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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.  

Photo of State and Local Tax Blog Joseph N. Endres
Partner, Sales & Use Tax Practice Leader, Abandoned Property Audits Practice Leader, Co-Leader Brownfield Redevelopment Practice
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Joe counsels clients on a wide range of state and local taxation issues and represents taxpayers in disputes with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance as well …

Showing 12 posts by Joseph N. Endres.

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 May 28, 2020 (reporting on DTA cases issued May 21)

Now we’re talking! There are two Tribunal decisions and four ALJ Determinations this week. Yeah, there are three timies and one other dismissal in the bunch, but one of the timies is a Tribunal reversal of an ALJ dismissal, and there are two cases that have some pretty involved substantive legal analysis. And, on balance, it was a pretty good day for taxpayers. Unfortunately, due to the complexity of the cases, our summaries are a bit more long-winded than usual.

TiNY Report for March 26, 2020 (reporting on DTA cases issued March 16 and 17)

Are you good?

Our entire TiNY writing staff (all three of us) claims to be healthy. But since we are all practicing from off-site locations this week, I cannot confirm that information. And TiNY’s lawyers (same three people) have said that confirming health information and then publishing it here is probably a HIPAA violation anyway (damned lawyers). I can confirm that I am asymptomatic, but I have put on a few pounds as a result of my new compulsory lifestyle which has morphed from a work/life balance to a work/life merger. There are upsides, of course. My 30-minute commute is now a 30-second commute. And I (finally) have a corner office worthy of the Editor-in-Chief of the TiNY Report.

I’m as busy as I’ve ever been, doing client work, tracking COVID-19 state tax developments, and getting alerts out to our clients and other interested parties. On that issue, I know they’ve got to be busy with other stuff, but, as of this writing, the Department of Taxation and Finance has not posted anything official on its website to the effect that income tax filing and payment deadlines are extended to July 15. The Director of Budget and the Governor have stated in separate press conferences that the deadline will be (or has been) extended. The Director of Budget’s statement appeared to be predicated on the assumption that state deadlines were dependent on federal deadlines, which is not the case: New York has deadlines that are distinct from the federal deadlines. And there was an email received last night by many accountants from Governor Cuomo stating “New York State's income tax filing deadline is delayed until July 15, 2020. Because New York State requires electronic filing, the date for filing state personal income taxes automatically travels with the federal filing date, which is now July 15. Further guidelines will be released soon.” I’m not sure how electronic filing controls legal filing deadlines, but I think that the that the Department of Taxation and Finance and the IRS share the same electronic filing processing platform, so it may be practical and not legal factors that are driving these statements. And the Governor’s statement, which is the most authoritative statement out there as of now, doesn’t say anything about Q1 estimated tax payments. So, until I see official guidance from the Tax Department, I’m planning on filing my New York return and paying my New York Q1 estimate on April 15. Y’all can do what you want.

There are one Decision, three Determinations and three ALJ Orders this week. Under the circumstances, this may be all we get for a while. Until next time, I hope you’ll heed Duke’s advice to his successor as Governor of American Samoa: “Be firm, fly low and stay cool” (GB Trudeau, “Doonesbury” January 10, 1976).


TiNY Report for March 19, 2020 (reporting on DTA cases issued March 12)

To our twelve or so regular readers: 

We hope this finds you healthy and safe. 

As best as we can ascertain [sound of us knocking on a wooden desk] our SALT team is in good shape and being productive, most from the safety of their homes. We have SALT lawyers in our Buffalo, New York City, Albany, and Palm Beach Offices. Twelve of our SALT lawyers are Buffalo-based. This week, four of us have been coming into the office because: (1) we felt we’d be much more productive here than at home, (2) our skeletal staff needs someone to talk to when questions arise, (3) we need someone to track any notices that arrive by regular mail, and (4) there’s office supplies, IT equipment and, of course, toilet paper here that need protection. The quiet is surreal. Those of us in the office hope/think our risk of contracting/spreading the virus is minimal since our floor is pretty much devoid of other humans. But although we’re smart about taxes, epidemiology is not in our wheelhouse – so we’ll see. 

TiNY Report for March 12, 2020 (covering DTA cases issued March 7)

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From Chris:  Do you have whiplash from watching the balance on your 401(k)? Are you choking on the platitudes our state and national leaders are spewing (Really?! Bahrain, Finland, Malaysia and The Netherlands have tested more people for Covid-19 per capita than the USA?!)? Does your stomach roil from March Madness bracket/NBA/NHL withdrawal? TiNY wishes it could give you something for what ails you (more cowbell, perhaps?). But alas, we can’t get approval from the FDA to provide you with anything other than these reports, and this week it’s like using a baby aspirin to cure tuberculosis.

We have only one determination on which to report, and because it involves sales tax, Joe wrote it. If I had written the summary it would have been something like “Petitioners failed to offer enough evidence to prove entitlement to their sales tax refund.” But Joe being Joe, we have the following more (exhaustive? overly-meticulous? mind-numbingly comprehensive?) thorough analysis.

From Joe:  You should all know by now how much I love sales tax, and how that enthusiasm often manifests itself in overly-long reviews of the sales tax cases issued by DTA, which Chris invariably shortens. But even I’m finding it difficult to come up with much to say about this week’s lone determination. So we have the rarest of my TiNY posts: a “short, short” review of a sales tax case. What does that even look like?  Read on:

TiNY Report for March 5, 2020 (covering DTA cases issued February 27)

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Sales tax is probably the “nastiest” tax. This is due, in part, to the personal liability of the individuals responsible for running a business that does not properly discharge its sales tax obligations. If a business that you run fails to collect or remit sales tax properly, the Division can look to your bank account to satisfy the business’ debt. The lone determination this week addresses whether the Division properly assessed an individual for a corporation’s sales tax liability. Because this is the only case this week, I’ll do a bit of a deeper dive.

TiNY Report for February 13, 2020 (covering DTA cases issued February 6)

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This week we have two determinations and two orders. It seems fitting that they came in pairs the day before Valentine’s Day, but, unfortunately, there was no love for the taxpayers.

TiNY Report for February 6, 2020 (covering DTA cases issued January 27 and 30)

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This week we have two decisions and a determination. One of the decisions and the determination are basically timies (yawn), but the other decision deserves closer consideration.

TiNY Report for January 30, 2020 (covering DTA cases issued January 23 and 24)

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After a week of silence, we have a pair of determinations, an ALJ order and a decision. In our opinion, the ALJ order deserves lead-story placement. The other rulings are workaday.

TiNY Report for January 16, 2020 (covering DTA cases issued January 9)

This week we have a handful of sales tax cases, much to Joe’s delight. Since some of them are less-than-exciting timies, we decided to let him off easy and spread the cases around this week, so you’ll get a bit from each of us. Unlike Joe (did we tell you that he likes sales tax . . . a lot?), we expect you’ll be able to contain your enthusiasm.

Also, from the DTA’s website:

“This year, Roberta Moseley Nero [President of the Tax Appeals Tribunal] received the Lawrence L. Lasser award in recognition of outstanding service to the National Conference of State Tax Judges at its annual meeting of state tax judges and tax tribunal members. This meeting is sponsored by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve quality of life through the effective use, taxation, and stewardship of land. The award is named for Lawrence L. (Larry) Lasser, the first Presiding Judge of the Tax Court of New Jersey and one of the founders of the National Conference of State Tax Judges.”

Congratulations President Mosely Nero!