Tax Analysts Blog

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Taxing guns and ammunition may seem like doing something about violence, but it’s not.

Friday, October 30, 2015
Newsflash…it's 2015, and it might be time to reexamine the idea of unpublished opinions. For many years, having an opinion go unpublished meant that it was literally hidden from lawyers because it was not published in an official reporter. Now unpublished opinions readily appear in online databa...
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Education funding is complicated. In the past year, New York, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, and very recently, Washington state have struggled with paying for education. On August 13 the Washington Supreme Court ordered the state to pay $100,000 per day in sanctions for its failure to produce a plan to...
Thursday, October 1, 2015
In Idaho, an “ad hoc working group” of legislators came under fire for meeting behind closed doors to discuss tax policy. According to a September 27 news story, the group has been meeting all summer, but is not listed as one of the official legislative interim committees or task forces. Those gr...
Friday, September 4, 2015
In the last month, I've spent more time than I'd like to admit trying to figure out how, when, and with whom state tax authorities share confidential taxpayer information and what safeguards are in place to avoid its misuse. What I've learned is that very little information is publicly available...
Friday, August 7, 2015
In September 2014 Tax Analysts sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the IRS for a list of all states and localities currently participating in IRS taxpayer information sharing programs, and all taxpayer information sharing agreements entered into between any state or territory of the United...
Friday, July 31, 2015
It's long been acknowledged that the New York Division of Taxation aggressively enforces its residency rules. People who move from New York to states without an income tax are frequently subject to a residency audit to ensure that they have legally changed their domicile. Taxpayers may not appreci...
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Working for a media organization that covers taxes certainly has its perks. It's a fast-paced environment in which every day is different. We are constantly looking for breaking news and take our job to report on important tax-related events seriously. And whether or not anyone else agrees, tax...
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
I often feel as though I'm constantly complaining about poor transparency practices in the administration of our tax systems at both the federal and state levels. In my defense, there are a lot of nontransparent practices to complain about. But finally, here is some good news to report. On June 1,...
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Two measures (SB 118 and HB 82) proposed in Hawaii in January would have eliminated the dividends paid deduction (DPD) for real estate investment trusts. The measures have been deferred pending further study. Supporters of the bills contend that dividends paid by REITs should be taxed before distr...
Thursday, June 4, 2015
Data breaches involving taxpayer information have made headlines lately. To combat this, the IRS and state tax authorities are working together to change the way taxpayer identities and accounts are verified. The goal of the project is to improve the security of taxpayer identities and detect patte...
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Inaction may be the right word to describe what's going on with tax reform at the federal level, but not so with the states. In preparing for a presentation, I did some research on tax reform at the state level. At Tax Analysts, we cover events as they happen and we've covered a lot, but putting...
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Goldman Sachs recently reported that state and local governments will spend at a slower pace than they have in the last few years. One of the reasons for this is slow growth in tax collections. Given that tax collections are slowing, it would seem that state and local governments might want to rei...
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
States are generally protective of their revenue sources and will go to great lengths to ensure that revenue remains as stable as possible. For that reason, states rarely get rid of a major tax. In fact, in the past 32 years, no state has done so. In the past 50 years, only Alaska has successfully...
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Transactions between related entities are common and engaged in for both business and tax purposes. Management fees, factoring fees, loans, and other intercompany transactions can be beneficial from a tax planning standpoint, provided the transactions are properly structured and supported by adequa...
Thursday, March 5, 2015
I've been hearing the term “big data” a lot lately. Not being an IT professional, I assumed rather naively that big data was, well, data that was big. As it turns out, my simplistic definition isn't all that far off. According to Webopedia, big data is a term used to describe a massive volume o...
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
On February 24 Tax Analysts did the unthinkable: It published an unpublished opinion from the Colorado Court of Appeals. This may seem uneventful. Unpublished opinions are routinely available from courts across the country, but not from the Colorado Court of Appeals. Although the court may issue 2,...
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Passthrough entities have received a lot of attention lately -- partially because 90 percent of businesses are structured this way. Most of these businesses are S corporations, limited liability partnerships, or sole proprietorships. Given that so many businesses are being formed outside the C cor...
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
In January, Glenn Hegar was sworn in as the Texas comptroller of public accounts. In his inauguration speech, he pledged to help keep the Texas economy on track, but it may be a difficult task. Plummeting oil prices have many in Texas concerned about the future. Nonetheless, Hegar has predicted mod...
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
I've written before about the benefits of having an independent tax tribunal at the state level. Generally, an independent tax tribunal (one that is independent of the state's tax authority) is staffed by judges or administrative law judges who are knowledgeable on tax issues and write impartial...