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 from the previous months in chronological order on the TIMELINE OF EVENTS IN THE HISTORY OF THE MTC web page. 

APRIL 1, 1989

Paull Mines joined the Commission’s legal staff on April 1, 1989. He went on to become general counsel, a position he held for eight years until he lost his battle with cancer in 2002. Paull was the author of numerous articles and wrote or co-wrote 16 MTC amicus briefs, all but three of which were for the U.S. Supreme Court. He was known for his grace, humility, humor, curiosity and intellect. Paull’s egalitarian spirit toward people, and his encyclopedic knowledge of taxation, informed his commitment to tax fairness and taxpayer rights. His self-described professional passion was “preserving our federalism” by developing state tax systems that are understandable, administrable and fair for taxpayers and states alike. The MTC established the Paull Mines Award for Contributions to State Tax Jurisprudence in 2007 to recognize state tax attorneys who exemplify Paull’s leadership, legal excellence, professional integrity and commitment to shared knowledge.

APRIL 7, 2016

On April 7, 2016, almost one year to the day after the MTC finished development of a plan to help states jointly address intercompany transactions, the Commission held the first meeting of its new Arm’s Length Adjustment Service committee. The initial plan created a detailed and sophisticated program of services for participating states — including the ability to combine their resources to make more efficient use of necessary, high-priced transfer-pricing experts. The program as designed didn’t attract enough state participation to launch as envisioned. But because the need remains great, the MTC decided, instead, to establish a committee to facilitate ongoing, joint state discussion on specific transfer pricing cases. The committee quickly renamed itself the State Intercompany Transactions Advisory Service committee to better describe both its promise and its focus.

APRIL 10, 1968

Idaho becomes the 12th state to enact the Multistate Tax Compact.

APRIL 14, 1975

This week in 1975, an event occurred that proved to be a turning point in the MTC's U.S. Steel litigation. Brought by dozens of multistate corporations in courts around the country, that litigation was eventually consolidated in New York's southern district. The plaintiffs sought a ruling that the Commission's joint audit program was unconstitutional. The litigation not only emboldened corporations selected for joint audit routinely to routinely refuse to provide records, it nearly bankrupted the Commission. Up to that point, the Commission was represented by the legendary Jerome Hellerstein. He had resisted calls to move for summary judgment, insisting instead that the Commission must comply with all the plaintiffs' burdensome discovery requests — in part out of concern for public appearance. On April 14, 1975, the Commission opted to part ways with counsel, and instead, hired William D. Dexter to represent the Commission. He promptly filed a summary judgment motion, which was granted by the court in 1976 over the plaintiffs' strenuous objections.

APRIL 20, 1967

The Multistate Tax Compact is a model law. Drafted in 1966 by a widely representative group of state officials, including tax administrators, attorneys general, state legislators, and a special committee of the Council of State Governments, its primary purpose is to promote uniformity in tax administration procedures among the states. On April 20, 1967, Kansas became the first state to enact the Multistate Tax Compact into its state tax laws.

APRIL 24-27, 1972

In 1972, the MTC held a Corporate Income Tax Audit Workshop Seminar April 24 – 27 in Boulder, Colo. The seminar was “the first of its kind ever to be held,” according to the Multistate Tax Newsletter of April 1972, and response exceeded expectations. The MTC planned other courses in the various phases of tax administration, all of which would focus on practical aspects. The Commission has been conducting training ever since. Current courses include legal, sampling, audit and technology plus other topics that enhance the knowledge and practical skills of state and local government personnel.

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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