Articles Posted in Tax

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REITs have several options to defer required dividend distributions through the current year and even significantly into next year (although at a potential cost), and the use of combined cash and stock distributions may greatly reduce a REIT’s cash outlay for dividend distributions. In “COVID-19 Impacts on REITs and Mitigation Strategies,” colleagues Robert S. LoganBrian M. Blum and Peter J. Elias address how REITs need to be sensitive to the consequences of acts taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on their compliance with the REIT tests under the tax laws.

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The Act represents the third legislative attempt to address the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In “CARES Act Provides Tax Deferral and Refund Opportunities,” colleagues  Brian M. Blum and Harsha Reddy address that many of these provisions provide taxpayers with liquidity benefits by providing cash payments, pushing back tax payment dates and reducing current and prior year tax liabilities.

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In a letter ruling published March 16, 2020, the Tennessee Department of Revenue concluded that a contractor’s purchase of materials and equipment for use in the construction and installation of a new steam production facility at a federally owned manufacturing plant was exempt from Tennessee sales and use tax.  Tenn. Letter Rul. No. 20-02 (issued Feb. 10, 2020).

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On March 6, 2019, the South Carolina Administrative Law Court entered an order in Colonial Pipeline Co. v. South Carolina Department of Revenue, No. 18-ALJ-17-0443-CC, in which it held that a pipeline company’s assets may qualify for a property tax exemption for pollution control equipment of industrial plants under S.C. Code Ann. § 12-37-220(8). In his latest post on SeeSALT,   examines this decision more closely.

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https://www.gravel2gavel.com/files/2019/10/U.S.-Court-of-Appeals-for-the-Federal-Circuit.pngThe federal government has long encouraged the development and use of alternative fuels by enacting legislation that promises tax credits for such use. However, special care must be taken to ensure that all of the requirements of the law are observed. This has been made clear by recent rulings of the U.S. Court of Claims and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

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Even as tax incentives provided by the opportunity zone program in 2017’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act offer the possibility of significant tax benefits when investing gains in Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOFs), such funds must comply with a wide variety of significant federal and state securities laws and regulations. In “Securities Law Guidance for Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOFs),” colleagues Ellen C. Grady and Robert B. Robbins discuss the joint statement recently issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) summarizing federal and state securities law considerations that may be applicable to QOFs.

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iStock-946047540-opportunity-300x225On April 17, 2019, the IRS issued its much anticipated second tranche of guidance (the “2019 Proposed Regulations”) on the qualified opportunity zone (QOZ) program established by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The 2019 Proposed Regulations discuss a number of issues that were left unaddressed by the initial set of proposed regulations issued by the IRS in October of 2018 (the “Initial Proposed Regulations”) and provide further clarity on some issues that were touched upon in those initial regulations. This is welcome news to eager investors interested in taking advantage of the benefits of investing their capital gains in qualified opportunity funds (QOFs), particularly those wishing to deploy capital in businesses outside the realm of traditional real estate development. While we have not attempted to describe every aspect of the 2019 Proposed Regulations, a summary of certain key provisions is set forth below.

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On August 14, two U.S. Court of Appeals released decisions regarding the interplay between environmental law and the federal tax code.

In the case of Green Gas Delaware Statutory Trust, et al. v. Commissioner of IRS. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed the ruling of the Tax Court that the appellants could not claim federal tax credits connected with the generation and sale of “landfill gas” that is produced from decomposing landfill waste. Chief Judge Garland’s opinion begins with

Rumpelstiltskin could spin straw into gold. Rumpelstiltskin, Inc. thought it could do the same for garbage, spinning it into tax credits. The Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service disagreed. So did the Tax Court. So do we.

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This morning, our colleagues on the State & Local Tax team published their Client Alert titled The U.S. Supreme Court Changes Sales and Use Tax Collection Nexus. In South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., the Court overrules the “physical presence” requirement as “unsound and incorrect.” Takeaways from the Court’s decision include:

  • South Dakota law satisfies the Commerce Clause “substantial nexus” requirement based on the “economic and virtual contacts” with the State.
  • The Wayfair decision does not prohibit the retroactive application of this new standard for Commerce Clause “substantial nexus.”
  • The decision strikes a blow to the Court’s stare decisis jurisprudence.