Author Archives: Charles Wakefield

Charles Wakefield
Charles Wakefield is an associate in the State & Local Tax Group of the New York office.  Read More

‘Wayfair’: What Are the Practical Retroactivity Concerns?

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What is the practical risk that states attempt to apply Wayfair retroactively? And should taxpayers rush to limit exposure for historical periods by entering into voluntary disclosure agreements with states that might assess tax retroactively under Wayfair? In an article originally published in Bloomberg BNA’s Weekly State Tax Report, Zach Gladney and Charles Wakefield explain why applying Wayfair retroactively would be misguided and unsuccessful. To read the full article, click here. [...]Read more

When Taxpayers Should Not Bear the Burden of Proof

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The impact of the burden of proof on state tax appeals cannot be overstated.  Taxpayers often lose tax appeals on the basis that they failed to satisfy the seemingly elusive burden of proof. Apart from limited instances in the arena of alternative apportionment, taxpayers bear the burden of proof in nearly every state tax appeal.  As the reasoning goes, taxpayers should bear the burden of proof because it is the taxpayers that possess the necessary information and, thus, are in the best position to establish the proper amount of state tax liability.  But should this always be the case? In [...]Read more

What Makes a Loophole? Prop 13 and Change in Ownership

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Few laws, if any, have had a bigger impact on a state’s taxing authority than California’s Proposition 13 (Prop 13). Famously passed in 1978 amidst a housing market boom, Prop 13 was intended to protect taxpayers from dramatic rises in their annual property tax bills by limiting the ad valorem taxes on real property to 1 percent of the full cash value of the property at acquisition, with a 2 percent annual cap on assessment increases. Perhaps the most friction-laden aspect of Prop 13 is the ‘‘change in ownership’’ requirement.  Prop 13 permits local assessors to reassess tax based [...]Read more