Practice Areas & Industries: Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP

 





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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Sutherland handles intricate federal, international, and state and local tax matters, providing custom solutions to address our clients’ tax needs.

Sutherland serves as tax counsel to many of the world’s most prominent corporations—including more than 35 of the Fortune 100—in every area of federal, international, state and local tax law. Our prominence in legal tax services dates back to the firm’s founding nearly a century ago. More than 100 tax lawyers represent taxpayers in federal, international, employee benefits, insurance, tax exempt, and state and local tax matters. By virtue of the size of our tax practice and our varied client base, we are active in every area of taxation—from planning the most complex corporate tax transactions to representing taxpayers in administrative and judicial tax controversies.

Our tax practice counsels in domestic and international tax planning, tax controversy, insurance taxation, joint ventures and partnerships, tax accounting, state and local tax, employee benefits, executive compensation and wealth management. Our tax attorneys apply a cross-disciplinary, cross-office approach to uncover new opportunities and develop creative solutions.

Our tax attorneys are recognized for their skills and acumen with appointments to national leadership positions in government and the private sector. Our firm has produced two IRS commissioners, one IRS Chief of Appeals and one IRS chief counsel. Further, our tax team includes attorneys who have held other positions at the IRS, the Treasury Department, and the Tax Division of the Justice Department.  Members of our team have also served as leaders in the American Bar Association’s Section of Taxation, the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council, the American College of Tax Counsel, the International Fiscal Association and the Council On State Taxation.

Why Sutherland
Deep tax knowledge.
More than 100 attorneys focus their practices on federal, international, state and local tax law.

Collaborative approach. We partner with corporate in-house teams to develop effective strategies for tax planning, transactions and disputes that serve the client’s tax and business objectives.

Connections. Many of our tax attorneys, including our tax litigators, served in federal, state or local government positions. This gives our tax team an understanding of the authorities' view of tax matters that can facilitate resolution of issues.

Success. Our clients recognize the results we achieve across all areas of our broad-based tax practice.

Firmwide support. Our tax lawyers are part of a much bigger and more diverse law firm. They can draw on the talents and experience of other attorneys with a vast range of understanding and knowledge—from energy to financial services.

Nuts and Bolts
Our key experience includes:

  • Federal taxation
  • International taxation
  • State and local taxation
  • Tax controversy and litigation
  • Joint ventures and reorganizations
  • Mergers, acquisitions, dispositions and spinoffs
  • Employee benefits and executive compensation
  • Income taxes, property taxes, and sales and use taxes
  • Partnership tax
  • Audits and disputes
  • Inbound and outbound tax planning
  • Transfer pricing
  • Withholding and information reporting
  • Wealth management
  • Tax accounting

Take Action
If you have a need for deeply experienced tax counsel and pragmatic, efficient tax solutions, our tax attorneys can help.

Selected Experience
Sutherland acts as tax counsel in $25 billion spinoff.
Sutherland acts as tax counsel to Mondelez International in its approximately $25 billion spinoff of Kraft Foods Group.

Sutherland represents international insurance company in tax litigation regarding $306 million tax refund.
Sutherland represents an international insurance company in a refund suit that it filed for its 1997 tax year, seeking the return of approximately $306 million in tax, penalties and interest. The case involves a number of issues, including whether the company is entitled to certain foreign tax credits that it claimed in various cross-border financing transactions.

W. L. Gore retains Sutherland in complex state tax litigation.
Sutherland is representing W. L. Gore, the multibillion dollar manufacturing company best known for developing Gore-Tex fabrics, in landmark litigation regarding the state taxation of holding companies.


 
 
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

ACA Brief: Path to Repeal - No Waiting Period for the New Administration
Brenna M. Clark,Adam B. Cohen,Brittany Edwards-Franklin,Michael A. Hepburn,Cristopher D. Jones,Paul R. Lang,Carol T. McClarnon,Alice Murtos,Meredith L. O'Leary,Vanessa A. Scott,Ryan M. Session,W. Mark Smith,William J. Walderman,Allison E. Wielobob, January 24, 2017
This ACA Brief is the second in a series of installments that will closely track congressional and administrative actions relating to ACA provisions that impact large employer-sponsored plans.

