tax administration is stagnating due to partisan bickering in Congress and state legislatures. But new administrative practices recently adopted by some states are examples of how certain jurisdictions are still fulfilling their roles as laboratories of democracy.

Weekly Round-Up: Another State Strikes a Deal with Amazon

The online giant will begin collecting sales tax on purchases made by New Jersey residents in exchange for state help in building Amazon facilities. Amazon's collection of sales tax begins on July 1, 2013, or if earlier, the effective date of federal legislation that would give states the power to enforce collection of sales tax from online sales.

Weekly Round-Up: Sales Tax Treatment of Deal-of-the-Day Stumps SST Governing Board

All states, including the 21 states that fully adopt the Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement, exclude “cash discounts” and “seller's coupons” from the definition of sales price, but complexities arise with respect to “manufacturer's coupons,” especially when this paradigm is applied to social media coupons and other types of emerging discount transactions, Roll and Swann explain.

Weekly Round-Up: The Beginning of the End for Amazon Laws?

Amazon Laws took two major hits recently. Last week, an Illinois state court judge sided with the electronic marketing industry in its challenge to the state's so-called Amazon tax law, ruling April 25 that the law violates the Constitution and federal rules governing electronic commerce, Bloomberg BNA correspondent Michael Bologna reported.

Weekly Round-Up: Sales Tax Nexus Takes Center Stage

An Illinois state court judge sided with the electronic marketing industry in its challenge to the state's so-called Amazon tax law, ruling April 25 that the law violates the Constitution and federal rules governing electronic commerce, Bloomberg BNA correspondent Michael Bologna writes in the Daily Tax Report .

Weekly Round-Up: Another Week, Another Amazon Law

Virginia recently joined other states this year by enacting a so-called “Amazon Law,” creating a presumption of nexus for certain out-of-state dealers, with the effective date of the provisions dependent upon federal legislation.

State Tax Snapshot: Use Tax Notification Requirements in Doubt After Colorado Law Struck Down

In Direct Marketing Association v. Huber , No. 1:10-CV-01546-REB-CBS (D. Colo. March 30, 2012), a federal judge in Colorado struck down as unconstitutional the state's reporting requirements imposed on out-of-state vendors that sell to Colorado consumers but do not collect and remit state sales and use taxes. The decision could provide ammunition for remote sellers to challenge use tax notice requirements imposed by other states.

Weekly Round-Up: The Battle Rages On Over Contingent-Fee Transfer Pricing Audits

Chainbridge Software LLC, a Fairfax, Va., contractor that conducts state transfer pricing studies with a patented method of analysis, is at the center of a multistate controversy in which taxpayers have been pushing back hard-not only against massive assessments arising from the contractor's work, but also against the very practice of hiring third parties to conduct such studies.

State Tax Snapshot: (Most) States Not to Blame for Tax Pain at Gas Pump

Gas taxes are levied at a fixed rate per gallon in 36 states, according to ITEP. The result is that the same number of cents are collected per gallon regardless of price fluctuations. “State gas taxes are a less significant part of families’ household budgets than they have been in eighty years,” ITEP reported.

Weekly Round-Up: States Outlaw Zappers, a New Variation on ‘Hidden Cash Register’ Trick

A customer pays cash for her order of soup, salad, and steak at a restaurant. When the restaurant is audited for sales tax liability, the steak order has disappeared from the restaurant’s records. What happened to it? Chances are the transaction was “zapped” or deleted from the restaurant’s receipts through the use of data suppression software.

Weekly Round-Up: The Myriad of State Tax Issues Facing Groupons

Groupon and LivingSocial are arguably the biggest and most widely subscribed to web-based "deal-of-the-day" discount coupon programs. [For those closely following this developing trend, keep an eye out for Bloomberg BNA's 2012 Survey of State Tax Departments, set to be issued in late April, which will offer an in-depth look at each state's tax treatment of these social media coupons.] 

Incentives Watch: Tax Foundation State Comparison Study Plays Down Effectiveness of Tax Incentives

A new Tax Foundation study, called Location Matters: A Comparative Analysis of State Tax Costs on Business, analyzed the costs of doing business in each of the 50 states and examined the economic impact of five types of tax incentives, including new job credits, investment credits, research and development credits, payroll withholding tax rebates, and property tax abatements.

State Tax Snapshot: Arizona Joins Growing List of Market-Based Sourcing States

Arizona recently enacted legislation (S.B. 1046) allowing corporate taxpayers the option of sourcing income to the state based on sales into its market. In doing so, the state joins a growing minority of jurisdictions that have adopted a market-based method for sourcing ( i.e. , determining which state is entitled to tax) multistate transactions involving the sale of services or intangibles.

