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.
On November 8, 2016, Oregon voters will vote to approve or reject Measure 97 (formerly, Initiative Proposal 28) that would implement a new 2.5 percent gross receipts tax on certain C corporations doing business in Oregon. If approved by voters, this new tax would be effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2017.