DOL Issues Additional FAQs Related to New Fiduciary Rule
Eric A. Arnold,Wilson G. Barmeyer,Bruce M. Bettigole,Nicholas T. Christakos,Adam B. Cohen,Thomas W. Curvin,Olga Greenberg,Dodie C. Kent,Clifford E. Kirsch,Michael B. Koffler,Susan S. Krawczyk,Ben Marzouk,Carol T. McClarnon,Michael R. Nelson,S. Lawrence Polk,Stephen E. Roth,Brian L. Rubin,Vanessa A. Scott,Cynthia R. Shoss,Holly H. Smith,W. Mark Smith,Phillip E. Stano,Steuart H. Thomsen,Gail L. Westover,Allison E. Wielobob,Mary Jane Wilson-Bilik, January 20, 2017
The Department of Labor (DOL) has released two additional sets of FAQs providing guidance related to its final rule expanding the definition of fiduciary “investment advice” (the Final Rule) for purposes of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA).

NYC Administrative Law Judge Determines Long Distance Telecommunications Service Fees Exempt from Utility Tax
Andrew D. Appleby,Zachary T. Atkins,Open Weaver Banks,Madison J. Barnett,Todd G. Betor,Michele Borens,Nicole D. Boutros,Stephen A. Burroughs,Charles C. Capouet,Elizabeth S. Cha,Eric J. Coffill,Stephanie T. Do,Jessica A. Eisenmenger,Jonathan A. Feldman,Jeffrey A. Friedman,Ted W. Friedman,Timothy A. Gustafson,Evan M. Hamme,Charles C. Kearns,Michael J. Kerman,Nicholas J. Kump,Todd A. Lard,Christopher T. Lutz,Chelsea E. Marmor,Chris M. Mehrmann,Robert P. Merten,Douglas Mo,DeAndre R. Morrow,Amy F. Nogid,Suzanne M. Palms,Hanish S. Patel,Alla Raykin,Carley A. Roberts,Leah Robinson,Marc A. Simonetti,Maria M. Todorova,Samantha K. Trencs,Eric S. Tresh,Douglas J. Upton,W. Scott Wright, January 20, 2017
On December 29, 2016, a New York City administrative law judge (ALJ) determined that Sprint’s long distance telecommunications service fees were exempt from the City’s Utility Tax. The ALJ concluded that the Utility Tax enabling statute—which limits the scope of the Utility Tax to...

ACA Brief: Path to Repeal - ACA Nearing Its Lifetime Limit?
Brenna M. Clark,Adam B. Cohen,Brittany Edwards-Franklin,Michael A. Hepburn,Cristopher D. Jones,Paul R. Lang,Carol T. McClarnon,Alice Murtos,Meredith L. O'Leary,Vanessa A. Scott,Ryan M. Session,W. Mark Smith,William J. Walderman,Allison E. Wielobob, January 19, 2017
This ACA Brief is the first in a series of installments that will closely track congressional and administrative actions relating to ACA provisions that impact large employer-sponsored plans.

Nortel, Lucent, and California and Treatment of Embedded Software
Eric J. Coffill, January 19, 2017
In his Board Brief for State Tax Notes, Sutherland Senior Counsel Eric Coffill, who is also a member of the publication’s Advisory Board, discusses what he believes to be the dark house issues of 2017.

When are Premiums Paid to a Captive Insurance Company Deductible for Federal Income Tax Purposes?
Saren Goldner,M. Kristan Rizzolo,P. Bruce Wright, January 19, 2017
In their article for Captive.com, Sutherland attorneys P. Bruce Wright, M. Kristan Rizzolo and Saren Goldner review the basic requirements that must be met for insurance premiums paid to a captive insurer to be tax deductible: risk transfer, risk distribution and insurance risk.

Checkfree - Another Taxpayer Win on New York State Online Service Receipt Sourcing; ALJ Determination Mirrors Expedia
Michele Borens,Jonathan A. Feldman,Jeffrey A. Friedman,Todd A. Lard,Carley A. Roberts, January 16, 2017
New York taxpayers received additional guidance on the important issue of whether online services constitute “service” receipts, and how those receipts should be sourced, for New York corporate franchise tax purposes.

California Court of Appeal Holds Doing Business ≠ Any Activity Engaged In for Pecuniary Gain
Michele Borens,Jonathan A. Feldman,Jeffrey A. Friedman,Todd A. Lard,Carley A. Roberts, January 16, 2017
On January 12, 2017, the California Court of Appeal held in a published opinion that a taxpayer passively holding a 0.2 percent interest in a California-based limited liability company (CA LLC) was not “doing business” in the state for purposes of being subject to California’s...

