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U.S. Supreme Court vacates and remands Massachusetts case for further consideration

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 13 issued a summary disposition for First Marblehead Corp. v. Commissioner of Revenue that granted the taxpayer’s petition for certiorari, vacated the judgment and remanded the case to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (MSJC) for further consideration in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Comptroller of the Treasury v. Wynne. In First Marblehead, the MSJC held that the fair apportionment requirement of the dormant Commerce Clause was not violated. The MSJC reached this conclusion after determining that the internal consistency test was met because the application of the apportionment statute did not actually subject the taxpayer to double taxation. Several months after First Marblehead was decided, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Wynne that the Maryland personal income tax statutes violated the internal consistency test because there hypothetically would be double taxation if each state imposed the same tax structure. In its petition for certiorari, the taxpayer in First Marblehead contended, based on Wynne, the MSJC did not correctly apply the internal consistency test.

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