Tax Headlines

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Storm Forces Closure of Federal Offices

Federal offices, including the U.S. Tax Court, were closed to the public on October 29 as Hurricane Sandy made its way up the East Coast. The Tax Court announced on its website that it will also be closed on October 30. In addition, the Office of Personnel Management has announced that all federal offices in the Washington, D.C., area are also closed on October 30.

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Washington ~ Business and Occupation Tax: State Supreme Court Decision on Wireless Company’s Billing of B&O Surcharge Not Preempted by Federal Law

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Washington Supreme Court’s holding that a business was not allowed to pass along business and occupation (B&O) tax as a separate surcharge in addition to the sales price, and that any taxes must be incorporated into the final sales price, was not preempted by federal law. (TAXDAY, 2012/04/27, S.23 ) The Ninth Circuit also held that the plaintiffs demonstrated an unfair or deceptive act or practice and were entitled to recover under Washington’s Consumer Protection Act (CPA).

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New York ~ Corporate Income Tax: Eligibility for Empire Zone Benefits After Conversion to SMLLC Discussed

The New York Department of Taxation and Finance has issued a corporate franchise tax advisory opinion discussing whether a taxpayer will maintain its certification under Article 18-B of the General Municipal Law and retain its eligibility for Empire Zone (EZ) tax benefits if it is converted from a corporation to a single member limited liability company (SMLLC) treated as a disregarded entity.

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Michigan ~ Property Tax: Tax Tribunal Had Authority to Reduce Unconstitutional Previous Increase in Taxable Value

The Michigan Court of Appeals held that the Tax Tribunal should not have affirmed the 2008 and 2009 taxable values of a parcel of property because the tribunal had the authority to reduce an unconstitutional previous increase in the taxable value of the property for the 2007 property tax year for purposes of adjusting the taxable values that were timely challenged in 2008 and 2009.

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California ~ Sales and Use Tax: Rate Could Increase in 2013

The California statewide sales and use tax rate could increase by 0.25% for four years from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2016, if California voters approve Proposition 30. This would increase the current rate from 7.25% to 7.5% effective January 1, 2013. Proposition 30 appears on the November 6, 2012 general election ballot. The California State Board of Equalization (BOE) will provide additional guidance in November if Proposition 30 is approved.

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