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November 25, 2014

Incentives Watch: Georgia Tops List of Best Business Climates for Second Year in a Row

For the second year in a row, Georgia topped the list of Site Selection ’s annual ranking of state business climates. Louisiana also made huge strides, placing second on list, up from sixth place...

November 24, 2014

Corporate Close-Up: Rhode Island’s New Combined Reporting Regime

Taxpayers and tax practitioners planning for 2015 should be aware that Rhode Island has overhauled its corporate tax regime for tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2015. The Rhode Island...

November 21, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: The Relevance of the E.U.’s New VAT Approach for U.S. Sales Tax Systems

In 2015, the European Union's new approach for administration and sourcing of value-added tax on business to consumer sales of telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services begins,...

November 21, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: Federal Remote Vendor Collection Requirement Faces Year-End Battle

In recent years, there has been a nationwide debate on whether to subject online retailers to state and local sales tax. This concept has gained favor with business group coalitions such as the ...

November 20, 2014

Property Tax Post: Will Noise over Property Tax Reform Lead to Action in Texas?

Texas has recently been awash in proposed changes to its property tax system from newly-elected legislators, the newly-elected Lieutenant Governor, local officials, and public policy...

November 18, 2014

Former High Court Clerk Predicts Narrow Win for Taxpayer in Wynne Case

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Maryland Comp. of the Treas. v. Wynne will likely be a narrow victory for the taxpayer, predicted a former clerk to a high court justice at a Nov. 12 panel...

November 17, 2014

Corporate Close-Up: The Burden of California’s Taxes and Fees on Limited Liability Companies

The limited liability company, or LLC, has become a popular form for organizing a business.  Using an LLC generally avoids the double layer of taxation encountered with a corporation while...

November 14, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: An Update on the ULC's Drafting Committee to Rewrite the 1995 Uniform Unclaimed Property Act

On Nov. 8-9, the Uniform Law Commission's (ULC) Drafting Committee to rewrite the 1995 Uniform Unclaimed Property Act met for a second time in Washington, D.C., to advance its consideration...

November 12, 2014

Extras on Excise: Sin Taxes Coming for Marijuana and Sugary Beverages

Be on the lookout for new taxes on your favorite products, as excise taxes featured prominently in the November 2014 election and voters decided to enact new taxes on products such as...

November 11, 2014

Voters in Three States Approve Homestead Tax Breaks for Veterans, Surviving Spouses

Voters in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Virginia overwhelmingly approved state constitutional amendments establishing or expanding homestead exemptions for veterans and their surviving spouses. [Oklahoma,...

November 10, 2014

Corporate Close-Up: Will Pass-Through Entity Owners Get Full Credit for Taxes Paid to Other States?

On Wednesday, Nov. 12, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the oral arguments in Maryland State Comptroller v. Wynne , in which the Maryland Comptroller is seeking to overturn a Maryland high...

November 7, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: 2014 Election - Voters Approve Taxing Soda, Marijuana, and Millionaires

Voters across the country took part in Nov. 4 elections to cast their votes on questions ranging from imposing a “millionaire tax” to legalizing marijuana. On the income tax front, in...

November 6, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: South Carolina Tax Treatment of Hurricane Rental Insurance Blows off Course from Other Southern States

Tourism is the number one industry in South Carolina, responsible for more than $17 billion in spending and employing more than 200,000 people, approximately 10 percent of the state’s...

November 6, 2014

Property Tax Post: Robert De Niro to Ulster County, New York’s Property Assessment: “You Talkin’ to Me?”

Robert De Niro and his personal Riverside Trust are not coming across as goodfellas to the 5,800 residents of the city of Gardiner in upstate New York. De Niro’s trust, which owns the property, is...

November 5, 2014

Extras on Excise: Does Massachusetts’ Rejection of Inflation-Adjusted Gas Tax Have National Implications?

Yesterday Massachusetts voters repealed a 2013 law that indexed the commonwealth’s gas tax to inflation each year.  At a time when gas tax revenues have been falling fast and policymakers are...