2016 Year in Review
Brenna M. Clark,Adam B. Cohen,Brittany Edwards-Franklin,W. Mark Smith,Allison E. Wielobob, January 11, 2017
In 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) continued a curtailed program of interpretive guidance under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA). As has been the case for several years, the regulatory priorities of the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security...

Citigroup False Claims Act Lawsuit Remanded to New York State Court for Lack of Federal Question Jurisdiction
Zachary T. Atkins,Marc A. Simonetti, January 11, 2017
A federal district court denied a taxpayer’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought under the New York False Claims Act (FCA) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and remanded the action to state court. The relator, an Indiana University professor, alleges that Citigroup violated the FCA by...

MA ATB Determines a Securities Corporation Subsidiary Must File Required Application to Receive Favorable Tax Status as a Securities Corporation
Eric J. Coffill,Alla Raykin, January 11, 2017
The Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board (ATB) upheld the Commissioner’s assessment, resulting from a denial of a subsidiary’s securities corporation classification for corporate excise tax purposes. Companies classified as securities corporations receive favorable excise tax treatment...

Pardon My French, But You're A Taxpayer: Out-of-State Baker's Croissants Lead to B&O Nexus in Washington
Zachary T. Atkins,Timothy A. Gustafson, January 11, 2017
The Washington State Department of Revenue ruled that an out-of-state baker whose only in-state “presence” was its use of in-state independent commissioned sales representatives to solicit orders had substantial nexus with Washington and therefore was subject to the state’s...

West Virginia Court Rules that Credit for Taxes Paid to Other States Must Include Local Taxes
Open Weaver Banks,Michael J. Kerman, January 11, 2017
The West Virginia Supreme Court held that a credit for taxes paid to other states on purchases of motor fuel is constitutional only if interpreted to include taxes paid to subdivisions of other states. The court determined that a credit that applies only to taxes paid to other states, and not...

California Appeal Court Upholds $2.8 Million Refund for Comcast on Unitary Business Issue
Madison J. Barnett,Chelsea E. Marmor, January 09, 2017
The California Court of Appeal upheld Comcast’s $2.8 million franchise tax refund, determining that: (1) Comcast and its subsidiary QVC were not unitary, such that QVC was properly excluded from Comcast’s combined group, and (2) a termination fee Comcast received from a failed merger...

More Taxes Coming in Oregon?
Eric J. Coffill, January 06, 2017
New Oregon Gross Receipts Tax Proposal. On December 14, 2016, the group behind Measure 97 (which was defeated at the November 2016 general election), released a booklet setting forth its 2017 legislative proposals. The document includes the basic structure for a new “$100 Million Business...

NYC Tax Appeals Tribunal Allocates Consulting Service Provider's Receipts Based on Location of Consultants
Jessica Allen,Jonathan A. Feldman, January 06, 2017
The New York City Tax Appeals Tribunal administrative law judge (ALJ) determined that a taxpayer’s receipts for consulting services should be allocated based on where the services were rendered, not where the solicitation and payment for the services occurred.

New Jersey Tax Court Analyzes Credit Card Receipt Sourcing
Andrew D. Appleby,Douglas J. Upton, January 06, 2017
The New Jersey Tax Court determined that credit card issuers must source to New Jersey all of their interest and interchange fee receipts, and half of their credit card service fees, from New Jersey accountholders. The Tax Court concluded that the Division of Taxation’s regulations required...

New Jersey Tax Court Rejects Application of 100% Apportionment Factor But Denies In-State Company's Bid to Use Three-Factor Formula
Zachary T. Atkins,Open Weaver Banks, January 06, 2017
The New Jersey Tax Court held that apportioning all of a company’s income to New Jersey for corporate business tax purposes, even with the allowance of a credit for taxes paid to separate-return states, failed to fairly reflect the company’s business activities in New Jersey.

Treasury and DOL Update 2016-2017 Regulatory Agendas for Employee Benefits
Brenna M. Clark,Adam B. Cohen,Brittany Edwards-Franklin,Ryan M. Session,W. Mark Smith, January 06, 2017
The principal regulators of U.S. employee benefits have recently published updates to their guidance plans for the coming months.

Two Bites, Zero Success: South Carolina Court of Appeals Determines Department Did Not Satisfy Its Burden to Justify Alternative Apportionment
Elizabeth S. Cha,Timothy A. Gustafson, January 06, 2017
On October 26, 2016, the South Carolina Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling and determined the Department of Revenue (Department) failed to satisfy its burden of showing that the statutory apportionment formula did not fairly represent Rent-A-Center West Inc.’s (RAC) business...

