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July 29, 2014

Incentives Watch: The Rise, Fall and Rise Again of Wisconsin’s Historic Rehabilitation Credit

In 2013, Wisconsin quadrupled the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit in the state from 5 percent to 20 percent of qualified expenditures through Wisconsin Act 20 in July and Wisconsin Act 62 ...

July 28, 2014

Corporate Close-Up: Hot Enough? MTC Compact Controversy to Broil at Georgetown SALT Conference

The annual Advanced State and Local Tax Institute at Georgetown University Law Center is fast approaching (Aug. 7 and 8). This year’s Institute is organized into four themed segments:...

July 25, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: States No Longer Feeling ’Charitable’ About Charities Asking Residents for Money

“An onslaught of complaints from residents about fraudulent solicitation activity has pushed state legislatures to create laws that require charities and other organizations to register...

July 24, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: Does Like-Kind Exchange Treatment Match Up?

Like-kind exchanges under I.R.C. § 1031 are considered exempt transactions for income tax purposes. However, the sales and use tax consequences of like-kind exchanges may be a trap for the...

July 23, 2014

Property Tax Post: Governors Struggle to Strike Balance between Property Taxes and Pensions

Governors across the country are facing budgetary tensions that pit cuts to public pensions against raised property taxes. The chief executives of Illinois, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have all...

July 23, 2014

Extras on Excise: Is the Colorado Marijuana Tax Lawsuit a Party Foul?

It’s now legal to smoke pot in Colorado. Who would be the least likely people to make a legal challenge to this state of affairs? Marijuana advocates, you say? You’re right! A group of prominent...

July 23, 2014

Wage Withholding Wisdom: Got a Ticket to Ride? It Might Be Subject to State Tax

While most states generally conform to the federal tax code, nearly all of the jurisdictions diverge from the Internal Revenue Code in some key areas.  Identifying these areas of nonconformity can...

July 22, 2014

Individual Tax Insights: Amnesty on the Horizon in Louisiana and Massachusetts

In the past month, Louisiana and Massachusetts passed legislation for tax amnesty programs, which give taxpayers a “fresh start” by greatly reducing or eliminating penalties and/or interest on past...

July 21, 2014

Corporate Close-Up: Michigan Taxpayers Have a New Sword in Fight Against Aggressive Auditors

The Michigan legislature recently passed S.B. 327, enacted June 24, 2014, which requires the Michigan Department of Treasury to issue standards for the fair and courteous treatment of taxpayers by...

July 18, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: Why State Taxation Is Hampering the Evolution of a Mobile Workforce

Companies and their employees face many deterrents to telecommuting, such as the system currently in place for taxing the income of multi-state employees, Nicole Belson Goluboff, author of The...

July 17, 2014

Property Tax Post: The Business Personal Property Tax 'Apocalypse' is Here Again

On August 5, Michigan primary voters will see Proposal 1 on the ballot, which would reallocate other tax revenues to help jurisdictions that will lose revenue from the state’s phase-out of its tax...

July 16, 2014

Extras on Excise: Mortgage Giants Are Winning on Transfer Tax Litigation—Will Their Victories Continue?

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are playing legal Whac-A-Mole with state and local governments’ claims of the mortgage giants’ transfer tax liability—and the mortgage giants are winning. The idea...

July 15, 2014

Death & Taxes: An Interview with Maryland’s Comptroller on the State’s Increased Estate Tax Exemption

Starting in 2015, Maryland will gradually raise its $1 million estate tax exemption until it matches the federal estate tax exemption, which is estimated to be $6 million in 2019. Supporters of...

July 14, 2014

Corporate Close-Up: Is 'Business Income' a Concept That Defies Definition?

Corporations operating in more than one state must generally allocate nonbusiness income to the state in which they are based and apportion business income to the states in which they do...

July 11, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: Serving on the D.C. Tax Revision Commission – One Commissioner's Insights

One of the take away lessons that Ed Lazere, executive director of the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, learned from his work on the D.C. Tax Revision Commission was to listen to his instincts...

July 10, 2014

State Tax Slice: Louisiana Retailers Get a Break on Membership Fees for Tax-Free Shopping Program for International Visitors

This year 16 states, predominantly in the Southeast, will offer tax holidays on items ranging from emergency preparedness equipment, to back-to-school supplies, to energy efficient products....

July 9, 2014

Extras on Excise: No Lighting Up, and Other High Regulations Under New York’s Smokeless Medical Marijuana Law

After years of hard work and vigorous debate, advocates of medical marijuana can finally celebrate a victory in New York. Or did all the hard work go up in smoke?   New York Gov....

