Tax Analysts Blog

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
On Monday, September 23, Louisiana and Connecticut launched tax amnesty programs. State and local tax amnesty programs are a politically palatable way to raise revenue without raising taxes. Although arguably flawed from a tax policy standpoint, amnesties can be beneficial to taxpayers and state of...
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
In late July, the Massachusetts legislature enacted a $500 million transportation financing bill (H 3535) over the governor's veto. Included in the bill was a broadening of the state's 6.25 percent sales tax to include computer system design services and the modification, integration, enhancement...
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
In the past year and a half, the Multistate Tax Commission has come under fire. Its relevancy – even its purpose for existence – has been the subject of speculation. That speculation is still ongoing, but eventually will blow over. The MTC isn't going anywhere. Perhaps it will take a different s...
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
There's an old political adage that citizens can “vote with their feet.” In the past few years, there have been numerous reports of residents voting with their feet by moving out of high tax states. Pro golfer Phil Mickelson made headlines when he announced early this year that high taxes could...
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
States' use of third-party auditors is nothing new. While frequently used to conduct unclaimed property audits, states have also used third-party auditors for a variety of compliance enforcement tasks including determining nexus, performing audits, assessing tax, and of course, collecting tax, int...
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Most of us have heard of doctors without borders, but has anyone heard of textbooks with borders? It's a reality for those using Amazon's textbook rental service, Warehouse Deals. According to Amazon's website, textbooks rented through their service may not be moved outside the state in which the...
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
It's not hard for taxpayers to find themselves subject to California's franchise tax. Take for example Swart Enterprises Inc., which operates a farm in Kansas. According to a Dunn & Bradshaw report, Swart Enterprises was established in 2003 and provides farm labor contractors. The company is inco...
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
In March 2013, Cook County, Illinois enacted a 1.25 percent use tax on the “value” of non-titled personal property purchased outside the county. The idea is to impose a tax on property that is not subject to Cook County's .75 percent sales tax because it was purchased outside the county, but wil...
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
It's back-to-school season, which for many parents means purchasing new kids' clothes and school supplies for the upcoming school year. It's also the time of year that some states announce sales tax holidays for the stated purpose of easing the financial pain of back-to-school shopping. Sales tax...
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
An omnibus tax bill passed by legislators in Pennsylvania on July 3 would make significant changes to a variety of tax provisions. But while the move to market-based sourcing may have gotten more press, HB 465 would also make changes to the state's Board of Finance and Review (board) that could im...
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
In the past two weeks, the Tax Foundation has released two maps that provide detail on states' rainy day funds. The first, released on July 8, showed rainy day fund balances as of 2007, before the economy began its downturn. The foundation calculated each state's rainy day fund as a percentage of...
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Often, when people speak of getting back to where they started, it is said with a bit of nostalgia – as if where they were was somehow better than where they are. I'm sure it is true in certain circumstances. Or it is just human nature to look at the past with rose colored glasses. But when it co...
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Sprint-Nextel Corp. recently received some bad news from a New York supreme court. In a ruling dated June 27, New York Supreme Court Judge O. Peter Sherwood denied Sprint's motion to dismiss a case that alleges the company deliberately failed to collect and remit sales tax. Sprint will now have to...
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
The forecast for most state budgets has been steadily improving for the past several years. In fact, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government reported that state tax receipts for the fourth quarter of 2012 were up 5.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011. It is welcome news. The news ha...
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Disclosure of corporate tax liabilities by states has been the subject of debate for over a decade. In general, opponents allege that publishing a list of corporations' tax liability is an unnecessary breach of taxpayer confidentiality that will not provide a state with additional insight about spe...
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
There is little doubt that many of the bridges, roads, and highways in this great nation are in disrepair. There is also little doubt that despite improvement in the fiscal situation of most states, it is still difficult for state and local governments to earmark enough revenue to significantly imp...
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Delaware has long been the state in which many businesses choose to incorporate because of its favorable laws for the incorporation and taxation of businesses. Yet Delaware has been termed a “bully” when it comes to unclaimed property. That is quite a disconnect. But as it turns out, Delaware is...
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
The City of Philadelphia has long been criticized for having an unfair and antiquated property tax system. Taxpayers frequently questioned whether property tax assessments had any relation to the actual value of the property and whether similarly situated property received a similar assessment. To...
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The importance of an independent tax tribunal is well documented in the pages of tax journals and even mainstream media outlets. My colleague, David Brunori, recently wrote an article urging the Alabama legislature to vote in favor of a bill that would create an independent tax tribunal. Independen...
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I've had the opportunity on several occasions to speak publicly about transparency in state taxation. Most recently, on May 10 at the American Bar Association Section of Taxation Meeting in Washington DC, I spoke on a panel that addressed transparency and states' use of alternative apportionment...