Christmas Comes Early: IRS Provides Additional Year of Relief for Taxpayers Seeking to Implement Tangible Property Rules
Ellen McElroy,Michael D. Resnick,Bradley M. Seltzer,Amish M. Shah,H. Karl Zeswitz, December 21, 2016
On December 20, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (the Service) issued Notice 2017-6, which provides relief for a taxpayer seeking to change accounting methods in connection with the final tangible property regulations (often referred to as the repair regulations) and certain other related...

IRS Further Updates Beginning of Construction Guidance for Renewable Energy Tax Credits
Dorothy Black Franzoni,Bradley M. Seltzer,Amish M. Shah,Wes Sheumaker,Ram C. Sunkara, December 21, 2016
On December 15, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2017-04, which updates prior guidance regarding the beginning of construction requirement for renewable energy tax credits under IRC sections 45 and 48.1

Final Regulations Impose Reporting Obligations on Foreign-Owned Domestic Disregarded Entities
Robert S. Chase,Taylor M. Kiessig,Engin K. Nural,Carol P. Tello,H. Karl Zeswitz, December 16, 2016
Amid the Panama Papers leak and international concern that foreign persons were concealing assets through U.S. entities that are disregarded for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) proposed and, on December 12, finalized...

IRS Provides Guidance on Reasonable Mortality Charges for Life Insurance Contracts Based on 2017 CSO Tables
Dennis L. Allen,Thomas A. Gick,Michael R. Miles,Mary E. Monahan,William R. Pauls, October 27, 2016
On October 19, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued an advance version of Notice 2016-63, addressing the “reasonable mortality charge” requirement under IRC §§ 7702 and 7702A for life insurance contracts based on the 2017 Commissioners’ Standard Ordinary (CSO)...

Louisiana DOR Proposed Unique—and Troubling—Addback Regulation
Michele Borens,Jonathan A. Feldman,Jeffrey A. Friedman,Todd A. Lard,Carley A. Roberts, October 27, 2016
The Louisiana Department of Revenue proposed a new regulation expansively interpreting Louisiana’s recently enacted related party expense addback statute. La. Reg. vol. 42, no. 10, pg. 1767 (Oct. 20, 2016) (the Proposed Regulation). Earlier this year, Louisiana enacted a new statute requiring...

Generating Steam Heat: Materials and Labor Used to Build Power Plant Exempt From Florida Sales Tax
Jonathan A. Feldman,Michael J. Kerman, October 06, 2016
The Florida Department of Revenue advised that certain materials and labor a taxpayer plans to use to construct a combined heating and power plant will be exempt from Florida sales and use tax. The plant will produce electricity for sale. Florida exempts purchases of machinery and equipment...

Empty Miles, Empty Factor? Texas Comptroller Clarifies "Empty Miles" Treatment in Transportation Apportionment Factor
Timothy A. Gustafson,Chelsea E. Marmor, October 03, 2016
The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts issued a franchise tax letter clarifying that “total mileage” for purposes of computing the Texas special apportionment formula for transportation receipts may either include or exclude “empty miles” provided symmetry is maintained...

Kentucky Court of Appeals Finds Retroactive Statute Constitutional
Andrew D. Appleby,Chelsea E. Marmor, October 03, 2016
The Kentucky Court of Appeals held that a Kentucky statute, which retroactively reduced vendors’ 1% deduction of the sales tax collected and remitted to Kentucky to $1,500 in any monthly reporting period, did not violate the Kentucky Constitution. Wal-Mart argued that the statute violated the...

Reversing Course—Proposed Regulations Reverse IRS Ruling Position on Treatment of Income from CFCs and PFICs for RIC Qualification Purposes
Michael R. Miles,David A. Roby,Rich Sun, October 03, 2016
On September 27, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) issued proposed regulations (REG-123600-16) (the Proposed Regulations) under section 851 addressing the income test applicable to regulated investment companies (RICs) that hold interests in certain...

Minnesota DOR to Pay Taxpayer's Attorney's Fees from Challenging a Not "Substantially Justified" Assessment
Eric J. Coffill,Alla Raykin, September 28, 2016
The Minnesota Supreme Court upheld the Minnesota Tax Court’s award of attorney’s fees to a taxpayer that had challenged the Minnesota Commissioner of Revenue’s assessment of sales and use tax. The Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed the Tax Court decision, because it reasonably...

