News

MTC Files Amicus Brief in Graphic Packaging v. Hegar

Pages-from-MTC-Graphic-Packaging-Amicus-1.jpgOn August 30, 2017, the Multistate Tax Commission filed an amicus brief in Graphic Packaging v. Hegar, a Compact case that is currently pending in the Texas Supreme Court.  In its brief, the Commission described the nature and history of the Compact and its membership, and explained why a state need not withdraw from the Compact in order to repeal the Compact’s apportionment election.  Oral arguments in the case took place on September 13, 2017. 


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Current Economic Condition of the States

Economic-Conditions-small.jpgHenry Wearmouth, former MTC Policy Research Intern, using data from a number of sources, provides a snapshot of current economic condition of the states; and, a forecast of economic conditions in the near future. Needless to say, the current economic conditions of the states vary widely; and, even short-term predictions of the economy are not always precise.


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MTC Files Amicus Brief with Commissioner v. Associated Bank

Pages-from-MTC-Graphic-Packaging-Amicus-1.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

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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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Trends in State and Local Finances: 1960 to 2015

small_trendsarticle.jpgElliott Dubin and former policy research intern Trevor Ahouse of the MTC are featured in the Journal of Multistate Taxation and Incentives.  Trevor Ahouse is a student at Bloomsburg University. The report examines longer-term trends in state and local government fiscal conditions and highlights the changes in spending and revenues over a 50-plus year period.
 

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MTC Analysis of Online Sales Simplification Act of 2016

MTC-OSSA-Analysis1.jpgOn August 25th, U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte released a draft of federal legislation, the Online Sales Simplification Act of 2016, that would require remote sellers, as defined, to collect and report sales tax to a single state where the seller’s affiliated group has its greatest number of employees (the so called origin state), using that state’s tax base, but using the destination state’s rate.  A copy of the draft legislation is available by clicking here 
 
 

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MTC Files Amicus Brief in Health Net v. Oregon Dep’t of Revenue

MTC-Health-Net-Amicus-Brief_small.jpgOn June 16, the MTC filed an amicus brief in Health Net, which is currently pending in the Oregon Supreme Court on direct appeal from Oregon's Tax Court. The case arises out of the same issue as Gillette: whether the state must allow the taxpayer to use the income tax apportionment election contained in Article III of the Multistate Tax Compact, or whether the state may require apportionment via its own formula.

In Gillette, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of the state; Oregon's Tax Court did the same. The MTC filed its brief to clarify the nature of the Compact, as it did in Gillette and several other pending cases.

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DMA v. Brohl—Is It Time to Stop Fighting the Last War?

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Helen Hecht and Lila Disque of the MTC propose that rather than continuing the battle to persuade Congress or the Supreme Court to remove restraints on the states’ existing tax collection mechanism, states might consider an alternative mechanism that makes use of 21st century technology.

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DMA and the Overture to Overturn Quill


Helen Hecht and Lila Disque of the MTC consider Justice Kennedy’s concurrence in the Direct Marketing Association case inviting states to bring a challenge to Quill, and the general problems in mounting such a test case. 

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A Conversation with Greg Matson—Executive Director of the Multistate Tax Commission

KPMGsmall.jpgIn her regular column, KPMG Corner, for the May 2016 edition of the Journal of Multistate Taxation and Incentives (Thomson Reuters/Tax & Accounting), Shirley Sicilian, managing director in the State and Local Tax group of the Washington National Tax practice of KPMG LLP, interviews Greg Matson to discuss his vision for the Commission and his perspective on current multi-state tax issues, as well as a bit of personal reflection.


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MTC is featured in State Tax Notes

Tax-Analyst2.jpgState Tax Notes recognizes the Multistate Tax Commission for its influence on state tax policy and practice in 2015.

"The MTC had a blockbuster year, despite having a full plate and a thin staff," said University of Connecticut law professor Richard Pomp, State Tax Notes' 2013 Person of the Year for his work as hearing officer on the MTC's proposed revisions to the Uniform Division of Income for Tax Purposes Act.

