By Todd Betor and Andrew Appleby
The Chief Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) of the New York City Tax Appeals Tribunal ruled that The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., may source its receipts from Standard & Poor’s (S&P) public credit rating business using an audience-based method. The ALJ first determined that S&P’s ratings receipts are “other business receipts” because the receipts are not derived from a service or tangible personal property. Therefore, the ALJ determined that the receipts should be sourced as an “other business receipt” on a destination (market) basis. The ALJ next determined that S&P is functionally equivalent to a publisher, and thus the Constitution requires New York City to tax S&P similarly to publishers, absent a compelling government interest. Because New York City tax law requires publishers to source receipts based on the audience in the city, the ALJ held that S&P’s ratings receipts should be sourced similarly based on its New York City audience. In the Matter of the Petition of The McGraw-Hill Cos., Inc., Determination No. TAT(H)10-19(GC) et al., (N.Y.C. Tax Trib. Feb. 24, 2014).