NYC Tax Appeals Tribunal Finds LLC Owes Real Property Transfer Tax Under Step Transaction Doctrine
Ted W. Friedman,Charles C. Kearns, September 28, 2016
The New York City Tax Appeals Tribunal held that the Petitioner, a Delaware LLC, owed New York City real property transfer tax (RPTT) on the transfer of an interest in certain real property. The Tribunal applied the step transaction doctrine and treated the contribution of the Petitioner’s...

Because ... It's All in the Cloud: Sales of Cloud-Computing Services Do Not Create Nexus in Virginia
Nicholas J. Kump,Amy F. Nogid, August 30, 2016
The Virginia Department of Taxation (Department) ruled that a company’s sales of cloud computing services did not create nexus with Virginia for corporate income tax purposes. The Department also said that in applying P.L. 86-272, it uses the same “solicitation” test for both the...

Treasury Announces 2016-2017 Regulatory Agenda for Employee Benefits
Brenna M. Clark,Adam B. Cohen,Brittany Edwards-Franklin,Michael A. Hepburn,W. Mark Smith, August 30, 2016
The principal regulators of U.S. employee benefits have recently published updates to their guidance plans for the coming months.

Oregon Tax Court Rules Electricity Sales to California Purchasers May Not Be Sourced to Oregon
Eric J. Coffill,Michael J. Kerman, August 24, 2016
On remand from the Oregon Supreme Court, the Oregon Tax Court ruled that receipts from sales of electricity to California purchasers cannot be sourced to Oregon. The Oregon Supreme Court had ruled in Powerex Corp. v. Dept. of Rev., 357 OR. 40 (2015) that sales of electricity are sales of tangible...

Opting-In: Treasury Regulations Provide Rules for Electing into the New Partnership Audit Regime Early
Robert S. Chase,Reginald J. Clark,Thomas A. Cullinan,Joseph M. DePew,Daniel R. McKeithen, August 17, 2016
As reported in a prior Sutherland Legal Alert, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (the 2015 Budget Act) makes significant changes to the procedural rules governing federal income tax audits and judicial proceedings that apply to partnerships and other entities (such as limited liability companies or...

White House Issues Guidance Advising Agencies to Assess Climate Change in NEPA Reviews
Reginald J. Clark,Jay Holloway,Susan G. Lafferty,Peter Ligh,David M. McCullough, August 11, 2016
On August 1, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued its final guidance for federal agencies on considering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the effects of climate change in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews.1 This final guidance comes after the first draft...

Unfair Apportionment in Arkansas: ALJ Requires Taxpayer to Use Marked-Based Method to Apportion Services Income
Chris M. Mehrmann,Carley A. Roberts, August 05, 2016
An administrative law judge (ALJ) of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration upheld the denial of a taxpayer’s corporate income tax refund claim, after the taxpayer attempted to amend its returns to apply the cost of performance method of sourcing income.

Don't Take This Personally: Wisconsin Court Holds State Does Not Have Jurisdiction Over Mississippi DOR
Charles C. Capouet,Jonathan A. Feldman, July 28, 2016
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals held that Wisconsin courts lacked personal jurisdiction over the Mississippi Department of Revenue so as to subject it to a lawsuit in the state. An individual taxpayer asserted that the Mississippi DOR had filed a fraudulent tax lien against him. The taxpayer moved...

Deferred No Longer: Treasury and IRS Issue Long-Awaited 409A Guidance
Brenna M. Clark,Adam B. Cohen,Brittany Edwards-Franklin,Michael A. Hepburn,Cristopher D. Jones, July 14, 2016
On June 21, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed Internal Revenue Code (Code) section 409A regulations, modifying existing proposed and final section 409A regulations regarding deferred compensation arrangements. The proposed regulations consist of 19...

Technical Corrections to Best Interest Contract and Principal Transaction Exemptions
Eric A. Arnold,Wilson G. Barmeyer,Bruce M. Bettigole,Nicholas T. Christakos,Adam B. Cohen, July 14, 2016
The Department of Labor has published technical corrections to two of the exemptions issued in conjunction with its final rule expanding ERISA’s definition of investment advice fiduciary.

Compact, But No Contract: Minnesota Supreme Court Holds Compact Did Not Create Binding Contractual Obligation
Amy F. Nogid,Hanish S. Patel, July 08, 2016
The Minnesota Supreme Court held that Minnesota’s adoption of the Multistate Tax Compact (Compact) did not create a binding contractual obligation and, as a result, the state’s subsequent repeal of the Compact’s alternative apportionment election provision was not prohibited as...

