State and Local Thinking -- March 2015

State and local Thinking March 2015State and Local Thinking

SALT Alerts

SALT Alerts are available via Twitter.

U.S. Supreme Court remands discriminatory challenge to Alabama’s fuel excise tax
On March 4, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals properly concluded that a taxpayer’s transportation industry competitors were an appropriate comparison class for the taxpayer’s claim that the sales and use taxes imposed on railroads were discriminatory under the Railroad Revitalization and Regulation Reform Act of 1976 (4-R Act).  Read the SALT Alert.

Texas ALJ allows exclusions from Texas gross receipts under federal reimbursement theory
A Texas administrative law judge (ALJ) recently allowed a transportation company to exclude its fuel surcharge reimbursements from gross receipts when computing its revised Texas franchise tax liability.  Read the SALT Alert.

Maryland Tax Court holds intangible holding company had corporate income tax nexus
The Maryland Tax Court held that an out-of-state intangible holding company had corporate income tax nexus with Maryland because the holding company was considered to have no real economic substance as a business entity separate from its parent company.  Read the SALT Alert.

New York ALJ rejects attempt to apply sourcing rules for 'other business receipts' to online travel reservation services
An administrative law judge (ALJ) in the State of New York Division of Tax Appeals determined that a taxpayer’s receipts for facilitation of online travel reservations were from providing a service and should be sourced based on where the service was performed.  Read the SALT Alert.

Ohio Board of Tax Appeals holds out-of-state retailers with significant gross receipts have substantial nexus for CAT
In two similar cases decided on the same day, the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals upheld commercial activity tax (CAT) assessments levied on two out-of-state retailers under Ohio’s “bright line presence” standards, despite the fact that neither had a physical presence in Ohio.  Read the SALT Alert.

U.S. Supreme Court holds challenge to Colorado’s sales and use tax notice and reporting requirements not barred by Tax Injunction Act
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held on March 3 that the Tax Injunction Act did not bar a challenge in federal court of Colorado’s sales and use tax notice and reporting requirements for out-of-state (remote) retailers.  Read the SALT Alert.

Massachusetts enacts tax amnesty program required to include corporate excise tax
On Feb. 13, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed legislation directing the Commissioner of Revenue to establish a 60-day tax amnesty program during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015.  Read the SALT Alert.

New York ALJ determines Article 32 taxpayer not required to use NOL in computing tax under alternative base
An administrative law judge (ALJ) in the State of New York Division of Tax Appeals determined on Jan. 22 that a taxpayer subject to Article 32 wasn't required to apply a net operating loss deduction to decrease its entire net income in a tax year in which its entire net income base was not the highest of the alternative bases for computing the tax.  Read the SALT Alert.

Tax webcasts and events

Upcoming Tax webcasts

Latest China tax updates webcast
Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 11 a.m. ET
China has issued a series of significant tax rules over the past year. Foreign investors with operations in China must understand these developments and the opportunities and challenges they create. This webcast will focus on the latest tax rules, their possible effect on you, and  actions to address the challenges and capture the opportunities. The topics include the latest developments relevant to non-People's Republic of China tax residents (for example, U.S. companies) such as general anti-avoidance rule, base erosion and profit shifting, and indirect transfer of the shares of Chinese companies. Register now.

Affordable Care Act: What not-for-profits need to know and do to meet upcoming reporting deadlines
Wednesday, June 24, 2015, 2 p.m. ET
This webcast will focus on the early 2016 deadline most not-for-profits face to report detailed health care benefits information to employees and the IRS. The webcast will provide details beyond the basics. Grant Thornton’s ACA professionals will offer their insights and practical tips about how to carry out the reporting responsibilities in an accurate and timely manner. Register now.

Replay past Tax webcasts

Corporate tax issues: Interest expense limitations and consolidated group continuation rules
This webcast discusses certain interest expense deductibility limitations that may apply to corporations. In addition, it covers the rules for determining whether a consolidated group terminates or continues in certain common circumstances. The discussion includes practical examples related to each topic. Replay the webcast.

Tax accounting quarterly update: March 2015
This webcast discusses developments and significant issues that can affect your financial statements, including the accounting for income and non-income taxes. The focus is on the financial reporting implications of these developments. This is a continuation of our series of quarterly webcasts sponsored by Grant Thornton's Tax Accounting and Risk Advisory Services practice. Replay the webcast.

