State legislators have already proposed a number of digital and data tax bills in 2021, some of which are new proposals while others reintroduce proposals from previous legislative sessions. The proposed bills fall into one of three categories: taxes on digital advertising services, taxes (or fees) targeting social media providers, and taxes on the sale or monetization of personal data. Most of the proposals are in the early stages, but a Maryland bill originally introduced last year is moving closer to a legislative vote on whether to override the governor’s veto.
Two states recently unveiled transfer pricing enforcement tactics to, in their view, combat improper intercompany profit shifting.
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”).
The Utah Tax Court recently issued its decision in See’s Candies, Inc. v. Utah State Tax Commission, Case No. 140401556, holding that the “arm’s-length” standard set forth in the federal treasury regulations relating to section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) controls for purposes of guiding the Utah State Tax Commission (“Commission”) in reallocating income pursuant to Utah Code section 59-7-113 (“Section 59-7-113”), which is nearly identical to section 482 of the IRC.