November 4, 2014

Wage Withholding Woes: States Generally Conform to Federal Tax Treatment of Severance Pay But a Few Make Their Own Rules

Although most states conform to the federal tax treatment of severance pay, a handful of states have differing regulations. Under the Internal Revenue Code, employer payments to employees...

November 3, 2014

Corporate Close Up: More to Learn From New York’s Corporate Tax Reform

New York recently added to its Corporate Tax Reform frequently asked questions (FAQs) portion of its website to clarify questions created by the reform.  The new FAQs deal with combined...

October 31, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: Reading 2015 Fiscal Outlook Tea Leaves on Election Day

The drama unfolding in state and local elections may provide a preview of the fiscal issues states will continue to grapple with in 2015 and beyond, Bloomberg BNA State Tax Law Editor Radha...

October 29, 2014

Extras on Excise: Cigarette Trafficking and Tobacco Tax Evasion—Strict Enforcement Efforts Are Producing Results

Law enforcement officials in at least three states have been strictly enforcing laws on cigarette trafficking and tobacco tax evasion, prompting the arrests of several suspected cigarette...

October 29, 2014

Property Tax Post: Can Property Tax Relief Be Tailored to Limit Ill Effects of Gentrification?

Unlike those in most major cities, homeowners in Charleston, South Carolina do not face the same property tax increases when their neighborhoods gentrify, writes David Slade of the ...

October 28, 2014

Individual Income Tax Insights: ‘Gifts’ Prove Taxing for the Retiring Derek Jeter

As baseball season will soon reach its conclusion, gift-giving season awaits in the batter’s box. Before the next pitch is thrown it is worth considering what constitutes a tax-free gift versus...

October 27, 2014

Corporate Close-Up: As Unclaimed Property Report Due Dates Creep Closer, California and Other States Issue Guidance to Make Filing Less Frightening

For most people, the end of October means Halloween is quickly approaching. For unclaimed property holders, it serves as a reminder that a different, but sometimes equally scary, date is...

October 24, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: It’s a Lock: Self-Service Key-Cutting Machines in Kiosks Not Exempt in Florida

In recent years, there have been an increasing amount of self-service kiosks in some of America’s largest retailers. MinuteKEY are the makers of the world’s first ever self-service, fully...

October 24, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: An Analysis of the Ninth Circuit's FedEx Case and Its Lessons for Tax Practitioners

Abraham Lincoln reportedly asked, “If you call a dog's tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?” His answer was, “Four. Calling a dog's tail a leg does not make it a leg.”  This is...

October 24, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: This Just Inn: Wyoming Joins Other States in Requiring OTCs to Remit Tax on Full Price of Hotel Rooms

In recent years, states have become increasingly critical of the business model used by online travel companies (“OTCs”), specifically in relation to collecting tax on the discounted price of...

October 22, 2014

Extras on Excise: Margin Tax Referendum Pits Business Against Education in Nevada

When the nation goes to the polls on Nov. 4, in addition to voting for Congressional representatives, state legislators, and others, Nevada voters will be asked to vote yea or nay to a 2...

October 21, 2014

Wage Withholding Woes: Employer-Provided Benefits for Same-Sex Married Employees Become Nontaxable in 13 States

Same-sex marriage became legal in 13 states in October, after the U.S. Supreme Court's Oct. 6 refusal to hear several states' same-sex marriage ban petitions. The court let stand decisions from...

October 21, 2014

Incentives Watch: New York Proposes Music Production Tax Credit to the Tune of $60 Million

From the New York Philharmonic to the now-closed punk rock club CBGB, New York’s impact on music history is undeniable, and now some lawmakers want to ensure the future is also bright for New York’s...

October 20, 2014

An Invitation to Test Bloomberg BNA’s State Tax Planning and Provision Software

BBNA Software will release the beta version of its State Corporate Income Tax Planning and Provision system on November 3 rd. The beta version of the State Tax Planning and...

October 19, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: An In-Depth Look at State Tax Relief on Foreign Income

Figuring out how to prepare the federal tax returns for people whose fiscal lives cross international borders can be vexing and time consuming, Mary Beth Lougen, EA, the founder and president...