International tax: Changes impacting technology companies
Many technology companies have established international operations to expand their footprint. Operations on a global stage present challenges, particularly in tax. Recent changes in the international tax landscape, such as financial statement implications of foreign earnings, the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and changes in foreign country laws, should be considered as you strategize for the future. This webcast identifies several of the latest international tax changes and explains the potential impact on your technology business. Replay the webcast.

OECD BEPS: Developments affecting US-based companies, Part 2
In Part 1 of our Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) webcast series, we presented the U.S. business community's views regarding various aspects (transfer pricing and international tax) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) recent BEPS releases. In this event, we present various non-U.S. views and reactions to the BEPS releases. Focusing on professionals from the UK and Australia, we discuss — with a primary focus on transfer pricing — the issues, reactions, viewpoints and challenges of the OECD releases relative to non-U.S. tax jurisdictions.  Replay the webcast.

A new Congress, a fresh look at tax policy and strategies

This webcast begins with a Q&A discussion on the 114th Congress and how the political agenda will affect manufacturers. Then it covers how to create an innovative tax strategy — one that takes advantage of external tax trends (federal, state, international) while meeting internal requirements (e.g., corporate acquisitions, foreign expansion).  Replay the webcast.

Tax changes to the maquiladora industry
In 2014, Mexico implemented significant tax reforms affecting U.S. multinationals’ Mexican investments and subsidiaries, including related income. Maquiladoras are among the taxpayers most affected. This webcast discusses how those tax reforms have affected the maquiladora industry.  Replay the webcast.

Enhanced exemption certificate management tools for tax automation
Grant Thornton LLP's Tax Technology Insights help our clients and contacts stay abreast of developing issues and new offerings in tax processes and technology solutions. This webcast covers enhanced exemption certificate management (ECM) tools for clients interested in an end-to-end solution. This discussion includes a demonstration of Grant Thornton's CertConvert and Avalara's CertCapture products. Both systems are designed to provide streamlined integration with tax calculation applications such as Vertex O Series and OneSource Indirect Tax Determination.  Replay the webcast.

Golden parachute payments: Preparing for M&A
Corporations planning for a merger or acquisition have an extensive list of issues to address, and golden parachute payments must be among them. Harsh tax consequences may be imposed, resulting in a 20% excise tax on executives and a loss of deduction for the corporation. This webcast will help you understand the fundamental parachute payment rules and explore some of the more complex issues. More importantly, you will understand strategies to avoid the tax consequences associated with excess parachute payments. 

Thought leadership from our State and Local Tax professionals

  • March 3, 2014, Bloomberg BNA Daily Tax Report, "Supreme Court: Tax Injunction Act Doesn't Bar Lawsuit Against Internet Sales Reporting," Chuck Jones, SALT director, quoted.
  • Feb. 12, 2015, Bloomberg BNA Weekly State Tax Report, "More Economic Nexus, Aggressive Action by State Tax Departments," Jamie Yesnowitz, SALT principal, quoted.

Tax professionals

Meet Michael Boykin, practice leader of State and Local Tax in California
Michael Boykin is the new practice leader of State and Local Tax in California. He has been practicing in SALT for the past 18 years, focusing on income and franchise tax review and planning.

Michael has extensive experience in implementing sophisticated state and local tax restructurings, analyzing the potential state tax ramifications from acquisitions, dispositions and/or mergers, and performing multistate nexus reviews.

He has also assisted clients with state audit defense and negotiation matters, and with voluntary disclosure issues. His clients have been primarily in the manufacturing, energy, retail, transportation, communications and professional services industries.

He holds a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a JD from Hofstra University, School of Law, in Hempstead, N.Y.

Tax professional standards statement
This document supports Grant Thornton LLP’s marketing of professional services and is not written tax advice directed at the particular facts and circumstances of any person. If you are interested in the subject of this document, we encourage you to contact us or an independent tax adviser to discuss the potential application to your particular situation. Nothing herein shall be construed as imposing a limitation on any person from disclosing the tax treatment or tax structure of any matter addressed herein. To the extent this document may be considered to contain written tax advice, any written advice contained in, forwarded with or attached to this document is not intended by Grant Thornton LLP to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code.