Money for Nothing: Massachusetts Appeals Court Finds Intercompany Financing Transactions Did Not Constitute Genuine Indebtedness
Zachary T. Atkins,Charles C. Kearns, July 08, 2016
The Massachusetts Appeals Court upheld an Appellate Tax Board decision disallowing interest expense on certain intercompany financing transactions because the underlying agreements did not establish an “unqualified obligation to repay.” The taxpayers, subsidiaries of a British utility,...

Washington ALJ Rules Out-of-State Insurance Provider's Marketing Subject to Business & Occupation Tax as Other Services
Jonathan A. Feldman,Alla Raykin, July 08, 2016
An administrative law judge (ALJ) held that a taxpayer’s activities in Washington were not selling, soliciting or negotiating insurance in the state, but rather marketing other in-state insurance companies’ products and receiving commissions from those marketing materials. Accordingly,...

New York Issues Two Advisory Opinions Regarding Surplus Lines Insurance
Michele Borens,Jonathan A. Feldman,Jeffrey A. Friedman,Todd A. Lard,Carley A. Roberts, July 01, 2016
The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (Department) issued two advisory opinions determining that unauthorized non-life insurance corporations (here, surplus lines insurance companies) are subject to insurance franchise tax (under N.Y. Tax Law § 1502) instead of premium tax...

Alabama Regulation Requires Software Update: Tax Tribunal Holds Modified Software Is Nontaxable Custom Software
Eric J. Coffill,Hanish S. Patel, June 30, 2016
The Alabama Tax Tribunal held that a taxpayer was entitled to a refund of sales taxes paid on purchases of software that was modified for its exclusive use because it constituted nontaxable custom software. Relying on its regulation, the Alabama Department of Revenue (DOR) denied the refund,...

South By Southwest: Texas Supreme Court Rejects Processing Exemptions for Oil Company
Charles C. Capouet,Todd A. Lard, June 28, 2016
The Supreme Court of Texas held that an oil and gas exploration and production company’s purchases of casing, tubing, other well equipment, and associated services were not exempt from sales tax under various processing exemptions. Texas provides multiple exemptions from sales tax for certain...

New York Calling: Phone Card Kiosk Sales Subject to Sales Tax, but Not Telecommunications Excise Tax
Timothy A. Gustafson,Douglas J. Upton, June 27, 2016
The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance issued an Advisory Opinion concluding that a retail operator of kiosks selling various prepaid telecommunication plans and additional telecommunication rights for existing plans was subject to New York sales and use tax collection and remittance...

Don’t be Phased by Annuity Treatment: Taxation of Distributions During Phased Retirement
Brenna M. Clark,Adam B. Cohen,Brittany Edwards-Franklin,Thomas A. Gick,W. Mark Smith, June 21, 2016
On June 10, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2016-39 in response to inquiries regarding the appropriate tax treatment under section 72 of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) for payments received by an employee from a qualified defined benefit plan during phased retirement. For...

NYC Tax Appeals Tribunal Determines HMO Subject to General Corporation Tax
Andrew D. Appleby, June 21, 2016
The New York City Tax Appeals Tribunal reversed an administrative law judge (ALJ) and determined that a health maintenance organization (HMO) was subject to the New York City general corporation tax.

Signals Crossed: Satellite TV Receipts Sourced to South Carolina Based on Subscriber Location
Andrew D. Appleby,Michael J. Kerman, June 02, 2016
The South Carolina Administrative Law Court determined that a satellite television provider must source its subscription receipts to South Carolina based on the percentage of in-state subscribers. The administrative law judge (ALJ) determined that South Carolina is not a “strict” costs...

DOL and Treasury Update 2015-2016 Regulatory Agendas for Employee Benefits
Brenna M. Clark,Adam B. Cohen,Brittany Edwards-Franklin,Michael A. Hepburn,Cristopher D. Jones, May 26, 2016
The principal regulators of U.S. employee benefits have recently published updates to their guidance plans for the coming months.

Purposeful By-Product: Louisiana Supreme Court Determines Purchases of Limestone Used in Electricity Generation Qualified for 'Further Processing Exclusion' Under Louisiana Sales & Use Tax
Marc A. Simonetti,Douglas Upton, May 25, 2016
The Louisiana Supreme Court concluded that limestone purchased for the dual purpose of absorbing sulfur during the generation of electricity and producing ash for sale to third parties was excluded from the definition of a “sale at retail” by application of the “further processing...

