States and local jurisdictions continue to grapple with novel tax issues in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. On Friday, March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), a $2 trillion federal stimulus package to provide fiscal relief in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The CARES Act includes numerous tax relief provisions. States will need to consider whether, and how, they will conform to the federal provisions.
States continue to provide relief in response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This week, numerous states responded to the federal income tax filing extension, and we expect additional states to respond in the coming days. Some states are also offering relief for non-income business taxes, and much of the relief is limited to small- to mid-size businesses. Furthermore, COVID-19 is causing complications in property tax assessments, payments, and appeals.
The World Health Organization has officially declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a pandemic. In addition to the cost on human life, the rapid spread of COVID-19 has left a trail of economic damage affecting business revenues. COVID-19 has caused complete or partial shutdown of factories, supply chain disruptions, and labor shortages, and has impacted demand in certain industries. This impact will also be felt by U.S. state, and local governments.
Baker McKenzie attended the U.S. Supreme Court’s oral arguments yesterday in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Docket No. 17-494. At issue in the case is whether the Court should abrogate the physical presence nexus standard that it first articulated in National Bellas Hess v. Dep’t of Revenue, 386 U.S. 753 (1967), and later affirmed in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298 (1992). The Court’s decision could have a profound impact on sales and use tax nexus in the United States by altering the limitations currently imposed on a state’s ability to require out-of-state retailers to collect such tax.