July 9, 2014

Property Tax Post: New York, California Wrestle With Who Should Bear Property Tax Burden

The difference between residential and commercial assessments in New York City will likely grow as the City Council adopted Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget June 25....

July 8, 2014

Incentives Watch: A Look at the Proposed Changes to California’s Film and Television Production Credit, Part 2

With many states creating their own incentives to lure the film industry away from Hollywood, California felt it needed to make major changes in order to keep the film industry in its traditional...

July 7, 2014

Corporate Close-Up: State Tax Relief Arrives--Will it be Effective?

Several states have recently enacted legislation that will cut their corporate income tax rates. Proponents of these measures argue that tax relief is necessary to remain competitive with...

July 4, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: Qui Tam Tax Claims Are Bad Tax Policy, a 'Perversion of Justice'

Tax claims alleged by whistle-blowers remain constant, fueling the conversation as to whether states should bar qui tam tax claims from False Claim Acts. In this week’s issue of the...

July 3, 2014

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.

July 2, 2014

Property Tax Post: Arizona’s Taxation of Leased Solar Panels Lights Up Controversy

The Arizona Department of Revenue’s decision to tax leased solar panels has solar energy advocates, solar panel companies and lessees of solar panels in less-than-sunny moods over their new...

July 2, 2014

Extras on Excise: States Amend Insurance Laws in Captivating Race with Vermont

Vermont has a reputation as a haven for campers and other enthusiasts who love the outdoors. But in corporate planning circles it is known as a paradise for companies that choose to self-insure...

July 1, 2014

Incentives Watch: A Look at the Proposed Changes to California’s Film and Television Production Credit, Part 1

The American film industry is virtually synonymous with Hollywood, but in recent years, other states have been luring film and television productions away from California. Now, 39 states and Puerto...

June 30, 2014

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...

June 27, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: Crowell's Conversations – Missouri Does Not Expect to Be Faced With “Gillete”-type Challenge

The challenge in Gillette relates more to states that do not provide the taxpayer the option to elect the Compact's three-factor apportionment formula or which have insisted that a taxpayer...

June 26, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: Summer Tax Hike Is No Concert in the Park

Concerts, amusement parks or sporting events are popular ways to spend time with the family during the summer months, but ticket prices seem to rise a bit more each year.

June 26, 2014

States Seek Freedom from Paper by Requiring EFT for Income Tax Withholding

In a quest for efficiency, reduced cost and independence from paper, each year more states are following the Internal Revenue Service’s lead and requiring employers to remit all income tax...

June 26, 2014

Property Tax Post: Criticism of Food Network’s Semi-Homemade Host Are Only Semi-Fair

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his girlfriend, Sandra Lee, host of TV cooking show “Semi-Homemade,” faced criticism recently after Lee declined to allow the local property tax assessor to...

June 25, 2014

Extras on Excise: Yoga Is No Sin and Other Lessons from D.C.’s Budget Debate

The District of Columbia Council is adopting many of the D.C. Tax Revision Commission’s recommendations to overhaul the city’s tax code—including the controversial “yoga tax” or “wellness tax”...

June 24, 2014

Individual Tax Insights: Examining State Income Taxes From Roots to Revenue

The Tax Foundation recently released a map  of state and local individual income tax collections across the United States, and it presents some interesting facts about individual income taxes. ...

June 23, 2014

Corporate Close-Up: Should CEO Compensation Determine Corporate Income Tax Rates?

California senators are reconsidering a bill ( S.B. 1372 ) which would set corporate income tax rates according to the ratio between CEO salaries and median worker pay. Right now,...

June 20, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: Stakes High in Few California SBOE Cases Involving Ex Parte Communications

Unfettered ex parte communications with State Board of Equalization members about pending appeals are one feature of a California tax administration system that is unlike any other in the U.S.,...

June 19, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: Up, Up, and Away with Tax on Sky Diving Air Transportation Services?

South Dakota recently joined several other states in making it official that those brave enough to skydive will not be taxed on the air transportation services used to get them high in the sky.

June 19, 2014

Property Tax Post: South Carolina Expands Property Tax Protection for Vacation Rentals

South Carolina made it easier for homeowners to rent out their homes for extra income without losing the benefits of a reduced property tax assessment rate for primary residences when...

June 18, 2014

Extras on Excise: D.C.’s Proposed Assessment—A Test Case for Funding Exchanges Under ACA?

