By Ted Friedman and Timothy Gustafson

The Supreme Court of Missouri reversed and remanded a decision of the Administrative Hearing Commission (see our coverage of the Commission’s January 28, 2013 decision here) and held that income from a “rabbi trust”—a trust established by a corporation to fund a nonqualified deferred compensation plan for company executives—constituted business income subject to apportionment and Missouri taxation. While agreeing with the Commission that the trust income did not satisfy the transactional test for business income, the Court held that the trust income was business income under the functional test. The Court reasoned that a successful business requires capable, productive management and executive leadership management just as it requires the tools of its trade, and by providing additional retirement compensation for its executives, the corporation attracted and retained top executives for the purpose of sustaining its current business operations. MINACT, Inc. v. Dir. of Revenue, No. SC93162 (Mo. Apr. 15, 2014), reh’g den., (Mo. May 27, 2014).