A Posy of Pups! Meet Iris, a 14-week-old pup belonging to Justin Brown, a SALT associate in our Atlanta office. She joins big sister and previous Pet of the Month honoree, Daisy, in bringing plenty of cuteness to Justin’s home.

Justin recently rescued Iris from a local pet adoption agency after realizing Daisy would like to have a companion in the house. According to the adoption agency, Iris’ mom is a blue heeler mix and dad is a beagle, making for a perfectly adorable combination in Miss Iris.

Iris is still limited to puppy food and small training treats. However, lucky for Justin, she doesn’t seem to mind her meals and happily devours them, unlike her discerning big sister.

While eating seems to be no problem, Iris enjoys a few naughty habits, including leaving puppy tooth prints on everything in the house, especially wooden items such as window sills and furniture. She makes up for it by being surprisingly good on a leash, and has already enjoyed a few nice hikes with her dad and big sister.

Justin was initially worried about how Daisy would take to her little sister, but after about two days together at home, they have become best friends and wear each other out on a daily basis, roughhousing and chasing each other around the house and backyard.

Welcome to the SALT Pet of the Month club, sweet Iris!

 

Understanding—let alone navigating—the layers of bureaucracy is no small feat for taxpayers that seek to resolve a California tax controversy, whether through administrative protest and appeals processes or by means of settlement negotiations.

In many states, the counterpart from the department who handles a taxpayer’s protest or appeal also has authority to negotiate a settlement. Not so in California. Also, many states may issue a substantial assessment against a taxpayer and then settle for ten or twenty cents on the dollar during the administrative process. Again, not so in California.

In their article for Tax Executive, Eversheds Sutherland attorneys Tim Gustafson and Liz Cha provide a brief overview of the settlement process in California, followed by key considerations for taxpayers seeking to resolve matters through that process.

Read the full article here.

The Washington Department of Revenue issued an Interim Guidance Statement on the taxability of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The guidance provides that the purchase of a standalone NFT is generally subject to sales tax as the sale of a digital product, and the seller of the NFT is also subject to the business and occupation (B&O) tax on the gross proceeds of the sale. Receipts from sales of NFTs are sourced according to the existing digital products sourcing hierarchy. Additionally, where a purchaser receives a NFT and another good and/or service, and the NFT is not the object of the customer’s purchase, Washington’s “bundled transaction” guidance controls whether the entire sales price is subject to tax or whether each item is taxed separately. Finally, the guidance will remain in effect until the Department develops and issues permanent and more comprehensive guidance regarding the taxability of NFTs.

In this episode of the SALT Shaker Podcast policy series, Eversheds Sutherland Partner and host Nikki Dobay welcomes Jéanne Rauch-Zender, Editor in Chief of Tax Notes State.

They cover the history of Tax Analysts, the publisher of Tax Notes State, and how it’s functioned as a critical platform in the tax industry for practitioners. Jéanne provides insight into her role, the purpose of the journal, how the advisory board assists with production and drives the conversation in tax. Jéanne then discusses the variety of topics the journal covers and her goal to provide a platform for all views to be shared.

They conclude with Nikki’s surprise nontax question for the week – what is your favorite or most interesting activity to do on the Fourth of July?

The Eversheds Sutherland SALT team has been engaged in state tax policy work for years, tracking tax legislation, helping clients gauge the impact of various proposals, drafting talking points and rewriting legislation. This series, which is focused on SALT policy issues, is hosted by Partner Nikki Dobay, who has an extensive background in tax policy.

Questions or comments? Email SALTonline@eversheds-sutherland.com. You can also subscribe to receive our regular updates hosted on the SALT Shaker blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Calling all trivia fans! Don’t miss out on a chance to show off your SALT knowledge!

We will award prizes for the smartest (and fastest) participants.

This week’s question: How did the Wisconsin Tax Appeals Commission recently rule in determining whether an out-of-state travel agent that used independent travel consultants in Wisconsin was responsible for the Wisconsin franchise tax?

E-mail your response to SALTonline@eversheds-sutherland.com.

The prize for the first response to today’s question is a $25 UBER Eats gift card. Answers will be posted on Saturdays in our SALT Shaker Weekly Digest. Be sure to check back then!

New York is considering expanding its False Claims Act to “knowingly or illegally failing to file” a tax return.

Not only should the legislature reject the proposed legislation, New York should roll back its FCA so it does not apply to taxes.

In this installment of “A Pinch of SALT” in Tax Notes State, Eversheds Sutherland attorneys Jeff Friedman and Cyavash Ahmadi examine why New York’s application of the FCA to tax matters should be eliminated.

Read the full article here.

Calling all trivia fans! Don’t miss out on a chance to show off your SALT knowledge!