What Is Your Starting Salary? New FLSA Regulations Raise The Bar For U.S. Employers
Juan C. Garcia,Matt Gatewood,Michael A. Hepburn,Paul R. Lang,Gail L. Westover, May 24, 2016
Employers with salaried employees earning under $47,476 annually should evaluate the impact on their organizations of major changes to employee compensation following new federal wage requirements effective December 1, 2016.

Here’s the Deal: Georgia Governor Signs Several Significant Tax Bills
Michele Borens,Jonathan A. Feldman,Jeffrey A. Friedman,Todd A. Lard,Carley A. Roberts, May 11, 2016
Following the conclusion of Georgia’s 2016 legislative session, Governor Nathan Deal signed into law several tax bills touching on a wide range of tax matters, including sales and use taxes, property taxes, corporate income taxes and state tax credits.

IRS Notice Offers Relief to Issuers of Variable Insurance Products in Response to Pending Money Market Fund Reforms
Dennis L. Allen,Frederick R. Bellamy,Thomas A. Gick,Michael R. Miles,Mary E. Monahan, May 11, 2016
On May 5, 2016, the IRS issued Notice 2016-32, 2016-21 I.R.B. 1, which affords relief with respect to the application of the diversification requirements of IRC § 817(h) to variable life insurance and annuity contracts (collectively, variable insurance products) that offer government money...

Not on the Same Wavelength: Receipts from Radio Advertising Must Be Sourced to Texas When Broadcast from the State
Michael J. Kerman,Amy F. Nogid, May 11, 2016
The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts concluded that a Texas-based national radio network must apportion its advertising receipts based on the ratio of radio stations that license and broadcast its programming from Texas compared to the total number of radio stations that license and broadcast...

IRS Updates Beginning of Construction Guidance for Renewable Energy Tax Credits Extended by PATH Act
Dorothy Black Franzoni,Amish M. Shah,Wes Sheumaker,Ram C. Sunkara,Thomas H. Warren, May 06, 2016
On May 5, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2016-31, which updates prior guidance regarding the beginning of construction requirement for IRC sections 45 and 48 renewable energy tax credits following extensions of those credits in the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of...

Neither a Partner nor Employee Be: Treasury and the IRS Issue Regulations Clarifying the Employment Tax Treatment of Partners in Partnerships
Reginald J. Clark,Adam B. Cohen,Michael A. Hepburn,Paul R. Lang,Daniel R. McKeithen, May 06, 2016
The Treasury Department (Treasury) and the Internal Revenue Service (Service) have issued temporary regulations (Regulations) clarifying the federal employment tax treatment of the owners of partnerships and other entities classified as partnerships for federal tax purposes. In general, the...

Basic-Supplemental Life Insurance Plan Pricing Structure Upheld in ERISA Class Action
Wilson G. Barmeyer,Carol T. McClarnon,Phillip E. Stano,Steuart H. Thomsen,Gail L. Westover, May 05, 2016
An employee benefit plan that includes an alleged subsidization component for its basic and supplemental options is neither prohibited by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) nor a violation of the plan sponsor or service provider’s fiduciary duties, a federal district...

Damages Award Limited in Nevada Case Involving Tortious Conduct by California Franchise Tax Board
Charles C. Capouet,Jeffrey A. Friedman, May 03, 2016
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...

Only the Lonely: “Lonely” Life Insurance Companies Confront New Issues Under Proposed Debt-Equity Regulations
Dennis L. Allen,Thomas A. Gick,Michael R. Miles,Mary E. Monahan,William R. Pauls, April 29, 2016
The rules of IRC § 1504 and Treas. Reg. § 1.1502-47 provide the general parameters for determining whether a domestic life insurance company (within the meaning of IRC § 816(a)) may join in filing a consolidated U.S. federal income tax return with one or more domestic nonlife...

Bills, Bills, Bills: Texas Court of Appeals Scrubs Bill Pay Service Provider Free of Sales Taxes
Elizabeth S. Cha,Charles C. Kearns, April 28, 2016
In Hegar v. CheckFree Serv. Corp., a Texas Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision and held that the taxpayer’s online bill pay service was not a taxable data processing service for Texas sales tax purposes.

Texas Comptroller Issues "Strong" Decision, Companies' Single Shared Administrator Not Sufficient to Require Unitary Combined Filing
Evan M. Hamme,Marc A. Simonetti, April 28, 2016
The Texas Comptroller upheld a taxpayer’s separate Franchise Tax return filing position, rejecting an Administrative Law Judge’s finding that the taxpayer and its affiliate shared a strong centralized management structure that required a unitary combined report.

