On July 21, the Washington Department of Revenue (“DOR”) issued its analysis of the Court of Appeals’ decision from March 30, 2020, in LendingTree, LLC v. Dep’t of Revenue, no. 80637-8-I (Wash. App. Ct. Mar. 30, 2020). As set forth in the analysis, from the DOR’s perspective, the LendingTree court followed the existing Washington Business and Occupation tax (“B&O”) attribution rules and guidance and did not create a new interpretive legal framework. Although the DOR lost the case, and the court held that LendingTree’s receipts could not be sourced based where its customers’ customers were located, the DOR’s response suggests that they are factually distinguishing the case and will continue to attribute receipts to the customer’s customer location if that is where it determines the benefit of the services occurs.
On Friday, July 24, 2020, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania issued its decision and order on the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s motion to intervene in the highly-anticipated case of Synthes USA HQ, Inc. v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, No. 108 F.R. 2016. The Synthes case is noteworthy not only because the Commonwealth Court addresses, for the first time, the Department of Revenue’s hotly debated interpretation of the state’s former “costs of performance” statute, but also because…
The Indiana Tax Court recently ruled in favor of The University of Phoenix, Inc. (“University of Phoenix”) on an important issue of first impression involving the sourcing of service revenue for purposes of computing Indiana’s corporate income tax apportionment factor. The University of Phoenix, Inc. v. Indiana Dep’t of State Revenue, Cause No. 49T10-1411-TA-00065 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2017). Baker & McKenzie LLP represented the University of Phoenix in the case. The Tax Court held that in sourcing service revenue, Indiana law requires a taxpayer activity/cost-based analysis and rejected the market/customer-based analysis historically advanced by the Indiana Department of State Revenue (“Department”).
Less than a year after a similar minimum tax proposal was soundly defeated at the polls, a gross receipts minimum tax measure is again being proposed by way of voter initiative in Oregon. A draft ballot title for Initiative Petition 2018-027 (“IP 27”) was received by the Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division from the Attorney General on July 13, 2017 for the November 6, 2018 general election. While the specifics of IP 27 are yet to be revealed, the summary provided in the draft ballot indicates that it is in ways even more aggressive than the one rejected by voters last November (“Measure 97”). Although the fate of this latest tax proposal is still very much in question, companies doing business in Oregon should take notice of the continued interest in gross receipts taxes (another proposal, H.B. 2830, which would have imposed a tax similar to Ohio’s Commercial Activity Tax, was narrowly defeated in the state legislature earlier this year), especially in light of the state’s recent move to market-based sourcing.