In a 5-to-4 decision, the US Supreme Court held that states retain sovereign immunity from private suits brought by individuals in courts of other states, and therefore, overruled its prior decision in Nevada v. Hall, 440 US 410 (1979). The decision arose from a longstanding dispute brought by an individual taxpayer against the California

On November 2, 2018, the Chief Counsel of the California Franchise Tax Board issued Chief Counsel Ruling No. 2018-01, determining: (1) that a taxpayer servicing mortgages was not a financial corporation for purposes of the corporation franchise tax; and (2) gains from interest rate hedging contracts are general income, not money or moneyed capital. Although

The California Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s holding that the California Franchise Tax Board can require interstate unitary businesses to use combined reporting, even though combined reporting is optional for intrastate unitary businesses. The taxpayer, a motorcycle retailer, argued that the differential treatment of interstate and intrastate business gave a direct commercial advantage

By Charles Capouet and Jeff Friedman

In a 4-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Nevada courts’ exercise of jurisdiction over the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), but held, by a majority of the justices, that the taxpayer could only receive the damages Nevada provides for suits by private citizens against Nevada agencies. The

By Evan Hamme and Timothy Gustafson

The California State Board of Equalization (Board) unanimously rejected Craigslist, Inc.’s (Craigslist) argument that California’s adoption of a factor-presence nexus regime in 2009 reflected pre-existing federal constitutional nexus standards pursuant to which Craigslist would be “subject to tax” in jurisdictions where it did not have a physical presence, and

By Evan Hamme and Tim Gustafson

In a rare Chief Counsel Ruling (the first of 2015), the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) held that the sale of an entire line of business qualified as an “occasional sale” for corporate franchise tax purposes, thus requiring the selling taxpayer to exclude the resulting gross receipts from its

By Robert P. Merten III and Timothy A. Gustafson

The California State Board of Equalization (BOE) has issued a rare ruling on residency topics, finding in favor of individual taxpayers on two issues. First, the BOE found that the taxpayers established domicile in Washington three months earlier than the Franchise Tax Board claimed, because they

By Michael Penza and Timothy Gustafson

The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) issued an information letter explaining that a trust is taxable in California if any of the following three conditions are met: (1) the trust has income from California sources; (2) a trustee is a resident of California; or (3) a non-contingent beneficiary is

By Evan Hamme and Timothy Gustafson
A California Superior Court held that passive membership in a limited liability company (LLC) is insufficient to meet California’s statutory “doing business” standard. In Swart Enterprises, Inc. v. California Franchise Tax Board, an Iowa corporation with no business activities or physical presence in California invested in a fund organized

By Todd Betor and Timothy Gustafson

A California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) Chief Counsel Ruling concluded that a taxpayer’s sales of assets pursuant to a plan of reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code were not “occasional sales” within the meaning of 18 Cal. Code Regs. § 25137(c)(1)(A)2. Instead, the sales of assets were