We will award prizes for the smartest (and fastest) participants.

This week’s question: What state’s supreme court recently affirmed a lower court’s determination that a taxpayer was liable for accommodations sales tax on its resort service fees?

E-mail your response to SALTonline@eversheds-sutherland.com.

The prize for the first response to today’s question is a $25 UBER Eats gift card. Answers will be posted on Saturdays in our SALT Shaker Weekly Digest. Be sure to check back then!

The Washington Department of Revenue’s Administrative Review and Hearings Division recently ruled that a company’s account access services provided to credit unions constituted digital automated services subject to sales tax.

The taxpayer provided an online banking platform and an automated phone system to member credit unions, which in turn provided those services to their individual credit union customers. The platform allowed individual customers to access their account and conduct various transactions such as pay bills, transfer money, accessing electronic statements, reviewing account data. The platform does so by retrieving data from several databases hosted and managed by the taxpayer. The automated phone system allows individual customers to make inquiries, access account information, and activate credit cards, and reroutes customers to the appropriate customer service agent.

Washington’s sales tax applies to digital automated services which include “any service transferred electronically that uses one or more software applications” and include services provided exclusively in connection with the digital automated services as well as “elements similar to standalone digital goods.”  RCW 82.04.192(3)(a); Rule 15503(203)(a). Data processing services are excluded from digital automated services.

The company contended that the platform was not a digital automated service because it offered services that were included in the definition of nontaxable data processing services. The hearing officer disagreed with the taxpayer and concluded that the taxpayer was not selling any of the enumerated excluded services or otherwise charging its member credit card unions for specific excluded services; rather these services were component parts of a larger, integrated service, which constitute a retail sale of digital automated services.

Similarly, the taxpayer argued that the phone system’s core function was an exempt data processing service.  Rejecting the taxpayer’s argument, the hearing officer concluded that the phone system goes beyond mere extrapolation or reformatting of data, and instead involves the use of voice recognition software, software to manage variety of requests and calls, and software to store information generated during the call.

The taxpayer also argued that the taxation of its services violated the Internet Tax Freedom Act (“ITFA”)’s bar on “multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce.”  The hearing officer concluded that the taxpayer did not establish that imposing sales tax on digital automated services violates the ITFA.

Det. No. 19-0284R, 41 WTD 118 (2022)

On May 20, 2022, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that a taxpayer had met his burden of demonstrating that he had changed his domicile from Kansas to Florida. If he were deemed a resident of Kansas, he would have owed over $42 million of back taxes, interest, and penalties, in part from the sale of his restaurant business.

The taxpayer considered Kansas his domicile until 2005, when he decided to retire to Florida.  However, he maintained a home in Kansas with a full-time housekeeper. Under the relevant Kansas statutes, one asserting a change of domicile must show (1) a physical presence in a location other than Kansas and (2) an intention to remain in that location, either permanently or indefinitely. The plaintiff met his burden by demonstrating that he registered a vehicle in Florida, obtained a driver’s license, registered to vote, purchased a home, and other evidence that he considered Florida his permanent home.

The State argued that a spousal presumption applied and the taxpayer should be presumed to have the same domicile as his wife, i.e. Kansas. Although the taxpayer’s wife had moved with him to Florida, for the years at issue, she held herself out as a Kansas resident in order to maintain her law license and for other business purposes. However, the court noted that the relevant regulation is ambiguous and, instead, the presumption was likely overcome. The regulation states “the domicile of a person who is married shall be the same as the person’s spouse unless there is affirmative evidence to the contrary, the husband and wife are legally separated, or the marriage has been dissolved.” The court noted that this regulation is ambiguous “as to which spouse may control the other.” Thus, in the court’s view, “if one were to rely on [the husband’s] residency, rather than [his wife’s] in applying the presumption, then one could presume [his wife] was also a Florida resident.” Alternatively, the court held that he had rebutted this presumption with affirmative contrary evidence showing that his wife spent most of her time with him in Florida and also satisfied the criteria for a non-resident.

Bicknell v. Kansas Department of Revenue, No. 120 (Kan. May 20, 2022).

On July 14, Eversheds Sutherland attorneys Jeff Friedman, Ted Friedman, Liz Cha, Jeremy Gove and Chelsea Marmor will lead panels for COST’s Mid-Atlantic Regional State Tax Seminar.

Panel details and speakers include:

  • Discussion of State Tax Cases, Issues & Policy Matters to Watch – Jeff Friedman and Jeremy Gove
  • Practical Considerations for Handling Tax Controversies in NJ, NY and Beyond – Ted Friedman, Liz Cha and Chelsea Marmor
For more information and to register, click here.