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California Supreme Court Vindicates California and Commission in Gillette

On December 31, 2015, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously that California was not barred from disabling the corporate income tax apportionment election contained in Article III of the Multistate Tax Compact and mandating that all taxpayers apportion their income to California by double-weighing the sales factor.

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NH Department of Revenue Administration Launches One-Time Tax Amnesty Program

taxamnestylogo.jpgPeople fall behind on their taxes - no one is perfect. However, you have the opportunity to do what’s right for New Hampshire and free yourself from outstanding taxes.

Here’s how: Between now and February 15, 2016, individuals and businesses have the opportunity to pay any outstanding taxes without penalty and with 50% of accrued interest through the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration’s (DRA) Tax Amnesty Program.

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Alabama Notice for Out-of-State Sellers

Alabama has issued the following notice to all persons, firms and corporations located outside Alabama and making retail sales of tangible personal property into the State of Alabama:

Effective October 1, 2015, for tax returns which are due on or before November 20, 2015, Legislative Act No. 2015-448, entitled the “Simplified Seller Use Tax Remittance Act,” allows eligible sellers to participate in a program to collect, report and remit a flat eight percent (8%) sellers use tax on all sales made into Alabama.  An eligible seller is one that sells tangible personal property or a service into the State of Alabama from an inventory or location outside the state but does not have a physical presence in the State of Alabama and who is not otherwise required by law to collect tax on sales made into the state.

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Looking for Information About Changes to Article IV of the Compact?

At its annual business meeting in July 2014, the Commission adopted, as uniformity recommendations to the states, several amendments to provisions within Article IV of the Compact. Article IV of the Compact is composed of the Uniform Division of Income for Tax Purposes Act (UDITPA).  There are a couple of remaining sections of Section 18 and conforming amendments throughout Article IV that are awaiting consideration for approval by the Commission.  Once consideration of these remaining items has occurred, a revised model Compact will be posted on this website in addition to the original model drafted in 1966.

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Commission Files Brief in Supreme Court

The MTC has filed an amicus brief in support of California's petition for certiorari in the United States Supreme Court. The case, Hyatt, raises the issue of state sovereignty, as it considers to what extent one state must extend legal immunities to another state. The MTC filed its brief to point out the impact that lawsuits like this one could have on state tax enforcement and on our system of cooperative federalism.

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MTC Sends Letter on Digital Goods Act

The Commission sent a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Finance and the House Judiciary Committee regarding H.R. 1643/S. 851, the Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act of 2015.  The Chair of the Commission, Alabama Commissioner of Revenue Julie Magee, expressed concerns about the bill, highlighting some flaws in the legislation --

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Trends in State Corporate Income Taxes Revisited (Again)

This article updates the article that appeared in the Winter 2007 issue of the Multistate Tax Commission Review which, in turn, updated a similar article that appeared in the Fall 2000 issue of that Review. The previous article was written at a time when state corporate income taxes were growing at unprecedented rates. However, in the recent past, this revenue source has been growing much more slowly. 

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State Fiscal Conditions

On February 4, Scott Pattison, Executive Director of the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), spoke to the Tax Economists Forum, a Washington, DC based group of public finance economists, about the current condition of state finances and the outlook for the future. To briefly summarize Mr. Pattison’s presentation: the current fiscal condition of state governments has improved somewhat when compared to fiscal years 2013 and 2014, but have not yet completely recovered from the Great Recession. 

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Commission’s Brief in Massachusetts Marblehead Case Cited in Decision

Marbleheada.jpgIn a case where the MTC had filed an amicus brief supporting the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has found in favor of the Department. The case concerned the proper application of MTC model apportionment rules for financial institutions. 

