On March 29, 2021, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed legislation creating a new sales and use tax exemption and a new franchise and excise tax (F&E) credit for “qualified productions.” H.B. 141, 112th Gen. Assemb., ch. 70 (Tenn. 2021). The new legislation is expected to attract greater production activity, especially smaller-scale productions, to the state and put Tennessee on a competitive footing with other states that offer tax incentives to the industry. Continue Reading ›
On February 15, 2021, the Maryland Court of Appeals issued a decision in Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc. v. Director, Department of Finance of Baltimore City, Case No. 24-C-18-001778 (Md. 2021), upholding the constitutionality of a local ordinance that imposes an annual excise tax on businesses selling advertising space on off-site billboards. The tax in question applies only to businesses that own or control off-site billboards in the City of Baltimore i.e., billboards that are not located on the premises where the goods or services being advertised are offered for sale. Continue Reading ›
On February 12, 2021, Maryland legislators voted to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) veto of H.B. 732, making Maryland the first state in the nation to impose a digital advertising tax. While Maryland’s enactment of the bill is a first, other states have impending digital advertising tax bills, such as New York, Connecticut, Indiana, Nebraska, Washington, Montana and Massachusetts. Maryland’s digital advertising tax, which becomes effective March 14, 2021 (30 days after the Governor’s veto), has been preemptively challenged in U.S. District Court. Continue Reading ›
A federal district court held that under comity principles, Indiana state court is a more appropriate venue for a putative class action brought by three Indiana municipalities seeking to impose franchise fees on a group of online video providers. Order, City of Fishers v. Netflix, Inc. No. 1:20-cv-02351-JMS-MPB (S.D. Ind. Nov. 18, 2020). The federal district court remanded the case to the Marion Superior Court, where it was originally filed.
COST’s 2020 conference for technology companies will provide 6 hours of topics which will cover the key state and local tax issues that technology companies (both start-up and established) are facing over the span of 3 days. Continue Reading ›
The District of Columbia Council finalized the 2021 fiscal year budget yesterday, which removed the recently enacted digital advertising tax. The Council’s July 28 vote formalized the elimination of a proposed 3% sales tax on gross receipts from traditional and digital advertising services and from the sale of personal information (e.g., IP addresses, , names, phone numbers, biometric data etc.). The proposal defined “digital advertising services” as “advertising services related to advertisements displayed on a digital interface, including advertisements in the form of banner advertising, search engine advertising, interstitial advertising, or other comparable advertising.” “Digital interface” was defined as “any combination of hardware and software that an individual may use to access internet-based platforms such as websites, parts of websites, or applications.”
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that sales tax applied to subscription fees for three online Citrix products, “GoToMyPC,” “GoToAssist” and “GoToMeeting,” which allow users to remotely access other users’ computers. Citrix Systems, Inc. v. Comm’r of Revenue, No. SJC-12741 (Mass. Feb. 5, 2020). In so holding, the Court affirmed the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board’s determination that Citrix made taxable sales of tangible personal property, rather than nontaxable sales of services.