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State and Local Tax Blog

About This Blog

Taxes in New York (TiNY) is a blog by the Hodgson Russ LLP State and Local Tax Practice Group. The weekly reports are intended to go out within 24 hours of the Division of Tax Appeals’ (DTA) publication of new ALJ Determinations and Tribunal Decisions. In addition to the weekly reports TiNY may provide analysis of and commentary on other developments in the world of New York tax law.  

TiNY Report for September 17, 2020 (reporting on DTA case issued September 10)

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And so the “month of misery” continues – actually it might be longer than a month, time no longer has meaning, well, except when it comes to statutory notices. This week we have just one determination and it deals with timeliness issues (obviously).

TiNY Report for September 10, 2020 (reporting DTA cases issued September 3)

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The DTA’s “month of misery” continues with five more determinations and an order dealing with (mostly) timeliness issues.  I feel like Bill Murray three-quarter’s of the way through “Groundhog Day.”  But instead of “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher, the radio is playing “Time after Time” by Cyndi Lauper, and the chorus lyrics have been bastardized into something like:

If you’re late and you file, you will get dismissed, timy after timy.  Then TiNY will post a brief summary, timy after timy.

TiNY Report for September 3, 2020 (reporting on DTA cases issued August 24 and 27)

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With apologies to Dickens: “They were the best of timies, they were the worst of timies, but most of all . . . they were timies, and I despair.” Despite having a mix of decisions, determinations, and an ALJ order, with the exception of tax-protestor case, every case this week involves a timie – so don’t blame the messenger.

Anyway, from all of us here at TiNY, we hope that everyone had a safe and socially-distant Labor Day long weekend.

TiNY Report for August 27, 2020 (reporting on cases issued by the DTA on August 20)

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From Chris: Our TiNY writing staff is still having problems getting our reports out.  This is almost entirely the fault of the Senior Editor (a/k/a me).  TiNY occupies a low spot on my priority totem these days. And last week, I was blind-sided by the DTA when it dumped nine(!) determinations onto the website rather late in the day on Thursday. Fortunately, two were sales tax cases that I could delegate to our TiNY sales tax correspondent, Joseph Endres. But that left seven determinations for me to summarize, and those seven weren’t compelling reads. So for a while, it was “Welcome to Back Burner, NY, Pop. 7.”

As a good will gesture (and to show we care) we’ll be refunding our 12 or so readers 5% of the TiNY subscription fee they pay!

TiNY Report for August 20, 2020 (reporting on DTA cases issued August 13)

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There are just two ALJ orders and a Determination this week. Even with the light output we are a few days late publishing. And this is totally the senior editor’s fault (who is writing here) as I was helping my son change his domicile from the City to Miami, FL. “The City” in this instance is Bethesda, MD. So there is no need for my friends at the Division to investigate further. But as a consequence of rendering assistance to my son, I am now compelled to quarantine in my home for the next several days. As it turns out, my quarantining is just like my non-quarantining: I spend my days in the living room with my computer and two monitors talking taxes with people on the phone.

In any event, I will try to get these out to our twelve regular readers more promptly in the future.

TiNY Report for August 13, 2020 (reporting on DTA cases issued August 6)

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This week’s offerings include two decisions from the Tax Appeals Tribunal. I’m a fan of the Tribunal, and I love to see it tackle difficult issues such as the ones presented this week. One deals with the mostly factual issue of whether a petitioner was a responsible person liable for a business’s withholding taxes. The other deals with the legal issue of whether a non-US affiliate of Disney would not, for New York franchise tax purposes, be required to add back to income royalty payments it made to an affiliate. Reasonable minds may differ, and (with due respect to the Tribunal) you will see below that I surmise that both cases could have been decided differently.

TiNY Report for August 6, 2020 (reporting on DTA cases issued July 30)

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The phrase “Dog Days” does not refer to those summer days when it is so hot that your dog just wants to lie around and pant all day. Instead, the dog days are those days in the year during which Sirius—aka: the “dog star”—rises before the sun in the morning. This year the dog days fall between July 22 and August 22, inclusive. Even without the knowledge of the origin of the phrase, I might have guessed we were in the dog days this week because the DTA served us up a determination and an ALJ order on cases that are real dogs, appearing to involve ill-prepared petitioners arguing mostly baseless factual issues.

TiNY Report for July 30, 2020 (reporting on DTA cases issued July 23)

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The output this week from the DTA is a bit lackluster – just two determinations, and both of them are timies.

I’m writing solo this week from the Great White North (aka Canada), and my computer keeps trying to auto-correct “timies” to “Timmies.” Our readers who haven’t enjoyed the pleasure of its semi-massed produced donuts (a far cry from the delicious fried-dough confections lovingly produced at Paula’s) and coffee, may be unaware that the donut shop chain “Tim Hortons” is “Timmies” in the local vernacular. I am not a huge fan, although I find the coffee in the Canadian Timmies palatable—likely because of the cream’s higher fat content. 

I’m currently in the birth place of Timmies, and one can’t go more than a few blocks without being in front of another Tim Hortons. If I wasn’t in quarantine, I could walk to one of the five(!) Timmies within a one-mile radius of my temporary home office. So, I’m wondering if my computer’s GPS knows when I’ve come to Canada and somehow adjusts the autocorrect lexicon and preferences to reflect the change of venue. If so . . . I’m totally impressed with the technology!

Anyway, now that you know that I wrestle with my computer every time I try to spell the word “timies,” here are two run-of-the-mill timies.

TiNY Report for July 23, 2020 (reporting on DTA cases issued July 16)  

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A decision and four determinations this week. The decision is a little interesting. The determinations each involve jurisdictional, procedural necessities that are routine.

TiNY Report for July 16, 2020 (reporting on DTA cases issued July 2 and July 9)

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Mea culpa, baby! Yes, your senior editor, who was in charge last week, neglected to post a summary of the solitary timy ALJ Order that hit the DTA’s website last week. There were many, many priorities in front of TiNY last week. And many, many phone calls from CPAs wondering just how one is supposed to apply New York’s “de-coupling” from the CARES Act in practice. Not an excuse . . . an explanation. We stand behind the timeliness of our publication. So feel free to contact the senior editor (at tiny@hodgsonruss.com) to request a ratable refund of the subscription fee you pay. He has agreed to pay these out of his own pocket!

There are two decisions, four determinations, and last week’s order to report on this week. I was hoping to report that the Tribunal had continued down a path away from the “only reasonable construction standard,” but . . . no.