October 16, 2014

Property Tax Post: Tax Relief or Adequate School Funding? One Group Says ‘Yes’ to Both

Property tax reform in Pennsylvania should be narrowly tailored to provide relief to specific high tax districts instead of focusing on broader approaches such as eliminating the tax entirely, the...

October 15, 2014

Extras on Excise: Marijuana Legalization—Coming to a State Near You?

Marijuana legalization has spread across the country this year, as Colorado and Washington began the retail sale of marijuana for recreational use, three states enacted medical marijuana...

October 15, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: What an Oar Deal! Rhode Island Exempts Paddleboards as Vessels

Paddleboards, the long, narrow buoyant boards used to paddle across water, may now be exempt from sales and use tax in Rhode Island, according to the Division of Taxation’s latest newsletter . ...

October 14, 2014

Individual Income Tax Insights: California Disallows Donald Sterling's Deduction for Clippers' Fine

Recent legislation from California disallows deductions for fines paid by owners of professional sports franchises imposed by those leagues on both personal and corporate income tax returns for...

October 10, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: The Erosion of the States' Tax Base—A Whopper of a Problem?

In the past 10 years, there has been a surge in corporate inversions, with 47 companies engaging in these transactions between 2004 and 2014, Bloomberg BNA State Tax Law Editor Radha Mohan...

October 9, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: As Bitcoin Goes Mainstream, More States Are Providing Tax Guidance

The public perception of bitcoin is quickly changing. Once regarded as the coin of the realm for cyber thieves, the virtual currency is now accepted by big name retailers such as Overstock.com.

October 8, 2014

Extras on Excise: Will Big Brother Soon Track Your Car For Tax Purposes?

Big Brother may already be listening in on your phone calls and scanning your emails and texts—will he also soon track and tax your mileage as a state gas tax replacement?  The California...

October 7, 2014

Property Tax Post: Oh Shucks! Seven-Year Corn Prices Means High Property Taxes for Farmers

Most people stand to gain as the U.S. economy slowly returns to pre-recession levels, with one notable exception—farmers. Because the formula used to determine property taxes on agricultural...

October 7, 2014

Death & Taxes: Bloomberg BNA’s 2014 Trust Nexus Survey Reveals Significant Issues for Unsuspecting Practitioners, Particularly Double Taxation

Double taxation of trust income is a very real problem. The issue arises because trusts are subject to state income taxes on their entire income when they are classified as resident trusts under a...

October 6, 2014

Corporate Close-Up: Resolution of 13-Year Old Refund Claim is Right in the Instructions

Virginia granted a refund claim more than 13 years after the original tax return was due in Ruling of the Commissioner PD 14-168 on Sept. 12 th . While this result might seem surprising, it...

October 3, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: Amici Filed in Wynne Case Envision Doomsday Scenarios

Amici supporting both taxpayer Brian Wynne and the Comptroller of Maryland each envision a doomsday scenario, but each side sees a different type of doom. In this week’s issue of the Bloomberg...

October 2, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: Did Arizona’s Online Cigarette Tax ‘Break’ Go Up in Smoke?

Last week, AZ Central reported that approximately 30,000 Arizona smokers are facing fines and penalties from unpaid use and luxury taxes stemming from their online cigarette purchases.  ...

October 1, 2014

Extras on Excise: Strip Clubs Swing and Miss - Stripper Taxes Survive State Court Challenges

Taxes imposed on live adult entertainment such as nude dancing have withstood First Amendment challenges in Nevada and Texas. Opponents of the tax argue that it unfairly discriminates against...

October 1, 2014

Property Tax Post: Are Property Taxes Exacerbating Western States’ Water Woes?

In drought-plagued western states, the idea of repealing property taxes that flow to water districts has been catching on, as illustrated by a recent report by the Utah Foundation, titled...

September 30, 2014

Wage Withholding Wisdom: Ruling on FedEx Independent Contractors May Have State Tax Implications

Determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor can be a tricky landscape for employers to navigate, and recent federal court rulings regarding FedEx’s independent...

