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Interest and Penalties

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On Tuesday, the New York Supreme Court granted Baker McKenzie’s motion to dismiss the New York Attorney General’s (“AG”) complaint against B&H Foto and Electronics Corp. regarding a purported False Claims Act (“FCA”) violation. The AG incorrectly alleged that B&H made a false claim on its tax return when they did not collect sales tax on “instant savings,” a type of vendor funding where a manufacturer reduces B&H’s purchase price of a particular item based…

New York lawmakers recently introduced two bills to expand the application of the New York State False Claims Act (“FCA”). The first intends to require the FCA to apply to non-filers, the second to remove the scienter element (i.e., no longer imposing a “knowing” requirement). Although both bills are retroactive and concerning, removing the scienter element should put all businesses on high alert as enforcement of the tax laws could now be in the hands…

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.

On Wednesday, March 24, the Texas Comptroller’s Office announced several important measures in response to the current conditions caused by COVID-19.  The Comptroller’s Office has been preparing these measures for several weeks, particularly after Governor Abbott declared a state of disaster, applicable to all 254 counties, on March 13.  These updated measures include: