State and Local Thinking – December 2017

State and local ThinkingSALT top stories for 2017 It is rare for a proposed federal tax development to dominate the conversation in state and local tax (SALT). However, despite a few ebbs and flows over the course of the year, the groundbreaking federal tax reform effort did just that, given the potential implications for state tax laws.

In addition to considering federal tax reform, states continued to be active on SALT-specific matters, particularly with respect to businesses outside their borders. This was highlighted by a push by South Dakota to adopt sales tax economic nexus legislation that directly challenges the physical presence rule set in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota. Major state court rulings were delivered in Pennsylvania and Virginia this year, and the Multistate Tax Commission kept busy, including finalizing amendments to corporate income tax allocation and apportionment regulations. California made a major overhaul of it tax administration system and soda tax initiatives faced stiff and often successful challenges in a number of states.

As a whole, 2017 was a busy year for state and local tax news. Read Grant Thornton’s SALT top stories for 2017 to learn the details that matter to your business.

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Thought leadership from our State and Local Tax professionals Dec. 7: Jamie Yesnowitz, Principal, SALT – National Tax Office Leader, was quoted in Bloomberg BNA’s Daily Tax Report article “Wayfair, Overstock urge high court to deny digital tax case” written by Ryan Prete. Jamie talked about the likelihood that the U.S. Supreme Court will take on challenges to its 25-year-old Quill Corp. v. North Dakota decision.

Dec. 8: Jamie Yesnowitz, Principal, SALT – National Tax Office Leader, was quoted in State Tax Today’s article “University’s online campus income can’t be sourced to Indiana, state court holds” written by Andrea Muse. Jamie talked about what existing case law would have influenced Indiana Tax Court judges in their ruling regarding sourcing online students’ revenues.

Dec. 19: Dale Busacker, Director, SALT – Minneapolis office, was quoted in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune article “Fast-changing tax plan has many small-business owners, families on edge” written by Jim Spencer, Maya Rao and MaryJo Webster. Dale discussed the impact of the federal tax reform bill on Minnesotans, particularly the loss of personal exemptions could raise taxes for some.

Dec. 20: Jerry Glynn, Managing Director, SALT, and Patrick Skeehan, Manager, SALT – both from the Philadelphia office, co-authored an article for the Pennsylvania CPA Journal titled “Are Computer Services Subject To Sales Tax ... Again?” Jerry and Patrick discussed two letter rulings in the state that provide guidance on the sales and use tax treatment of information retrieval services and support services related to computer software.

Tax professionals

Meet Ying Lee, State and Local Tax Partner in the Cincinnati office Ying Lee is a Partner in the State and Local Tax practice in Grant Thornton's Cincinnati office. He specializes in advising clients in both the public and private sectors, most extensively in the manufacturing and service industries. Ying specializes in advising on multistate planning strategies aimed at minimizing state and local income/franchise tax liabilities. He also performs due diligence reviews, assists with complex compliance issues and resolves controversy issues.

Ying recently joined Grant Thornton as a partner, joining the firm in November after working 16 years at Deloitte Tax LLP, where he was a managing director of multistate tax in their Cincinnati office. Ying also worked as a tax specialist at Daimler-Chrysler.

Ying has a master of business administration degree from Walsh College in Troy, Mich., and a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich. He is a certified CPA in Ohio and is a member of AICPA. Outside of work, he is an Adopt-A-Class team leader and is a campaign coordinator for United Way.

Mark Arrigo
SALT National Managing Partner
T +1 678 515 2320

Jamie Yesnowitz
SALT National Tax Office Principal
T +1 202 521 1504

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