Upcoming National Meeting

51st Annual Meeting Webinar

This program offers sessions of interest to every state tax professional in industry, whether a COST member or otherwise, as well as in the consulting, accounting and legal profession. The program covers all types of state and local taxes that business taxpayers are confronted with today and provides updates on key SALT issues.

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Newsletters & Media

Legislative Alert

ISSUE 20-39; September 15, 2020

COST Testifies in Support of Michigan Bill Addressing Partnerships’ Reporting of Federal Tax Adjustments; CalTax and COST Comment on Proposed California Alternative Apportionment Rule Amendments

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Bloomberg TAX

IRS Broadens Definition of Student in Endowment Tax Rules

 

Colleges can now count additional students when considering whether they have to pay a new tax on endowment income, which could help them avoid the levy's asset-per-student threshold.

California's Work-From-Home Tax Guidance Offers Narrow Relief

 

California’s statement that out-of-state companies won’t face state income tax if they have employees teleworking from California during the pandemic may not be as reassuring as it sounds.

INSIGHT: Can Tangible Property Drive Outside the Opportunity Zone?

 

Qualification of vehicles often driven outside opportunity zones depends on how utilization will be measured, and whether the vehicles have been placed under a service contract or a lease. Alan Lederman of Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart, P.A. looks at some likely scenarios and finds further IRS guidance is needed.

INSIGHT: AI Can Help Law Firms Retain New Talent, Find Work-Life Balance

 

Law firms need to attract and retain the best talent to remain competitive. Jason Brennan, acting CEO of Luminance, says artificial intelligence is part of the solution, allowing young lawyers to quickly review vast quantities of documentation, have more time for more meaningful work, and meet work-life balance goals.

WEEKEND INSIGHTS: Arm's-Length Defense, Composite Return Fight

 

This weekend roundup of Bloomberg Tax Insights looks at defending the arm's-length principle; taxing non-resident pass-through entity owners; the final BEAT regulations and the service cost method exclusion; disregarding legislative intent in Pennsylvania; preempting Internet access sales tax in Massachusetts; and owing tax on an accountant's malpractice settlement payment.

Trump Says He Expects to Nominate Ginsburg Replacement Next Week

 

President Donald Trump said he expects to nominate a replacement for the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court next week and that he’ll likely select a woman.

Lindsey Graham, GOP Abandon Past Views to Speed Court Pick

 

The battle looming over a replacement for the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has many Republicans backpedaling from past stances on election-year vacancies.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Recalled as Trailblazing Advocate for Women

 

Tributes flooded in after the death Friday of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the 87-year-old Supreme Court justice, liberal icon and pop-culture phenomenon, after a long battle with cancer.

How U.S. Supreme Court Justices Are Confirmed: QuickTake

 

The U.S. Constitution establishes just one requirement for the job of Supreme Court justice: “good Behaviour.” It specifies that members of the country’s top judicial body are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The details were left to lawmakers to work out—or fight over, as they have pointedly in recent years.

Trump Urges Quick Action on High Court Nominee, Wins GOP Support

 

President Donald Trump urged Senate Republicans to act quickly to replace late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and several leading members said they would despite outrage expressed by Democrats still smarting from the denial of an Obama nominee four years ago.

Tax Notes

Rhode Island Progressive Candidates Fight Austerity Budget

 

A new crop of Rhode Island progressive legislators and candidates are decrying the governor’s cut to a tax relief program for distressed cities and are calling for taxes on the wealthy.

Hawaii Ends Utility Solar Energy Tax Credit

 

Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) has signed legislation that ends a tax incentive for large utility-scale solar projects but grandfathers in some that are already in the pipeline.

Pennsylvania Bill Would Temporarily Expand NOL Deduction for Pandemic-Hit Businesses

 

Newly filed Pennsylvania legislation would temporarily increase net operating loss deductions to offset COVID-19 pandemic losses.

California Fire Fee Class Action Suit Ends

 

In Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. Department of Forestry, a California appellate court upheld the dismissal of a tax watchdog’s class action suit seeking refunds of a fire prevention fee for homeowners.

Nevada Payroll Tax Extension Lawsuit Set for Oral Arguments

 

Nevada's Senate Democratic leaders have filed their final pre-oral argument brief in a high-profile lawsuit, Settelmeyer v. State of Nevada, over whether 2019 legislation that extended payroll tax rates and preserved a Department of Motor Vehicles transaction fee required supermajority legislative approval to pass.

Vermont Conference Committee Reaches Agreement on Cannabis Tax Bill

 

Vermont House and Senate leaders have agreed on the tax provisions of a much-anticipated recreational cannabis bill.

Maryland Plan Would Increase Alcohol Tax to Reduce Health Disparities

 

Maryland lawmakers plan to introduce legislation that would increase the state sales tax on alcohol by 1 percentage point to fund a program designed to reduce health disparities, which have become more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Jersey Appeals Court Affirms Nexus for Limited Partner

 

An out-of-state limited partner has nexus with New Jersey for corporation business tax purposes, the state’s appellate court held in Preserve II Inc. v. Division of Taxation.

Missouri Audit Finds Issues With Processes for Ensuring Tax Compliance

 

An audit of Missouri’s Department of Commerce and Insurance has unearthed issues with state processes for verifying tax compliance.

Michigan Bill Would Clarify How IRC 163(j) Applies to Unitary Group

 

A Michigan bill would change the calculation of the federal business interest expense limitation for a unitary business group for purposes of the state corporate income tax.

Featured Resources

COST - Council on State Taxation

Amicus Briefs

Level 3 Communications v. Oregon Department of Revenue

In its amicus brief, COST argues that the Tax Court’s decision allowing the imposition of property tax based on the enterprise value of a centrally assessed taxpayer should be reversed because it represents a stark departure from existing law and practice. It would unfairly upend the longstanding and well-settled expectations of centrally assessed businesses that pay property taxes in Oregon.

COST - Council on State Taxation

COST Studies, Articles & Reports

A Conversation on False Claims Act Expansion — Does It Make Sense? (State Tax Notes, July 20, 2020, p. 293)

COST’s Nikki Dobay and Stephanie Do interviewed four state and local tax experts who have experience with the ramifications of state false claims acts.

COST - Council on State Taxation

COST Comments & Testimony

Testimony Before Louisiana Centralized Sales and Use Tax Administration Work Group

On September 18, COST’s Pat Reynolds testified before the Louisiana Centralized Sales and Use Tax Administration Study Group. In his remarks, Pat explained that Louisiana’s current decentralized administration makes the State an outlier compared to other states and subjects its taxes to more constitutional risk.