Weekly Round-Up: New Jersey Backtracks From Controversial TAM

A new technical advisory memorandum on advance pricing agreements , Technical Advisory Memorandum TAM-2012-1, was issued by the New Jersey Division of Taxation to clear up taxpayer confusion arising from an earlier TAM, and not to reflect a change in tax policy, a senior state official told Bloomberg BNA reporters Erin McManus and Dolores Gregory.

Incentives Watch: Are Transferable Tax Credits Going to Become a Thing of the Past?

There has been a lot of interest lately regarding the transferability of tax credits.   Last week, we mentioned how the Obama administration is trying to persuade corporations to invest in clean energy, despite the end of a grant program that paid developers for unused credits.   As a result, clean energy investors are now going to need to rely even more on the tax equity market.

State Tax Snapshot: More States Likely to Jump on Affiliate Nexus Bandwagon in 2012

After a brief lull in 2010, when no states enacted an affiliate nexus provision, 2011 saw Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, and Vermont all adopt such a law. Meanwhile, California enacted an affiliate nexus law last year only to repeal it after it struck a deal with Amazon in which the law would be revived if a federal solution is not reached by September 2012.

State Tax Snapshot: Many States Say Affiliate Nexus Is Already in Tax Code

Over the past few years, several states have enacted laws imposing “affiliate” or “click-through” nexus on online vendors with associates located within their borders. These states are Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. A provision enacted by Vermont last year takes effect after 15 other states have adopted click-through nexus.

Incentives Watch: It’s Electric!

Judging by news reports, it would appear that electric vehicles have been embraced by both policymakers and consumers. Some lawmakers have looked to the cars as a means of responding to the threat of global warming and the need to wean the United States off foreign oil. Electric vehicle tax credits and incentives are offered by a number of states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Utah.

State Tax Snapshot: A New Rationale for Volunteer Nexus

Tennessee may impose sales and use taxes on mail order and online sales made by Scholastic Book Clubs Inc., the state’s Court of Appeals ruled recently. The court found that the Missouri-based vendor that enlists in-state teachers to facilitate sales to school children had sufficient connections with Tennessee’s schools and teachers to establish substantial nexus under the U.S. Commerce Clause.

Weekly Round-Up: Pennsylvania Gives Online Retailers a Temporary Reprieve

The deadline for online businesses and other remote sellers with a physical presence in Pennsylvania to begin collecting state sales tax has been extended until Sept. 1 by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, according to a report in this week's issue of Bloomberg BNA's Weekly State Tax Report.

Incentives Watch: Lights, Camera, Too Much Action?

I, for one, enjoy watching famous actors filming a scene down the street, but does it mean that states should continue to offer film tax credits, considering the tremendous budget challenges they face nowadays?

State Tax Snapshot: The Most Important Nexus Cases You’ve Never Heard Of

Three important nexus rulings discussed at a recent Bloomberg BNA State Tax Advisory Board Roundtable most likely did not show up on the radar screens of many state tax practitioners. This is so even though two of the decisions were from the U.S. Supreme Court and one was from the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Weekly Round-Up: Tax Debtors in California Beware

A joint collective effort by the Franchise Tax Board and Board of Equalization that posts on the Internet a list of the state’s 250 largest unpaid state tax debtors has generated over $100 million since its inception, a press release by the FTB states.

Incentives Watch: Here Comes The Sun

New Jersey is leading the pack when it comes to providing solar incentives to various businesses. In fact, companies as far away as California are heading East to take advantage of New Jersey’s solar incentive program, according to a recent article in The Sacramento Bee.

State Tax Snap Shot: Keeping Tabs on State Legislatures

January has arrived, which means states throughout the country are convening their regular legislative sessions. The beginning of the year also marks an important time for state tax practitioners because effective compliance planning often requires tracking the changes that the different jurisdictions make to their state tax codes.

Weekly Round-Up: The Outlook for Federal E-Commerce Tax Legislation in 2012

Stakeholders are hopeful for an opportunity to advance federal legislation in 2012 that would allow states to require online and remote retailers to collect and remit state sales taxes despite a bleak outlook in Congress and tough opposition on a small business exemption, Liz White writes in this week's issue of the  Weekly State Tax Report .

Incentives Watch: New Year, New Credits

With a new year comes the vow to make resolutions.  This year, a number of states have already vowed to focus on offering new credits and incentives to entice businesses to their jurisdictions.

Weekly Round-Up: Gifts Cards Lie at Heart of Washington Nexus Finding

An out-of-state mail-order retailer has substantial nexus with Washington based on its relationship with an in-state affiliate that sold gift cards to customers, distributed the out-of-state company's catalogs, and assisted the out-of-state company's customers, the Appeals Division of the Washington Department of Revenue finds.