September 29, 2014

Individual Tax Insights: Survey Says, In a Fair State Tax System Higher Income Households Should Pay More

The results are in. Montana, Oregon and South Carolina garnered high marks for the fairness of their state and local tax systems, according to the results of a WalletHub study reported by John...

September 25, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: Shopping on Amazon Will Get More Expensive for Residents in Two More States

“Tax-free” shopping on Amazon.com will come to an end in just a few days for Minnesota and Maryland residents, as the online retailer will begin collecting sales tax on purchases made in both states starting Oct. 1, 2014. 

September 25, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: Outgoing Chair of the Utah State Tax Commission Is a Fan of the MTC

The MTC is very valuable, both from a tax structure and a tax compliance point of view, R. Bruce Johnson, Outgoing Chair of the Utah State Tax Commission, said in response to a question about...

September 24, 2014

For The Love of Money: States Rely on Aggressive Tax Collection Strategies to Boost Their Budgets

At the San Gennaro Feast festival held in Las Vegas in early September, uniformed revenue officers from the Nevada Department of Taxation approached participating vendors and informed them...

September 24, 2014

Property Tax Post: New York City Considering Property Tax Surcharge For Luxury Pied-a-Terres

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is considering a property tax proposal that would impose a surcharge of up to 4 percent on “pied-a-terre” residences owned by foreign owners, according to...

September 23, 2014

California Approves $330 Million in Film Credits, While Other States’ Credits End Up on Cutting Room Floor

Last week, in the shadow of the historic TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation to increase California’s film tax credits to $330 million per year. California, which...

September 22, 2014

Corporate Close-Up: A NJ Tax Amnesty by Any Other Name Would Have the Same Outcome

New Link New Jersey is offering a tax amnesty program (though N.J. refuses to call it as such) running Sept. 17 through Nov. 17, 2014. But this program is not called an amnesty because it...

September 19, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: San Francisco: The City That Knows How…to Tax?

San Francisco has been known as “the city that knows how” because of its ability to rebuild and rebrand in the wake of the devastation caused by the earthquake and fire of 1906, Alex Thacher,...

September 19, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: Nevada goes “all in” with Tesla Motor Tax Abatements

On September 11, Nevada and Tesla Motors entered into a multi-billion dollar agreement that has potentially significant economic implications for the state as well as manufacturing industries in...

September 18, 2014

Property Tax Post: Hong Kong is the Best, Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico are the Worst --COST, IPTI Scorecard Says

Hong Kong merited the highest grade (an A-) of all the countries and sub national jurisdictions evaluated in a scorecard recently released by the Council On State Taxation (COST) and...

September 17, 2014

Extras on Excise: Pennsylvania’s Tax on Medicaid MCOs—An Example of What Not to Do?

States’ use of health care-related taxes has been on the rise in recent years, as states look to satisfy the rising costs of Medicaid programs and capitalize on matching federal funds. But...

September 16, 2014

Individual Tax Insights: High Court to Consider Hearing Constitutional Challenges Against Same-Sex Marriage Bans

Although Windsor solved some of the disparity same-sex married couples face with taxes at the federal level, particularly with joint tax filings and the federal estate tax, problems remain. ...

September 15, 2014

Corporate Close-Up: Michigan Legislature Responds to IBM Ruling

This past July the Michigan Supreme Court handed down one of the more controversial recent rulings in state corporate income tax in IBM v. Dept. of Treasury. The Court ruled that IBM was...

September 11, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: Sales Tax ‘Gotchas’ – When Reading the Tax Code Is Not Enough

In sales tax circles, a “Gotcha” is an unexpected outcome usually from an audit that seems illogical and counterintuitive, Katherine Gauntt, an Engagement Manager in the SALT Center of...

September 11, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: Public Shaming Becomes More Prevalent in States’ Tax Collection Arsenals

It’s that time of year again… the time when California’s most delinquent sales and use tax offenders are publicly outed by the California State Board of Equalization.  On Sept. 5th, the board released...