State Tax Fallout From Federal Proposed Related-Party Debt Regulations
Michele Borens,Jonathan A. Feldman,Jeffrey A. Friedman,Todd A. Lard,Carley A. Roberts, April 27, 2016
Recently proposed Treasury regulations under IRC § 385 (the Proposed Regulations) would create sweeping changes to the federal income tax treatment of related-party debt. The Proposed Regulations could also have far-reaching effects for state income tax purposes, particularly on the...

Sweeping Changes Proposed to Tax Treatment of Related-Party Debt May Impact Private Funds
Robert S. Chase,David A. Roby,Amish M. Shah,Madeleine M.L. Tan,H. Karl Zeswitz, April 15, 2016
Recently proposed Treasury regulations under IRC § 385 (the Proposed Regulations) would potentially treat related-party debt, in whole or in part, as equity for U.S. tax purposes. The Proposed Regulations generally apply to debt among members of an expanded corporate group, which includes...

Taking Stock in Related-Party Debt: Regulations Propose Sweeping Changes
J. Randall Buchanan,Robert S. Chase,Reginald J. Clark,Thomas A. Cullinan,Joseph M. DePew, April 08, 2016
On April 4, the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released proposed regulations under IRC § 385 (the Proposed Regulations)1 that are intended to combat perceived concerns associated with indebtedness between related group entities. Significantly, the Proposed Regulations apply to...

Alabama Tax Tribunal Determines Out-of-State Bookseller Has Nexus, Joins "Club"
Zachary T. Atkins,Eric J. Coffill, April 07, 2016
The Alabama Tax Tribunal concluded that an out-of-state retailer was required to collect and remit use tax on the sales of books and educational materials to in-state teachers and students, and that neither the Due Process Clause nor the Commerce Clause impeded the Alabama Department of...

New York State Tax Appeals Tribunal Holds that Pricing Information Services Are Taxable
Jessica A. Eisenmenger,Jeffrey A. Friedman, April 07, 2016
The New York State Tax Appeals Tribunal sustained a determination by a Department of Taxation and Finance Administrative Law Judge that receipts obtained from the sale of retail pricing information services are subject to sales tax. Under New York law, information services are taxable, but services...

The Home Stretch: Virginia Tax Commissioner Rules that Single Employee Working From Home Creates Nexus
Open Weaver Banks,Michael G. Kerman, April 07, 2016
The Virginia Tax Commissioner ruled that an out-of-state corporation had nexus with Virginia because an employee performed accounting, human resources, payroll and customer support functions from a home office in Virginia. The Commissioner explained that out-of-state corporations are subject to...

Tax-Free Transfer: Online Document Delivery Services Not Subject to New York Sales Tax
Madison J. Barnett,Chris M. Mehrmann, April 01, 2016
The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance issued an advisory opinion explaining that the petitioner’s Internet-based document transfer subscription plans are not subject to sales and use tax. Because the primary purpose of the transactions is to facilitate the transfer of files...

Georgia Keeps It Interesting: Legislature Passes Novel Law on Interest Rates and Refund Claims
Michele Borens,Jonathan A. Feldman,Jeffrey A. Friedman,Todd A. Lard,Carley A. Roberts, March 30, 2016
On March 24, the Georgia General Assembly passed House Bill 960 (H.B. 960), which would adjust the statutory interest rate applicable to tax assessments and refunds and addresses other issues related to refund claims for Georgia sales and use taxes.1 H.B. 960 passed the legislature while the...

Temporary Storage, Long-Term Exemption: Illinois Department of Revenue Releases Ruling on Temporary Storage Exemption
Charles C. Capouet,Eric J. Coffill, March 30, 2016
In Private Letter Ruling ST 15-0016-PLR, the Illinois Department of Revenue explained the application of the temporary storage exemption to the imposition of use tax on the in-state storage of equipment. Illinois’ temporary storage exemption applies where the property is acquired outside...

Texas Court of Appeals Upholds Cost of Goods Sold Deduction for Seismic Data Gatherer
Elizabeth S. Cha,W. Scott Wright, March 29, 2016
The Texas Court of Appeals held that a seismic data gathering company was entitled to a cost of goods sold (COGS) deduction for costs of labor and materials incurred to acquire and process seismic data for its clients.