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Sales Tax

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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…

On April 7, 2021, the New York Legislature passed the New York Budget Bill for fiscal year 2022 (S2509–C/A3009-C) (the “Enacted Budget”), ushering in a slew of tax increases for businesses and high-income earners.  As of the time of publication of this post, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had not yet signed the Enacted Budget, but has indicated that he will do so. The Enacted Budget is the result of a months-long negotiation process that…

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…

In groundbreaking news, the Texas Third Court of Appeals has withdrawn its earlier opinion and issued a new opinion in the Hegar v. El Paso Electric Co. case. In the case, which has attracted widespread attention, El Paso Electric filed a refund claim with the Texas Comptroller for sales taxes that it had paid on transactions involving “telemetry units that are related to step down transformers,” which are pieces of equipment used to transmit electricity. In its initial redetermination request, which is required in Texas to challenge a denied refund claim, El Paso Electric cited the Texas sales tax manufacturing exemption as one of its grounds for challenging the refund denial. Specifically, El Paso Electric cited Texas Tax Code section 151.318(a)(4), which includes the term “telemetry units that are related to the step-down transformers” among a list of around fifty different items that are exempt from sales tax when used as part of the manufacturing process in Texas. The Texas Comptroller argued that, because El Paso Electric did not explicitly tie the telemetry units related to step-down transformers directly to the code section citation, El Paso Electric was barred from raising those claims during its administrative hearing. The administrative law judge agreed and overruled El Paso Electric’s claim that its telemetry units were exempt under Texas Tax Code section 151.318(a)(4). El Paso Electric then sued in Texas District Court, which overruled the administrative law judge and granted El Paso Electric’s refund claim. The Texas Comptroller later appealed, and the Texas Third Court of Appeals once again overturned the district court, ruling for the Texas Comptroller. This latest opinion withdraws the earlier Third Court of Appeals opinion and issues a new opinion.