The Colorado Department of Revenue issued a letter ruling explaining the sales exempt status of photovoltaic energy systems. The letter ruling clarified that a company or customer who purchases photovoltaic energy systems is exempt from sales tax because all sales and uses of qualifying renewable energy components are entitled to the renewable component exemption.
Verizon Business Purchasing, LLC Challenges Florida Sales and Use Tax Assessment
Verizon Business Purchasing, LLC has filed a complaint challenging a $3 million Florida sales and use tax assessment, claiming that the statute of limitations expired prior to the proposed assessment becoming final. The complaint alleges that the final assessment was invalid because although the parties agreed to extend that statute of limitations until March 31, 2011, the notice of proposed assessment was issued with less than sixty days left in the statute of limitations period. Therefore, the complaint contends, it did not become a final assessment until the expiration of the sixty days, on April 11, 2011, which was after the statute of limitations had lapsed.
Georgia House Considers “Amazon” Law
The Georgia House of Representatives is considering legislation, HB 993, which would implement click-through nexus and similar provisions, aimed at requiring out-of-state online retailers to collect state sales tax. The legislation contains a threshold that must be met: an out-of-state online retailer must have at least $10,000 in annual sales through in-state affiliates receiving a commission in order to be subject to collecting the tax.
Hawaii Senate Committee Passes Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Legislation
The Hawaii Senate Ways and Means Committee passed legislation, SB 2226, which would bring the state into conformity with the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement.
U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Armour v. Indianapolis
The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Armour v. Indianapolis, which tackles an equal protection challenge. During 2001, Indianapolis gave taxpayers the option of paying upfront or in monthly installments for special assessments related to the connection of their properties to city sewers. The case challenges the city’s decision not to provide refunds to taxpayers who paid a sewer special assessment in lump sum, while forgiving outstanding balances for those taxpayers who entered into installment plans. The Indiana Supreme Court held that the Board had a rational basis for its decision to deny refunds while eliminating outstanding balances.
Indiana House Approves Legislation to Phase-Out Inheritance Tax
The Indiana House approved legislation, SB 293, which would phase-out Indiana’s inheritance tax by increasing the exemption for children and grandchildren from $100,000 to $250,000. The increase would apply to decedents dying after July 1, 2012.
Maryland Rules on Statute of Limitations for Refund
The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that the one-year statute of limitations for the filing of a limited partner’s state income tax refund claim pursuant to a federal adjustment of the partnership return began to run on the date that the Internal Revenue Service issued its final adjustment report to the limited partner. Since the taxpayer filed its claim for refund more than one year after the date that the Internal Revenue Service issued its final adjustment report, the taxpayer’s refund was denied.
Minnesota Considers Legislation to Classify Jurisdictions as Tax Havens
Two separate bills, HF 2480 and SF 2029, currently under consideration by the Minnesota legislature would classify 34 foreign jurisdictions as tax havens, thereby terminating the ability of corporations to shelter their earnings in those areas. The legislation would also repeal the state’s foreign royalty exclusion, eliminate the state’s preferences for foreign-source income, and eliminate the state’s transition to single-sales-factor, instead re-implementing the three-factor formula.
Nevada Supreme Court Reverses Dismissal of Property Tax Petition for Board’s Failure to Conduct Public Hearings
The Nevada Supreme Court reversed the dismissal of property taxpayers’ petition for writ of mandamus directing the State Board of Equalization to equalize property valuations throughout the state, because the Board failed to conduct public hearings thereby denying the taxpayers an adequate remedy at law.
New York Issues Guidance on Application of Sales Tax to Gratuities and Service Charges
The New York Department of Taxation and Finance issued guidance explaining how sales tax applies to gratuities and service charges. The guidance clarifies that mandatory gratuities and service charges are exempt if: (1) the charges are shown separately on a bill; (2) identified as gratuities; and (3) the entire gratuity amount is given to the employees.
Federal Court Rules Against Oklahoma Indian Tribe’s Tobacco Tax Claims
A Federal Court held that an Indian tribe located in Oklahoma had failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted in its complaint. The complaint alleged that Oklahoma’s tobacco tax laws violated various constitutional rights and federal laws. However, the court found that the claims were not valid either on grounds of preemption or on infringement of the tribe’s right to self-government.
Washington Legislation Would Abolish Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Some Out-of-State Shoppers
Legislation, HB 2791, currently under review by Washington’s House would abolish the sales and use tax exemption for certain out-of-state shoppers. The exemption would no longer be available for residents of the U.S. and Canada whose province or state assesses consumption taxes of less than three percent.