Tax Analysts Blog

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Imagine this scenario: In the middle of an acquisition deal, the due diligence review of a company being acquired reveals that the company has underremitted its sales tax liability. The deal is never finalized because of the problem. The company approaches its tax adviser with the news that it fail...
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
In this week's edition of State Tax Notes, I wrote about a disturbing situation in New Hampshire. In January 2014 William Hoke, the editor of a subscription-based website that provides news and information about taxes administered by the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration (DRA), re...
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
On June 17 Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) signed legislation (HB 117) allowing for the creation of captive insurance companies. Ohio now joins 30 other states that permit captive companies, which are popular risk management tools for large corporations. A captive insurance company generally is an insura...
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
A drywall contractor in Nashville, Tennessee, is facing a fine for misclassifying workers. At $300,000, the fine is the largest ever imposed by the Tennessee Department of Labor. Contractors in the Tennessee construction industry should take note. The department will likely be looking for others th...
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Two little-known California Franchise Tax Board forms could be among the deciding factors when auditors determine whether a company will be subject to a unitary audit, yet taxpayers and practitioners have heard only rumors about the forms' existence, and the FTB isn't forthcoming with information a...
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Tax authorities receive a lot of confidential information from individuals and businesses. While the information is confidential, that doesn't mean it can't be disclosed. Tax agencies in the U.S. routinely exchange taxpayer information with each other at the federal and state levels. Information...
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
As part of an ongoing effort to improve transparency in state tax administration, Tax Analysts has obtained copies of the Louisiana Department of Revenue's training manuals for auditors. These manuals set forth the procedures used by auditors when conducting an audit. Tax Analysts obtained the aud...
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Alternative apportionment provides state tax authorities and taxpayers the ability to obtain ad hoc relief if the standard apportionment formula fails to fairly reflect the extent of the taxpayer's activity in the taxing state. A model alternative apportionment provision is provided for in section...
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
I had the pleasure of speaking at the most recent District of Columbia Bar State and Local Taxes Tax Series luncheon as part of a panel entitled “Meet the SALT Press.” The discussion largely revolved around the transparency of both informal and formal guidance. Transparency is obviously one of m...
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Tax Analysts is obsessed with transparency. We really are, but in a good way, of course. For more than 40 years, Tax Analysts has worked to bring into the open the working law of tax administrators. But while Tax Analysts has been instrumental in shaping Freedom of Information Act law in this count...
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
State court systems are created by state governments to enforce state law. It's a relatively simple concept. Like the federal court system, state judicial branches are separate entities from the executive and legislative branches. Judges are charged with the difficult task of interpreting and impl...
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Movement on the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA), which would enable states to require remote sellers to collect sales tax, has been the source of much speculation. The bill is pending in the House Judiciary Committee, but interest in the topic remains high, even among members of the committee. Thirt...
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
A recent Arkansas court opinion points out what might be a troubling trend in state taxation: the inability of taxpayers to rely on administrative guidance because the state can retract or supersede it on a moment's notice. The underlying Arkansas case is not particularly exciting. It addresses wh...
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Last week Tax Analysts hosted a panel discussion that addressed the idea of a taxpayer bill of rights (TBOR). The panelists, which included National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson, Christopher S. Rizek of Caplin & Drysdale, and Alan J. Wilensky, former acting Treasury assistant secretary for tax poli...
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
State governments are often slow to adapt their tax codes to technology. Most states are just now getting a handle on the taxation of digital products, but technology doesn't stand still. States are now struggling with how streaming video services fit into the sales and use tax structure. Streamin...
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
The city of Tacoma, Wash., has put out a request for proposals for third-party contractors to perform tax audits. Payment for the work would be based on a percentage “paid as a contingency of the additional revenue received by the City as a result of the services provided by” the contractors. In...
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
The staff at Tax Analysts has spent the past two weeks poring over House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp's tax reform proposal – all 979 pages of it. It has been an arduous task (and for many at Tax Analysts, a labor of love), but in the end, the proposals in the Camp draft will remain j...
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Should a state tax authority be required to disclose forms used by its auditors to determine whether a company will be subject to audit? While the California Franchise Tax Board says no, I would strongly argue -- and recently wrote an article about this for State Tax Notes -- that the state is stre...
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
With all the focus on the Marketplace Fairness Act, another state-tax-related federal bill seems to be flying under the radar. Late last week, the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee announced it would hold a hearing on the Business Activity Simplification Act of 2013 (BATSA, H.R. 2992) on February 2...
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Being the subject of a sales and use tax audit is a fact of life for many large corporate taxpayers. For other taxpayers, an audit comes as an unwelcome surprise. Predicting what makes a company more vulnerable to a sales and use tax audit can prove to be a valuable exercise. Knowing what triggers...