The District of Columbia and other states that established insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), were aided by federal funds for the first few years. But the ACA requires...

June 17, 2014

Incentives Watch: Giving Credits Where Credits Are Due in New Jersey

Train passengers coming into New Jersey from the south often note the famous sign on the Lower Trenton Bridge declaring that “Trenton Makes The World Takes.” The slogan initially referred to...

June 16, 2014

Corporate Close-Up: State Designated Tax Havens – A Boon or Bane of Globalization?

The world has become a smaller place for some of the most well-known companies as well as taxing jurisdictions that are seeking to collect what they believe is their fair share of revenue....

June 13, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: Are States Backing Away From Sales Tax Holidays?

In recent years, the economic impact of sales tax holidays has been widely debated, according to a new special report in this week’s issue of the Bloomberg BNA Weekly State Tax Report . ...

June 13, 2014

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.

June 11, 2014

NYC Finance Commissioner Jiha Eyes Property Tax Reform for the Big Apple—Is the State Far Behind?

Jacques Jiha, newly appointed to his position as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Finance by Mayor Bill de Blasio, has his sights set on property tax reform. Specifically, Jiha...

June 11, 2014

Extras on Excise: High-Octane Gas Tax Debates and Maneuvers Fuel Reforms

Georgia drivers are getting a preemptive tax break this summer, after Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) recently issued an executive order suspending a gas tax increase scheduled for July 1. ...

June 10, 2014

Incentives Watch: Tax Incentives and Professional Sports – We Are One?

The 2014 World Cup kicks off this week with the opening match between Brazil and Croatia on Thursday.  This highly anticipated event only comes around every four years, so football fans across the...

June 9, 2014

Corporate Close-Up: Mississippi’s New Alternative Apportionment Rule - the Status Quo or a Step in the Right Direction?

When sourcing receipts for corporate income tax purposes, a growing minority of states are shifting the methodology they use from cost of performance to market-based sourcing. As the trend...

June 6, 2014

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...

June 5, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: Exemption for ‘Smart Gun’ Parts May Signal Legislation Waiting in the Chamber

One proposed solution to improve gun safety is the manufacture and sale of “smart guns.”

June 4, 2014

Major Airlines Take Off to L.A. Superior Court Seeking Property Tax Refunds

Several of the largest U.S. airlines, including American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Airtran Airways, filed suit in the California Superior Court for Los Angeles County May...

June 4, 2014

Extras on Excise: Is Cannabis Commerce Destined to Remain Cash Only?

Recreational marijuana use is now legal in Colorado, but traditional financial institutions have not been opening their doors to the marijuana industry because marijuana remains illegal at the...

June 3, 2014

Tax Woes for Same-Sex Couples Extend Beyond Income Tax Filing Issues

With the recent court rulings in Oregon and Pennsylvania and with Illinois legislation that went into effect in June, 44 percent of the U.S. population now live in places that...

June 2, 2014

Corporate Close-Up: Will the Wynne Decision Result in a Windfall for Pass-Through Entity Owners?

Corporate Close-Up:   Will the Wynne Decision Result in a Windfall for Pass-Through Entity Owners?   Individual partners and S corporation shareholders who earn income from the...

May 30, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: Listen, Learn, Help, and Lead -- A Formula for Tax Reform Success?

Restructuring the code to lower tax rates and encourage investment in our state was a big step forward in the effort to recruit industry, and over the next year we will learn quite a bit more...

May 29, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: Are Taxes on Services Going Mainstream?

Some services will be more expensive in the District of Columbia if a budget measure that has preliminary approval passes in coming months.   D.C. Council, the District of Columbia’s lawmaking...

May 28, 2014

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...

May 27, 2014

Incentives Watch: U.S. Supreme Court Grants Cert in Tax Credit Case Involving County Taxes

The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari today in a state case, Maryland Comp. of the Treas. v. Wynne, dealing with the availability of a credit against state tax, but not county tax, for taxes paid...

May 23, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: The Case for Independent Tax Tribunals

In the past few years, several states have made their tax tribunals independent by separating them from their revenue departments. In this week’s issue of the Bloomberg BNA Weekly State...

May 22, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: Is a Foggy Future on the Horizon for 'the Internet of Things'?

When the announcement of an even slicker or faster smart phone, tablet or computer hits the airwaves, right when you thought you had finally figured out how to use your current device, you can’t help but to shake your head and think “wow, technology is advancing too fast.”

