New York Weighs Decoupling Business Taxes From Federal Code (1)

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By Gerald B. Silverman

New York lawmakers are considering measures to further decouple the state tax code from the federal code as a way to prevent businesses from paying more taxes under the new federal tax law.

Several bills are being considered by the Republican-controlled Senate in the final days of the 2018 legislative session, but it’s unclear if there’s enough time for the measures to be enacted. The Senate passed one, about the new federal provisions on foreign income, late June 19. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn June 20.

The bills are the latest effort by New York to untangle the complicated link between the state and federal tax codes in the aftermath of the 2017 federal tax act ( Pub. L. No. 115-97).

New York decoupled a number of provisions from the federal tax code earlier this year when it became the first state to enact two workarounds to the $10,000 federal cap on the state and local tax deduction. But the sweeping tax bill that was signed in April by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) left a number of tax provisions still coupled to the federal code.

All three bills, which are in the Rules Committee, are backed by the state’s leading business group, the Business Council of New York State.

“We are taking a very close look at these bills,” Scott Reif, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan (R), told Bloomberg Tax in an email. Cuomo, an outspoken critic of the new federal tax law, will review the bills if they pass, spokeswoman Hazel Crampton-Hays told Bloomberg Tax.

A spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The bills would:

  •  decouple the state from the new federal provisions on global intangible low taxed income (GILTI) ( S. 8991A, which passed late June 19);
  •  decouple from the new federal law’s new 30 percent cap on the business interest deduction ( S. 9030);
  •  decouple pass-through entities such as partnerships and limited liability companies from the repatriation provisions of the new federal law ( S. 9024); and
  •  for tax years on or after Jan. 1, 2018, for taxpayers with a federal adjusted gross income of $300,000 or less, would allow an itemized deduction for state and local taxes paid in excess of $10,000 ( S. 9063).

To contact the reporter on this story: Gerald B. Silverman in Albany, N.Y. at gsilverman@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ryan C. Tuck at rtuck@bloombergtax.com

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