Dissecting the Unitary Business Puzzle: What It Is How It Developed, and How It Is Currently Understood

Daily Tax Report: State provides authoritative coverage of state and local tax developments across the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, tracking legislative and regulatory updates,...

Under the unitary business principle, a state does not have to isolate the intrastate activities of a multistate business enterprise from the rest of its business, but may tax an apportioned sum of the multistate business if the business is unitary. In this article, Stephen Long and Jeffrey Slade examine Supreme Court precedent to trace the contours of the unitary business principle. They make the point that, in determining which of a taxpayer's operations and investments will have sufficient ties to the taxing state to be included in the income apportioned to that state, the underlying analysis is basically factual.

 

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