May 21, 2014

NHL Players Score an Exemption from Tennessee’s “Jock” Tax

National Hockey League (NHL) players scored big in Tennessee last month when the legislature enacted H.B. 1134, which exempts NHL players from Tennessee’s $2,500 per game occupational privilege...

May 21, 2014

New Jersey Court Kicks New York Red Bulls’ Property Tax Exemption Out of Bounds

The New York Red Bulls recently lost their property tax appeal in New Jersey, and owe the town of Harrison nearly $3 million in back taxes. Like the New York Jets and the New York “Football”...

May 20, 2014

Transfer Tax Tidbits: The Pick-Up Tax v. The Stand-Alone Tax: What Does the Future Hold?

Some estate tax changes have happened recently that taxpayers should be aware of for planning purposes.   In particular, some states have been busy repealing their pick-up taxes, which are tied...

May 19, 2014

Corporate Close-Up: New Tool Yields Quick Answers to IRC Conformity Questions

The starting point for computing taxable income in most states begins with federal taxable income. But the extent to which the states conform to the Internal Revenue Code varies widely. Some...

May 16, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: The Impact of New York’s Sweeping Tax Legislation

On March 31, 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into the law the most significant New York state corporation franchise tax reforms in nearly four generations, Russell Banigan, Kenneth Jewell and...

May 15, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: Does Bake-at-Home Pizza Slice Away at the SSUTA?

Pizza is the easy crowd pleaser when dinner time rolls around, but the tax on it?   Not so simple.   How much thought goes into how your pizza is taxed?   If the last few weeks are any...

May 14, 2014

Trouble in Paradise Valley--An Arizona Town's Parcel Tax Ignites Debate

An Arizona town ruffled feathers when it enacted a local ordinance raising a “parcel tax” based on property values to fund local fire services. Because the town bypassed the ordinary procedures...

May 14, 2014

Extras on Excise: Debate Over Soft Drink Tax Continues to Fizz in States

Soft drinks have been linked to ills such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.   To combat this, states like California and Illinois are considering legislation that would...

May 13, 2014

Incentives Watch: Tax Credit Highlights From New York’s 2014-2015 Budget Plan

With the enactment of its FY2014-2015 budget , New York made several key changes related to tax credits.  New tax credits were enacted, such as the Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit,...

May 12, 2014

State Tax Snapshot: How Much Weight Should Informal Guidance From Tax Departments Receive?

Each year, Bloomberg BNA sends questions to all of the state revenue departments seeking to shed light on the gray areas of state tax.   They are compiled and published in the annual Survey of...

May 9, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: Do Varied State Approaches to Sales and Use Tax on Remote Sales Warrant Federal Action?

As Internet purchasing continues to flourish and states adopt their own related tax policies, varying approaches are bound to develop based on the diversity of interests, values and...

May 8, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: Are States Whistling the Wrong Tune on Qui Tam Lawsuits?

Whistle Blower laws allow private individuals and companies with inside knowledge of fraud against the government to sue the offender on the government’s behalf, as authorized by False Claim Acts (FCAs), with qui tam provisions.

May 6, 2014

Extras on Excise: Not Just Blowing Smoke—FDA, States Moving Toward E-Cigarette Regulation

If electronic cigarettes become more common and popular, will they face the same kind of regulation as tobacco products?   The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced its...

May 5, 2014

State Tax Snapshot: A Dozen States Say Click-Through Nexus Applies, Despite Absence of Legal Authority

Tax officials in 12 states and the District of Columbia say that their jurisdiction adopts a click-through nexus policy under which it requires sales and use tax collection from...

May 2, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: Is New York's New Factor Presence Nexus Standards Vulnerable to Constitutional Challenge?

The recent passage of New York's budget bill will add New York to the list of jurisdictions that assert a threshold for triggering income tax nexus over taxpayers when that part of the...

May 1, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: Will Other Florida Retailers Get a Boost Now That Amazon Is Collecting Florida Sales Tax?

Amazon started collecting sales tax on its Florida sales today—does that mean that particular customer base will purchase less from the online retail giant?   If the results of a recent...

April 30, 2014

Incentives Watch: Calling All ‘Angels’ -- Kentucky Seeks to Lure Investors

Many states offer income tax credits to investors in various small businesses – specifically, startup technology businesses.  This tax credit is an incentive to help struggling startups get seed...

April 29, 2014

Extras on Excise: Status of State Gas Tax Reform in Limbo Due to Election Year And Other Concerns

As April draws to an end, it feels like an appropriate time to revisit and assess the status of those proposed gas tax reforms that captured our attention in 2013 and early this year (or captured...