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.

books background

Newsletters & Media

Cost Conscious

ISSUE 20-16; August 7, 2020

Delays in the Audits and Appeals Resolution Process – As much as businesses have had to shift work arrangements in response to the pandemic (see previous question, below), state taxing agencies have also made similar adjustments. The collective impact results in more remote state tax audits and appeals, which may also impact the timeframe to resolve a matter. Generally, has it taken your company l


Bloomberg TAX

Playtech Activist Investor Floats Idea of Takeover by DraftKings


It’s been a tough day for DraftKings Inc., with the online gambling company reporting a steeper-than-expected loss and facing a tax issue that could squeeze it even more.

TAX VIRUS BRIEFING: Aid Talks Languish, Trump Trolls Democrats


The drama of virus aid negotiations dissipated this week with talks still stalled and signs of a widening no man's land between the White House and Democrats. Congress is out for the month. President Donald Trump's memorandum directing deferral of payroll tax collections drew mostly doubts about its efficacy and practicality. Catch up on the ways the coronavirus outbreak continues to change the world.

12,000 Retailers Register for Sales Tax Collection Duties


The Week in Wayfair: The world of e-commerce selling is still adapting to the U.S. Supreme Court’s groundbreaking 2018 ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair, which permitted states to impose tax collection duties on remote retailers based on economic activity in a state rather than physical presence. This week the streamlined states flexed their muscles, demonstrating growth in registrations and collections from remote sellers. South Carolina had some warnings for food delivery services and Louisiana issued guidance to wine merchants.

IRS Reaches Out to Distribute Unclaimed Child Stimulus Checks


The Internal Revenue Service is asking federal benefits recipients who haven’t yet received the $500 stimulus payments for their children to fill out an online form with the agency.

Trump Probe Goes Beyond Stormy Daniels, N.Y. Prosecutor Says (2)


Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. made his clearest statement yet that a grand jury probe into Donald Trump goes beyond investigating 2016 payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Ballot Measure Opponents Want Courts to Kill Arizona Proposals


One hundred words could be all it takes to keep proposals to legalize recreational cannabis and boost hospital workers' wages off Arizona’s general election ballot.

Amazon Considers Relocating Some Employees Out of Seattle (1)


Amazon.com Inc. is offering Seattle-based employees a choice of smaller offices outside the city, suggesting the Covid-19 outbreak and a new local employers tax have pushed the e-commerce giant to consider alternatives to its hometown.

DraftKings, FanDuel Fees Deemed Taxable in Landmark IRS Memo (1)


Daily fantasy sports companies like FanDuel and DraftKings must pay federal excise tax on their entry fees, the IRS has decided, in an internal memo that could cause a major shakeup in the industry.

Stimulus Talks Are Stuck in $1 Trillion Ditch Over Aid to States


There’s little chance of agreement on a new federal coronavirus relief plan without a compromise on the roughly $1 trillion in aid to beleaguered state and local government that Democrats demand and the White House opposes.

Minnesota Supreme Court Finds Taxpayer Had State Corporate Income Tax Liability From Sale of Interests


The Minnesota Supreme Court Aug. 12 affirmed the Tax Court's decision, concluding that the income from sales was business income subject to Minnesota corporate income tax. Taxpayer, an Arizona S corporation, operated an internet-based business providing related services to its customers, 1 percent of which were in Minnesota. Taxpayer sold a majority interest in its business and reported the gain from the sale as income that wasn't subject to tax. The Commissioner of Revenue assessed tax on an apportioned share of the income. Taxpayer appealed, arguing that taxing the income from the sale as business income violated the due process principle. The supreme court noted that: 1) the state had a sufficient connection with the sale income because the gain from the sale was generated by a unitary business that receives significant revenues from Minnesota customers; and 2) because the income generated from the transaction is business income of that unitary business, Minnesota may tax that income through apportionment. Accordingly, the supreme court affirmed the decision of the tax court. [Yam Special Holdings, Inc. v. Comm'r of Revenue, Minn., No. A20-0021, 2020 BL 304100, 08/12/20]

Tax Notes

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Push Sales Tax Relief for Bars, Restaurants


The Pennsylvania General Assembly has advanced a bill to temporarily exempt restaurants, bars, and hotels from the sales tax.

Multistate Coalition Reports Findings of Mileage Tax Truck Pilot


Replacing diesel fuel taxes with a single mileage-based user fee rate for the trucking industry would penalize fuel-efficient vehicles, according to a new vehicle-miles-traveled study.

Wisconsin Court Orders Dismissal of Taxpayers’ Claims Against DOR


A Wisconsin appellate court has directed a lower court to dismiss claims against the state Department of Revenue in a case concerning a town’s taxation policy related to Native American property.

Virginia Mayor Urges Lawmakers to Legalize, Tax Marijuana


The mayor of Richmond, Virginia, has called on Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and legislative leaders to legalize marijuana and establish an excise tax system for its recreational use.

Audit Finds South Carolina County Misused $32.4 Million


A South Carolina county misused millions of dollars meant for transportation projects on legal expenses, public relations, a job training program, and other costs, according to an audit by the state revenue department.

Michigan Lawmakers Propose Gender-Neutral Language in Tax Laws


Legislation has been introduced in Michigan to replace gender-specific language in references to married couples in the state’s tax laws.

Oregon Special Session Won't Include CARES Act Decoupling


Oregon lawmakers appear to have decided not to take up a proposal to decouple from federal business tax breaks in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Report: Vermont Pot Revenue Potential Higher Than Estimated


A new report estimates that Vermont residents' heavy cannabis use would generate over $175 million in cannabis tax revenue under legislation to legalize sales of the drug.

Oregon May Consider Decoupling From CARES Act in Special Session


Oregon lawmakers discussed a proposal to decouple from business tax break provisions of the CARES Act in advance of the special session that begins August 10.

California Court Rejects Group's Bid to Alter Split-Roll Ballot Title


A California tax watchdog is appealing a superior court ruling that rejected its challenge to the ballot description of a measure to increase commercial property taxes.

Featured Resources

COST - Council on State Taxation

Amicus Briefs

Sirius XM Radio v. Hegar (Texas)

COST and TTARA amicus brief urging Texas Supreme Court to accept review of the Court of Appeals’ decision to ensure uniformity and to provide clear rules as to how to apportion receipts derived from the performance of services.

COST - Council on State Taxation

COST Studies, Articles & Reports

2020 State and Local Amnesty Programs

Tracker of most state and local tax amnesty programs enacted and conducted in 2020.

COST - Council on State Taxation

COST Comments & Testimony

Comments to FTB re. De Minimis Partner Reporting and Payment Requirements

COST encourages the FTB to adopt reporting procedures for de minimis adjustments pursuant to its authority under Cal. Rev. & Tax Cd. § 18622.5(j).