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State and Local tax issues require state and local tax knowledge. SALT Blawg provides exactly that knowledge with news updates and commentary about state and local tax issues. You can expect to find relevant information about topics such as income (corporate and personal) tax, franchise tax, sales and use tax, property (real and personal) tax, fuel tax, capital stock tax, bank tax, gross receipts tax and withholding tax. SALT Blawg, offers tax talk for tax pros… in your neighborhood.

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Weekly Blog Update for Week of 4/20: Alabama Rules in Favor of Online Travel Companies; Georgia Enacts “Amazon” Legislation; STEB Announces Revised Ratio for Philadelphia County; New Mexico Finds Barnes & Noble Trademarks Establish Nexus…and more.

 by Jennifer Weidler

ALABAMA

Alabama House Approves Legislation to Update Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights

The Alabama House approved a substitute version of a Bill, HB 105, which would update the Alabama Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights with regard to the protocols for handling taxpayer appeals.

Alabama Supreme Court Finds for Online Travel Companies in Tax Suit

The Alabama Supreme Court affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment decision, which held that online travel companies are not engaged in the business of renting rooms or lodgings or furnished accommodations for the purposes of imposing the municipal lodgings tax upon them. For more detailed coverage of this case, click here. We previously discussed a similar holding in the case of Expedia in Philadelphia.

 

ARIZONA

Arizona House Votes to Delete Use Tax Declaration from Income Tax Forms

The Arizona House has voted to delete the use tax declaration line from its state income tax forms.SeeSB 1214.  Pursuant to SB 1214, the use line would be deleted for tax year 2012 forward.  While the specific use tax declaration line would be deleted from the income tax forms, Arizona residents would still owe use tax on their purchases of goods from out-of-state.

 

GEORGIA

Georgia Governor Signs “Amazon” Legislation

The Georgia Governor signed “Amazon” legislation, HB 386, which establishes click-through nexus in the state.

 

MICHIGAN

Michigan Tax Tribunal Finds Corporate Officer Personally Liable for Tax Deficiency of Company

The Michigan Tax Tribunal held that an individual corporate officer was liable for a company’s sales tax deficiency because the individual was a corporate officer during the relevant time period and failed to prove that he resigned, relinquished or otherwise absolved himself of responsibility for filing and paying the taxes.  As such, the court held that there was subject to corporate officer liability for the taxes at issue.

 

NEW MEXICO

New Mexico Court Holds Barnes & Noble Trademarks Sufficient to Establish Nexus

A New Mexico appellate court has held that a taxpayer who was an online bookseller had substantial nexus through the in-state use of Barnes & Noble trademarks.  Barnes & Noble did not own or lease property in the state, nor did it have any temporary or permanent employees therein. Although the taxpayer was a separate limited liability company, the court found that the in-state activities that were performed under Barnes & Noble trademarks were sufficient to establish nexus since Barnes & Noble’s in-state retail stores created goodwill behind the trademarks where the trademarks were used on and in its in-state stores.  Moreover, the online retailer created goodwill by further advertising for Barnes & Noble and selling gift cards which could be used at the online store or at the physical Barnes & Noble locations.

 

PENNSYLVANIA

Commonwealth Court Holds Company Eligible to Compute Franchise Tax Using Holding Company Apportionment Method

The Commonwealth Court held that a company whose activities consisted of providing corporate oversight to twenty-two (22) wholly owned subsidiaries fell within the definition of a “holding company” where the goodwill that it recorded on the corporation’s balance sheets as an asset was included in its subsidiaries’ actual stock value.  As such, the court held that the company was eligible to compute the franchise tax utilizing the 10% holding company apportionment method.

STEB Announces Revised Common Level Ratio for Philadelphia County for 2010

The State Tax Equalization Board (“STEB”) issued an announcement revising its certified Common Level Ratio (“CLR”) for tax year 2010 in relation to Philadelphia County.  STEB revised the CLR to 25.2% from 18.1%.  In order to arrive at the revised figure, STEB used revised data that was submitted by Philadelphia County.