Weekly Round-Up: The Tax Mess Confronting Facebook’s New Data Center in Oregon

Oregon's Department of Revenue stirred up a political maelstrom by telling social networking giant Facebook that the department can assess global intangibles at its new data center in central Oregon's economically depressed high-desert country, Paul Shukovsky, a staff correspondent with BNA, reports in this week's issue of the  Weekly State Tax Report .

Weekly Round-Up: Film Tax Credits Suffer Setbacks in Iowa, and Beyond

A Polk County, Iowa, District Court judge has sentenced the former director of the Iowa Film Office to two years' probation for his efforts to secure tax credits for a film company between 2008 and 2009, Mark Wolski writes in this week's issue of the Weekly State Tax Report.

Weekly Round-Up: Tax Research in the 21st Century

One of the biggest challenges in researching state tax issues today is that many jurisdictions often have not enacted laws or issued guidance on the tax treatment of certain types of business transactions, Megan Mahony, co-practice leader, Ryan National Tax at Ryan, LLC, writes in this week's issue of the  Weekly State Tax Report .

Weekly Round-Up: States Eye Unclaimed Property as a New Revenue Source

For cash-strapped states, unclaimed property has emerged as a hot new revenue source, and they are going after that money through a variety of means—cutting down dormancy periods, expanding the scope of unclaimed property laws, and hiring third-party auditors to review the books of property holders, according to attorneys Kendall L. Houghton and Maryann H. Luongo, both with Alston & Bird.

Weekly Round-up: 'Amazon Laws' Come Under Fire

2011-10-07 Friday, October 7, 2011 Weekly Round-up: "Amazon Laws" Come Under Fire Five states enacted so-called "Amazon" or "click-through nexus" laws in 2011, but a panel of state tax experts, speaking in an Oct. 5 BNA Tax & Accounting webinar, questioned the constitutionality of the laws and said they

Weekly Round-up: and California Formalize Their Bargain

2011-09-30 Amazon and California have struck a deal as Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill on Sept. 23 to repeal California's two-month-old online sales tax collection mandate until September 2012, BNA staff correspondent Laura Mahoney reports in this week's issue of the Weekly State Tax Report. In return,

Weekly Round-Up: The Tax Treatment of Online Vouchers

2011-09-23 The popularity of online vouchers, such as Groupon and LivingSocial, has caused tax departments in New York and Massachusetts to take note. New York, this past week, released a technical memorandum on the application of sales tax to these vouchers. In New York, the sale of certain vouchers by

Weekly Round-Up: and California Strike a Bargain

Legislative leaders in California have reached an agreement with and retailers late Sept. 7 in which would drop its referendum to repeal the new use tax collection law in exchange for a one-year delay in enforcement of the law.

Weekly Round-Up: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn…Law Firms Take Notice

The popularity of online social media has exploded recently, and many tax and accounting firms are taking a close look at the benefits of participating in "what has become a normal part of life for millions of people in their personal lives," according to a new article by Rusty Little of Dow Lohnes Price.

Weekly Roundup: Hard Won Victory for Maryland Taxpayer May Prove Short-Lived

A recent Maryland Circuit Court decision, Wynne v. Maryland Comp. of the Treas., holding that the state's credit for state taxes paid provision violates the U.S. Commerce Clause is being challenged by Maryland's Comptroller of the Treasury.   At issue is whether the credit for taxes paid to

Weekly Roundup: Sales Tax Holidays ­ Poor Tax Policy?

2011-08-05 This week saw the release of a new report by the Tax Foundation, Sales Tax Holidays: Politically Expedient but Poor Tax Policy , which takes a closer look at whether sales tax holidays actually live up to all their hype.   "Sales tax holidays are based on poor tax policy and distract p

The Simplification of State Tax Laws

Tax Executives Institute, Inc. has issued a letter supporting the enactment of H.R. 1864, the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2011. H.R. 1864 is a measure that is designed to "create a uniform standard for the taxation by states of income earned by employees who travel fo

Sales Tax Nexus…A Cautionary Tale

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) recently released its CPA Firm Top Issues Survey that took a look at "significant challenges facing practitioners."  But Rian Wilhite, of Peisner Johnson & Company LLP, says the AICPA survey should have focused instead

Take Me Out to the Ballgame…

The most closely watched game these days is not taking place on any sports field but in California between the state and online retail giant   At the heart of the controversy is a new law that would impose a use tax collection duty on Amazon under certain circumstances…

A Click-Through Nexus Debate and Other Developments

So-called "click-through nexus" or "Amazon laws" do not impose an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce, Connecticut's revenue services director Kevin Sullivan argued during a June 30 BNA Tax & Accounting webinar.