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Allocation/Apportionment

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In an order released in July 2021, the Illinois Tax Tribunal denied a taxpayer’s motion for summary judgment in a “unitary business” case, finding that there were disputed issues of fact as to whether the taxpayer was engaged in a unitary business with a company that the taxpayer sold.  See Christopher v. Illinois Dep’t of Rev., 19 TT 131 (Ill. Tax Trib. Nov. 24, 2020, released July 2021).  The taxpayer, T. Christopher Holding Company (“Holding Company”), claimed that it was not unitary with Vogue International, LLC (“Operating Company”), and thus its gain from the sale of Operating Company could not be included in Holding Company’s Illinois business income under U.S. constitutional principles and Illinois law.  However, the Tribunal found that the Illinois Department of Revenue (“Department”) had presented sufficient evidence to establish a disputed issue of material fact that rendered summary judgment on this issue inappropriate.

Connecticut legislative leaders recently announced support for a digital advertising tax (“Connecticut Digital Advertising Tax”) proposed by the Connecticut Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding (the “Finance Committee”).  Connecticut joins Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas, among others, as states with concrete digital advertising tax proposals on the table (and in Maryland’s case, an enacted law).

State legislators in the Massachusetts House of Representatives recently introduced four bills on the taxation of digital advertising services. Two of these bills propose a tax on digital advertising services, a third bill would set up a “special commission” to study how to generate revenue from digital advertising, and a fourth bill appears to be a placeholder for some action on digital advertising taxation. This makes Massachusetts one of the latest states to join the wave of state digital advertising tax proposals targeting large digital advertising service providers. We have previously covered Maryland’s digital advertising tax, the first in the nation to become law, and various other states’ pending digital and data tax proposals, including New York and Texas. Below, we summarize and compare the various Massachusetts proposals.

Texas has now joined the growing number of states proposing digital advertising taxes that we have covered previously on SALT Savvy, including Maryland’s first-in-the-nation digital advertising tax law and other proposals from Connecticut, New York, and Montana. This new Texas bill—H.B. 4467— would take effect in 2022. The Texas proposal is very similar to the recently-enacted Maryland digital ad tax (H.B. 732) and would impose a new “digital advertising tax” on annual gross revenues derived…