September 10, 2014

Extras on Excise: Will Part of California’s Cap-and-Trade Program Become a Backdoor Gas Tax?

Several years ago, the California Legislature approved a cap-and-trade program aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. It already applies to some industries, but in...

September 10, 2014

Property Tax Post: Could Land Banks Solve Cities’ Poor Collection Rates on Blighted Properties?

Detroit missed the mark on its projected property tax collections for the fourth quarter of FY 2014, ending in June 2014, by nearly 90 percent. The city collected only $6.7 million of an...

September 9, 2014

Incentives Watch: The Separation of Church and State Ignites Litigation Involving Scholarship Tax Credits

Education and taxes have historically been interlocked. Traditionally, taxes were collected to help fund public school systems. However, states that offer scholarship tax credits are turning the...

September 8, 2014

Corporate Close-Up: With Upsurge in M&As, Varying State Tax Laws Pose Traps for the Unwary

There has been a noted upsurge mergers and acquisitions in 2014 both worldwide and in the U.S. In terms of structuring these deals for U.S. federal tax purposes, one of the most common forms...

September 5, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: The Unintended Consequences of Capping Property Tax Growth

Many states using a form of modified fair market value in their property tax calculations have enacted property tax cap laws, Bloomberg BNA State Tax Law Editor Michael Kerman writes in this...

September 5, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: Virginia Dodges ITFA, Taxes Internet Activation and Reactivation Fees

Many states have wrestled with defining what types of services are protected by the Internet Tax Freedom Act’s (IFTA) prohibition against taxes on Internet access. This month, Virginia issued...

September 3, 2014

Extras on Excise: The Difference Between a ‘Tax’ and ‘Fee’ and Why It Matters

The difference between a tax and a fee generally turns on the use of the revenue.  Is the revenue meant to raise money that can be used to defray the general costs of government?  It’s a tax.  Is...

September 3, 2014

Property Tax Post: San Francisco is the Latest City to Encourage Urban Farming

Do you want to save money for growing tomatoes in the city? Or for reducing urban blight? Reducing transportation emissions? Next week you can do just that if you live in San Francisco. ...

September 3, 2014

Wage Withholding Woes: When Disasters Strike, Some States Ease Withholding Burdens for Recovery Work

After floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters, the last thing on people’s minds may be payroll or tax issues, but employers affected by disasters and those responding to...

September 2, 2014

Death & Taxes: Your Twitter Account Might Live Longer than You—An Estate Tax Attorney Explains Why This Is a Problem and What States Need to Do to Better Address It

In this interview, Suzanne Brown Walsh, chairwoman for the ULC committee that drafted the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (UFADAA) offers an inside look into the development of the...

August 29, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: Texas Two-Step - How to Qualify for the State’s New R&D Incentives

Taxpayers with significant operations in Texas may benefit from new research and development incentives put into place by the state, Giles B. Sutton, a partner at McGuireWoods LLP in...

August 28, 2014

Sales Tax Slice: Tax Amnesty Programs: A Win-Win for Both Taxpayers and Revenue Departments?

Tax amnesty programs, offered occasionally by state revenue departments, are often a big relief to taxpayers.  They are beneficial to taxpayers because for a short period of time, most tax amnesty...

August 27, 2014

Extras on Excise: Marijuana Producers, States Struggle with Prohibition of Business Deductions

In an effort to provide marijuana businesses with some tax relief, last year Washington state decoupled from I.R.C. § 280E—a federal tax statute that has been the thorn in the side of marijuana...

August 27, 2014

Property Tax Post: Casino Closings Will Cut Atlantic City’s Property Tax Base by Billions

“The center of the Boardwalk. The heart of the action.” Not anymore. By mid-September, three Atlantic City casinos will close, clearing a whopping $2 billion from the city’s already shrinking tax...

August 26, 2014

Incentives Watch: Federal Criminal Defendants Feel the ‘Sting’ of Louisiana Film Tax Credits

Although most people do not connect crime to tax credits, the fact is that tax credits can be worth millions of dollars. And when that much money is involved, it shouldn’t surprise us that the...