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Commission Files Brief in Tennessee Vodafone Case

The MTC has filed an amicus brief in the Vodafone case before the Supreme Court in Tennessee. The brief addresses the use of UDITPA Section 18 – equitable apportionment authority. The taxpayer argues that under the statutory cost-of-performance rule, sales of mobile telecommunications services to customers in Tennessee should not be sourced to the state.

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MTC Sends Letter on Goodlatte's Draft Hybrid Origin-Sourcing Bill

The Commission sent a letter to U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., on his draft hybrid origin-sourcing alternative to the Marketplace Fairness Act.  The Chair of the Commission, Alabama Commissioner of Revnue Julie Magee, highlighted significant problems with the draft bill, which hasn't been introduced yet but has been circulated for comments.

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MTC Files Amicus Brief in Alabama’s CSX Case

MTCbrief2.jpgThe Commission filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Alabama Dept. of Revenue, et al. v. CSX Transportation, Inc. supporting Alabama’s imposition of sales and use tax on rail carriers’ diesel purchases while exempting those who use roads or waterways for transit, arguing that Alabama’s taxes do not discriminate against railroads under the 4-R Act.

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FTA Seeks General Counsel/Legislative Director

The Federation of Tax Administrators (FTA) is seeking a person who can serve as both general counsel and legislative director.  FTA provides tax administration-related services to the tax agencies of the 50 states, D.C, New York City and Philadelphia.  Please review the job announcement for minimum requirements and more details about the position. 

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MTC Files Brief in Comptroller of Maryland v. Wynne

On August 5, 2014, the Commission filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Comptroller of Maryland v. Wynne, arguing that Maryland should not be required to provide a credit for taxes paid by residents to other states against the tax those residents owe to Maryland. 

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C. A. Daw Recipient of the 2014 Paull Mines Award

On July 30, 2014, the Commission awarded the 2014 Paull Mines Award for Contribution to State Tax Jurisprudence to the late C. A. Daw, chief counsel for the Montana Department of Revenue, who lost a battle with cancer in May of this year. His wife, Mari, was present to accept to the award.

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MTC Review Available Online

This issue contains three articles written by current MTC staff members and by former policy research interns.  The first, “The Überexpert,” is by Harold Jennings, senior audit supervisor, and Robert Schauer, computer audit specialist.

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Georgetown Law Offers State & Local Tax Certificate Program

State and Local Taxation (SALT) is an area of practice that offers promising career opportunities in major accounting firms, state and local revenue departments, and law firms.

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Commission’s Annual Legislative Day a Success

Last month, state tax administrators participating in the Commission’s annual legislative day availed themselves of an opportunity to present their issues and concerns to their state’s congressional representatives and senators...

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About the Nexus Program

The National Nexus Program was founded in December 1990. It has been created by the Multistate Tax Commission in furtherance of the following purposes...

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NGA Releases Guiding Principles on Federal Tax Reform

The National Governors Association (NGA) released Guiding Principles on Federal Tax Reform on March 13, 2013, in preparation for comprehensive federal tax reform in the 113th Congress.

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Hearing Officer Report on Proposed Recommended Amendments to Model Multistate Tax Compact Article IV [UDITPA]

In December, 2012, the Multistate Tax Commission Executive Committee approved a public hearing for proposed amendments to Article IV [UDITPA] of the model Multistate Tax Compact. 

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Commission Files Amicus Brief in Gillette Case

On October 21, 2013, the Commission filed its amicus curiae brief on the merits in support of California in Gillette v. California Franchise Tax Board now pending at the California Supreme Court. In the brief, the Commission argues that California law may vary from Compact Articles III.1 and IV because the Multistate Tax Compact is an advisory compact, and Articles III.1 and IV of the Compact are more in the nature of a model uniform law.

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MTC Annual Conference & Committee Meetings

The Commission’s 2014 Annual Conference and Committee Meetings are being held on July 28 – 31, 2014 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Registration is required for those attending the Wednesday, July 30 conference and strongly encouraged for anyone attending any of the various committee meetings during the week.

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