Tag Archive for SALT

Some Taxes You Pay Are Deductible


Certain taxes you have paid can be allowable as itemized deductions. To be deductible, these taxes must have been imposed on you personally, and you must have paid them during the year.

The following taxes you paid during the year are deductible on Schedule A:

• State and local income taxes (from your W-2).
• Real estate taxes (deductible in the year you paid them).
• Personal property taxes charged on the value of personal property.
• Foreign income taxes paid.

Note carefully, however, that the following taxes are not deductible: Read more

Amazon Fulfillment – Customer Convenience or Sales Tax Disaster


Now more than ever Amazon has been a one stop shop for many consumers. Not only can you buy just about anything you can think of on the Amazon website, but you can also receive lightning fast delivery of whatever you buy. Over the past few years, Amazon has taken their company to the next level. Now, in addition to selling items, Amazon provides a fulfillment service to online retailers.

As Amazon puts it, their fulfillment business “helps you grow your online business by giving you access to Amazon’s world-class fulfillment resources and expertise.” Simply put, the online retailer sends their products to Amazon. Amazon stores the item at one of its distribution centers. Once the item is purchased, Amazon packs and ships your product to the customer. In addition, Amazon provides customer support. While it certainly Read more

Kentucky Department of Revenue – Secrets Revealed

Top secret! - Young businessman with finger on his lips

Many states, like my home state of Florida, have broad freedom of information laws. Known in Florida as the Sunshine Laws, the state’s citizens can request a wide range of information from the government. Under the laws, so long as the information is not made confidential by a specific statute/law, then the government has an obligation to provide the citizen with whatever is requested. As a state and local tax (“SALT”) practitioner, I often use this knowledge to my advantage. I often request documents and statistics from the state that I find beneficial to myself, my client, or my practice.

Other states have similar laws. In Kentucky, the Open Records Act gives its citizens a mechanism to request a broad spectrum of information from its government. Like many state agencies believe, the Kentucky Department of Revenue thought it was above the law. Read more

Don’t Mess With The Seminoles – Indians Win Sales Tax Case In Florida

Blue check

As a Florida state and local tax attorney I live in the world of strange. Few attorneys or tax professionals are even aware of our peculiar area of the law. Even fewer attorneys or tax professionals have heard of, let alone practiced in the even stranger area of Native American Taxation. During my travels and while earning my LL.M. at NYU, I was one of the few fortunate souls to be exposed to this spin off of state and local tax. In fact, there are only two courses offered in the United States at the LL.M. level on this subject. Native American Taxation is poorly developed, the rules are unclear, and the cases make no sense whatsoever. While this is common for Florida attorneys like me who live in a world with no clear answers, living in this gray area of the law is uncomfortable for most lawyers and professionals. Read more

Illinois Tries Again With Nexus Law

Buy button on keyboard

On March 28, 2013, Overstock and Amazon lost their challenge of a state tax on online sales in New York’s highest court. Further, the the Supreme Court of United States declined hearing the case, because the court determined that such a law did not violate the federal Commerce Clause. Following the Amazon decision, we expected the states to follow New York’s lead and enact its own click-through-nexus laws.

In 2011, Illinois did just that. Specifically, Illinois has a nexus law that required any company with a place of business in Illinois to collect and remit tax to Illinois. In 2011, Illinois enacted its so-called “Click Through” nexus law, which required a business to collect and remit tax if it has contact with a person or business in Illinois who referred customers to the business’s website for a commission. In this case, the trade group Read more

SCOTUS Decides to Hear CSX – But Why?

TaxConnections Picture - Gavel and Flag - square

Each year, the Supreme Court punts on dozens of cases. Included in the dozens of cases which the court elects not to hear each year are sales tax cases. They are uninteresting to the majority of the population and just not the type of cases the justices want to hear. In fact, despite having a significant affect in most multi-state businesses, the Supreme Court has not heard a sales tax nexus case since Quill in 1992.

If there was ever a case to hear, it was Amazon and Orbitz versus New York. At issue was the two large online retailers versus the mighty state of New York. To the dismay of many State and Local Tax (“SALT”) critics, the Supreme Court decided to punt on this case at the end of 2013. Perhaps, it thought Congress was going to shock the world and actually do something. Or, perhaps, it just really didn’t care about sales tax nexus. Read more

Colorado “Amazon Tax” Case To Be Heard By Supreme Court

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It is hard to believe we are more than halfway through 2014. What is not surprising is that states continue to battle with online companies, such as Amazon, as to whether it should be required to collect and remit sales tax. States continue with aggressive tactics and continue to look to distribution centers, affiliates, or even hard drives as a hook to establish nexus, which would require the company to collect and remit tax in that state.

In 1992, the Supreme Court of the United States heard a case called Quill v. North Dakota. In announcing the supreme law of the land, the Supreme Court ruled that a company has to have some physical presence in a state to have sales tax nexus. In other words, in order for a state to force a company to charge, collect, and remit its tax then the company has to have a warm body (an employee or independent contractor), or property (inventory) Read more

Masterpieces On Loan – Love of Art or Sales Tax Savings?

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Museums are often able to keep their collections diverse because of the wealthy art collectors that are willing to loan their pieces to them. On the surface, this seems like a very honorable act, but what many don’t know is there is a hefty tax incentive for these collectors. There is an increasing amount of art collectors that are employing this sales and use tax savings tactic when purchasing expensive art. As brought to the forefront in a recent NY Times article, they are using clever legal planning to get around paying a substantial sales (or use) tax bill on a multi-million dollar piece of art.

In the state and local tax (“SALT”) community, many art collectors are taking advantage of the Read more

California Enterprise Zone Tax Credits End 12/31

TaxConnections Picture - Hand Holding Golden DollarEvery business can benefit from hiring based tax credits. Here is something that you may not know …

Did you know that you have an opportunity to get an additional refund? Studies show that up to 60% of businesses did not take advantage of the Federal 2010 payroll tax credit called the HIRE Act. Employees that were hired between February 1, 2010, and January 1, 2011 and were unemployed for 60 days prior to hire can qualify for a refund of 6.2% of the employee wage for 2010. The deadline for this refund is January 10th, 2014 in order to receive the refund check. (HIRE Act Example: General contractor hired 32 qualified employees in 2010. They receive a refund for over $94,000.00.)

You are probably aware of Enterprise Zone HR Tax Credits for clients within California. However, recent legislation changed the existing statutes making it more difficult for businesses to take advantage of this program. The changes include changing the “look back” ability to limit businesses to review only 12 months from the employee’s date of hire. Some of the categories for eligibility are being amended as well to create additional hurdles for you. California Enterprise Zone ends December 31, 2013.

Businesses should also keep in mind the WOTC (Work Opportunity Tax Credit) program. Recent legislation expanded the qualifiers for this program to make it much more accessible. This program is very time sensitive. EDD requires new employee paperwork be submitted to them in less than 28 days from each employee’s respective date of hire. Businesses can receive up to $9,600 per qualified employee.

These are just a few instances of hiring based tax credits.

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