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Constitutional Issues

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The Supreme Court has denied review of New Hampshire’s lawsuit against Massachusetts seeking to invalidate the latter’s controversial personal income tax sourcing regulation. The Supreme Court’s highly anticipated decision was likely influenced by the acting U.S. Solicitor General’s amicus brief arguing against the Supreme Court taking up the case. The Supreme Court has thus passed on reviewing the broader issue of whether and to what extent a state may impose its personal income tax on…

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).

On April 12, 2021, Maryland legislators passed Senate Bill 787, which proposed several significant amendments to Maryland’s digital ad tax (see Maryland Passes Digital Advertising Gross Revenues Tax After Overriding Veto).  Governor Larry Hogan declined to take action with respect to signing or vetoing Senate Bill 787.  As a result, the legislation automatically became law, effective May 12, 2021. Most notably, Senate Bill 787 delays the effective date of the digital advertising tax to tax…