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Maria Eberle

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Massachusetts recently joined a handful of other states (read: States over the Edge and Testing Boundaries with Business Activity Tax Nexus) by issuing a final revised regulation adopting a bright-line, $500,000, nexus threshold for its corporate excise tax. See generally 830 CMR 63.39.1. Echoing the language of the Wayfair decision, the state’s revised nexus regulation provides that “the Commissioner will presume that a general business corporation’s virtual and economic contacts subject the corporation to the tax jurisdiction of Massachusetts under M.G.L. c. 63, § 39, where the volume of the corporation’s Massachusetts sales for the taxable year exceeds five hundred thousand dollars.” 830 CMR 63.39.1(3)(d).

Wayfair has, for now, answered the question (at least, in part) of whether economic activity creates substantial nexus under the Commerce Clause for purposes of sales and use taxes. However, questions remain regarding whether and to what extent business activity tax nexus standards could be impacted. While states had boldly asserted economic nexus in the business activity tax context pre-Wayfair, the response since has been somewhat muted, until recently. Three states, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin, have recently sought to fill in the blanks with regard to business activity tax nexus, with varied and inconsistent results that may raise more questions and concerns than answers.

Following several failed attempts by Oregon voters and the Oregon legislature to pass a gross receipts tax (see Not Dead Yet: Oregon Voters Propose Another Gross Receipts Tax in the Wake of Market-Based Sourcing and Oregon Proposes “Gross” New Tax),  Governor Kate Brown signed Enrolled House Bill 3427, Oregon’s corporate activity tax (CAT), into law on May 16, 2019.

On September 27, 2018, the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly passed legislation amending certain provisions of the New Jersey Corporation Business Tax (“CBT”) reform bill that was enacted earlier this year (“Technical Amendments”). In July, Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature enacted a $37.4 billion budget package (the “Budget Bill”) that implements sweeping changes to the CBT.  Among these changes are mandatory unitary combined reporting, market-based sourcing, and a new four-year surtax on corporations with over $1 million of allocated taxable net income. The Technical Amendments, which are awaiting Governor Murphy’s signature, make several changes to the Budget Bill.  A summary of the most noteworthy provisions contained in the Budget Bill and Technical Amendments is below.