50th Annual Meeting & Conference

The Commission’s 2017 Annual Meeting & Conference, and committee meetings, will be held in Louisville, Kentucky, from July 31 to August 3, 2017.  Visit our Schedule of Events webpage for additional details.

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The Multistate Tax Commission marks its 50th anniversary this summer.  In celebration of the Commission’s five decades, we will highlight notable happenings over the years during 2017.  You can view events highlighted in previous weeks in chronological order on the TIMELINE OF EVENTS IN THE HISTORY OF THE MTC web page. 

August 2013

On August 20, 2013, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it lacked jurisdiction under the Tax Injunction Act to hear DMA’s challenge to Colorado’s use tax reporting requirements. This was an intermediary step in a much longer process, one that the MTC was involved in from the beginning. But in retrospect, the court’s ruling was also a turning point. It was this ruling that would be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. There, the DMA was in the position of having to argue that the Tenth Circuit was not barred by the TIA from considering the case because the requirement at issue was not the “collection” of a state tax. Colorado, with the assistance of its amici, including the MTC, argued that the TIA should apply regardless. When the Supreme Court ruled in the DMA’s favor, it effectively held that imposing a tax and imposing a reporting requirement were fundamentally different things. And when the case ultimately returned to the Tenth Circuit, this holding is what persuaded that court that Quill’s physical presence requirement was not applicable.

MTC Files Amicus Brief with Commissioner v. Associated Bank

AssocBanksmall.jpgOn July 20, 2017, the MTC filed an amicus brief in Commissioner v. Associated Bank, a case pending before the Minnesota Supreme Court. The MTC supported Minnesota’s contention that, because the income in question was generated entirely by the activities of the parent company, a financial institution, the commissioner should disregard an LLC’s business structure and apply the alternative apportionment formula used for financial institutions.

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Partnership Taxation - A State Tax Administrator's Perspective


Helen Hecht and Lila Disque of the MTC are featured in the Journal of Multistate Taxation and Incentives.  Entity-level assessment will require states to consider the implications with respect to nexus, apportionment, and conformity.
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MTC Files Amicus Brief with 11th Circuit Court of Appeals

CSX-Brief-small.jpgOn June 30, 2017, the Commission filed an amicus brief with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in CSX Transportation, Inc. v. Alabama Dept. of Revenue, et al. supporting Alabama’s contention that it does not violate the 4-R Act when it imposes sales and use tax on rail carriers’ diesel purchases while exempting those who use roads or waterways for transit.  Based on its language, the Commission concluded that the 4-R Act does not require the state to spend fuel tax revenues in a specific manner, and that CSX must show harm in order to seek a remedy under the act.
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MTC Files Amicus Brief with Utah Supreme Court

MTC-Amicus-Brief-Utah-small.jpgOn May 8, 2017, the Multistate Tax Commission filed an amicus brief in  the Utah Supreme Court regarding Utah State Tax Commission v. See’s Candies, Inc. The case involved the extent to which a tax administrator may use its discretionary authority to disallow deductions for royalties paid to a related insurance company.

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State Corporate Income Taxes and the Effect on European Taxes

CCTB,-Brexit,-and-Unitary-Taxation-small.jpgThe European Commission is pursuing its plan to introduce a common tax system for companies doing business across the European Union.  That system would simplify the tax base calculations for thousands of EU companies, which now must comply with 28 different sets of tax rules throughout the European Union.  The proposal would establish a common tax base as a first phase, and in a second phase, would require companies to consolidate their EU operations into a single corporate entity.  The companies would then distribute the tax base throughout their operations in the European Union using a formula based on the location of the company’s assets, employees, and sales. 

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Commission Files Brief in Supreme Court DMA v. Brohl

DMA161106.jpgOn November 7, the Commission filed an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court, supporting Colorado’s cross-petition in DMA v. Brohl.  The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is appealing the Tenth Circuit’s decision that Colorado’s sales and use tax notice and reporting statute did not discriminate against interstate commerce.  The Commission brief supports Colorado’s position that, if the court grants review based on DMA’s discrimination claim, it should also take the opportunity to reconsider Quill v. North Dakota.  This case is unusually well-suited for this purpose because Quill has already been invoked and analyzed extensively in the lower court proceedings; the current situation demonstrates the convoluted efforts necessary to collect use tax; and the case is unlikely to give rise to retroactive tax liability.

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