Category Archives: State & Local Tax

State & Local Tax ADVISORY: Georgia Legislation Roundup 2017: General Assembly Fails to Pass Economic Nexus Bill

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Which tax bills survived sine die? Our State & Local Tax Group reviews the three major tax bills of the 2017 Georgia General Assembly.
• HB 329 – the omnibus bill
• HB 225 – the rideshare bill
• HB 283 – the IRC conformity bill

Read the full advisory by clicking here. 

Colorado Asks the Supreme Court to Overturn Quill

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On August 29, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) submitted a certiorari petition to the U.S. Supreme Court asking the Court to review the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl (Brohl II). The case already made one trip to the Supreme Court (Brohl I), in which the Court held that the Tax Injunction Act did not bar federal-court review of the case. On remand, the Tenth Circuit held that Colorado’s use tax reporting regime did not violate the Commerce Clause. (To refresh: Colorado’s regime requires out-of-state sellers to report sales to Colorado [...]Read more

North Carolina Appellate Court Affirms that Taxation of Trust’s Income is Unconstitutional

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On July 5, 2016, the Court of Appeals of North Carolina affirmed the 2015 decision by the superior court in The Kimberley Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust v. N.C. Dep't of Revenue, which held that North Carolina was constitutionally prohibited from taxing the income of the plaintiff trust.  Essentially, the state asserted jurisdiction to tax the trust's income based solely on the fact that the beneficiaries of the trust were North Carolina residents (the trust had no other connection with the state).  The superior court rejected this assertion, concluding that the state could not impose the tax [...]Read more

Sales Tax Nexus Roundup – Introducing Louisiana and Tennessee

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We have been closely following the rapid rise of state laws and regulations imposing sales tax nexus or reporting requirements on out-of-state sellers with no physical presence in the state. In the wake of decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in cases brought by the Direct Marketing Association (see prior coverage), states have felt emboldened to enact provisions that challenge the Supreme Court's holding in Quill v. North Dakota, which demands that a seller have physical presence in a state before the state can require the seller to collect [...]Read more

Retailers, Take Note: Connecticut Adds New Gift Card Cash-Back Requirements

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On June 9, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy signed into law HB 5564, which adds Connecticut to the growing list of states that require gift card sellers or issuers to provide cash back to consumers in certain partial redemption situations.  In particular, HB 5564 (enacted as Public Act No. 16-140) requires a seller or issuer of a gift card to provide the purchaser with either a proof of purchase receipt or a gift receipt for the purchase of such card.  Once the card has been redeemed for goods or services and the remaining balance is less than $3.00, the redeeming seller or issuer must pay the [...]Read more

The Panama Papers: Taking a New Look at an Old Problem

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On April 3, 2016, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (“ICIJ”) published more than 11.5 million documents connected to Mossack Fonseca, a Panama law firm that helped establish offshore financial operations for some of the world’s wealthiest power players. The implicated offshore operations allegedly failed to adhere to transparency and beneficial ownership reporting requirements thereby permitting some corporations to operate behind a veil of secrecy and avoid taxing authorities around the world. The release of the Panama Papers has prompted a new firestorm of international [...]Read more

Vermont Proposes Colorado-style Use Tax Reporting Law

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As we discussed in February, the Tenth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of Colorado’s use tax notification law with its decision in Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl (DMA II). In his concurrence to the decision, Judge Gorsuch predicted that “many (all?) states can be expected to follow Colorado’s lead and enact statutes like the one now before us.” (See Gorsuch, J., concurring, at 9). It appears that Vermont may be the first Colorado follower. Vermont is a seasoned player in the game of sales and use tax nexus and collection. In 2011, the state began requiring retailers who make [...]Read more

South Dakota Takes NCSL Challenge, Enacts Sales Tax Nexus Law

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In February, we discussed how the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) circulated a letter to all the states encouraging them to enact laws to challenge the physical-presence standard for sales tax nexus articulated in Quill v. North Dakota. On March 22, South Dakota heeded the NCLS's call when Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed SB 106. SB 106 imposes a sales tax collection obligation on out-of-state sellers "as if the seller had physical presence in the state," provided that the seller meets one of two conditions: (1) the seller's gross revenue from taxable products or services delivered [...]Read more

Closing California’s Perceived Prop 13 Corporate Loophole

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SB 259, a bill that includes language to close the perceived loophole in the portion of Proposition 13 which governs “changes of ownership” in entities that own real property located in California, has been returned to the Secretary of the Senate and will not be moving forward. California’s Proposition 13 (“Prop 13”) was famously passed in the 1970’s in an effort to protect property owners from dramatic rises in their annual property tax bills.  It limits the ad valorem taxes on real property to 1% of the full cash value of the property at acquisition, with a 2% annual cap on assessment [...]Read more

Clouded laws: taxing of cloud services is not uniform

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Mary Benton, partner at Alston & Bird and a member of the firm’s State & Local Tax Group, was recently featured in an Atlanta Business Chronicle article on the taxation of cloud-based services. Mary discusses the complex tax laws governing cloud services and the significant impact these taxes could have on a company’s bottom line. She goes on to say that the taxes vary state-by-state so it is important for companies to know the landscape in which they do business and to be aware of how they will be taxed; some states tax cloud transactions as a tangible personal property while others [...]Read more