Tax Headlines


Senate Advances Small Business Tax Credit Bill

The Senate on July 10 approved a motion to take-up a $28.5-billion small business tax break measure that would provide a one-year extension of 100-percent bonus depreciation and a tax credit for new hires. Under Senate rules, the motion to begin debate on the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Bill (Sen 2237 ), required a 60-vote threshold, which was easily reached by an 80-to-14 margin.

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Massachusetts ~ Multiple Taxes: Governor Signs FY 2013 Budget

On July 8, 2011, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed the $32.5 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2013, which contains no new taxes or fees, amends combined group deduction provisions for corporate income tax purposes, amends certain domicile provisions for personal income tax purposes, requires the Department of Revenue to study the possible implementation of a sales tax exemption for certain medical equipment, provides funding for a sales tax holiday, amends notice requirements regarding the motor vehicle excise tax, and provides for the issuance of electronic bill or tax notifications.

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Charter Schools, Retirement Systems Recommend Safe Harbors and Grandfathering for Government Plans

IRS officials at a July 9 hearing on an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking concerning the determination of government plan status under Code Sec. 414(d) (ANPRM REG-157714-06 ; TAXDAY 2011/11/08, I.2 ) received numerous recommendations on how to revise the proposed rules. IRS officials heard comments and asked numerous questions of 16 representatives, most from public charter schools, retirement systems and utility companies.

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Rhode Island ~ Personal Income Tax: Administrative Remedies Not Exhausted

Affirming the assessment, the state supreme court determined that the Rhode Island personal income taxpayers failed to exhaust the administrative remedies available. The Division of Taxation filed a collection action against the taxpayers for more than $1 million in assessed, but unpaid, taxes from several years. The division mailed a “10 day demand for taxes due” for each year of the assessments by certified mail; signed receipts were returned to the division. The division then mailed a “notice of intent to levy” by certified mail, which was returned as unclaimed. The taxpayers did not respond to the 10-day demand notices. Under the applicable rules, judicial review of the administrative agency’s final decision is available if, and only if, the aggrieved party has exhausted all administrative remedies available within the agency. The taxpayers could not wait to be sued for income taxes and then object to the assessment or payment in the collection proceedings.

The taxpayers also unsuccessfully argued that the division’s assessments were barred by the statute of limitations. The court noted that the statute of limitations is an affirmative defense and must therefore be raised in the taxpayer’s answer. If this defense was not pled, then it is waived. As the taxpayers did not raise the defense when they had the opportunity to do so, they could not use it later. Thus, the division’s assessment was affirmed.

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Pennsylvania ~ Multiple Taxes: Sales Factor Apportionment, New Credits Enacted

Legislation has been signed into law that enacts several changes to the Pennsylvania corporate income tax, including a single sales factor apportionment formula, an automatic extension of time to file, and changes to existing credits. New credits against the corporate net income tax, the personal income tax, the capital/stock franchise tax, the bank and financial company shares tax, and the insurance gross premiums tax are also created. Finally, changes are made to personal income tax provisions relating to the filing of returns for deceased individuals.

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Missouri ~ Personal Income Tax: Challenge to Earnings Tax Initiative Provisions Rejected

The Missouri Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to a law that requires Kansas City to obtain periodic voter approval in order to continue to impose its earnings tax. Proposition A, approved by a majority of voters at the November 2, 2010 statewide election, provides that the city may continue to impose its earnings tax only if the question of whether to continue the tax for each five-year period is submitted to the city’s voters and is approved by a majority of those voting on the question.

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