Articles Posted in California

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Ab8oGgo5_400x400-300x300There were two competing bills regarding tax sharing agreements (TSAs) this legislative session: SB 531 and SB 485. The former would have barred all TSAs at the local level as of January 1, 2020. The latter would not bar TSAs but instead would require the locality to report certain information pertaining to the agreement that would be made publicly available. On October 12, 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed the bill that would have barred TSAs altogether and instead signed the other bill that requires publicly reporting certain information pertaining to the TSAs.

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FTB-logo-300x300Yesterday, the California Franchise Tax Board convened a public meeting to discuss tax compliance within the growing gig economy and the challenges of meeting these obligations. Speakers from academia, the FTB, the business community, and gig workers themselves, discussed various tax issues, three of which stood out.

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On Sept. 30-Oct. 2, members of Pillsbury SALT will lead discussions at COST’s property tax workshop in Las Vegas. This event aims to bring multistate property tax professionals together and discuss timely legislative and litigation updates, trends and opportunities to make sure your business’s property is not over taxed.

Topics will include:

  • “Central or Local Assessment? Why It Matters and How to Take Advantage of Either Process,” (Breann Robowski)
  • “California – A Property Tax Nation unto Itself” (Craig Becker)
  • “Best Practices for Getting Fair High-Tech Property Valuations.” (Breann Robowski)
  • “Ask the Experts – Practitioners Addressing Issues for Free” (Craig Becker)

For more information and to register, please visit the event page.

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Ab8oGgo5_400x400-300x300The California Office of Tax Appeals (OTA)—in a 3-0 pending precedential opinion granting the Appeal of Jali, LLC—has rejected the Franchise Tax Board’s (FTB) 0.2 percent ownership threshold as the new bright-line standard for determining whether an out-of-state LLC member is actively “doing business” (and thereby required to file and pay tax) in California. The FTB relied upon Swart Enterprises, Inc. v. Franchise Tax Bd. (2017) 7 Cal.App.5th 497 (Swart) to deem Jali as actively doing business in California because its membership interest in an in-state LLC ranged between 1.12 to 4.75 percent, which “was well beyond the 0.2% Swart limit.” However, the OTA determined the FTB misconstrued Swart and found Swart was “squarely grounded on the relationship between the out-of-state member and the in-state LLC” and not simply based on ownership percentage. The OTA then evaluated Jali’s facts and found no evidence it had “any ability or authority, directly or indirectly, to influence or participate in the management or operation” of the LLC that conducted business in California.

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Abercrombie-Fitch-Logo-300x300The Fifth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal has struck another blow to taxpayers claiming California unconstitutionally discriminates against interstate commerce by permitting intrastate unitary businesses to file using either a combined reporting method or separate accounting method, while requiring interstate unitary businesses to file under the combined reporting method.

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(This article originally was published by Law360 on August 21, 2019.)

The repercussions of the California Supreme Court’s August 2017 opinion in California Cannabis Coalition, et al. v. City of Upland, et al.1 continue to reverberate, leading San Francisco’s business taxpayers to wonder what practical precautions to consider.

In a February article, we analyzed the Upland opinion, the over 40-year history of California’s two-thirds supermajority voting requirement for passing local special taxes, and an introduction to the first five post-Upland litigation challenges, including San Francisco actions involving the validity of two separate Proposition C voter initiatives that passed in 2018 with a majority but not a supermajority vote. In a follow-up article last month, we provided an update on the status of these five supermajority tax challenges pending around the state, including trial court decisions made in the two San Francisco Proposition C actions.

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(This article originally was published by Law360 on July 22, 2019.)

On July 5, the San Francisco Superior Court issued a pair of rulings in favor of the city and county of San Francisco, finding that two local special taxes introduced by voter initiatives were valid even though they passed with a simple majority vote and not a two-thirds supermajority vote.

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On July 23-24, members of Pillsbury SALT will lead discussions at COST’s much anticipated state and local tax technology workshop in Foster City, Calif. This one-and-a-half day event promises to deliver in-depth state and local tax content tailored to technology businesses—everything from startups to long established companies. The varied presentations are for those new to tax and those who are tax savvy.

Pillsbury SALT members will lead discussions on a number of topics, including:

  • “Market-Based Sourcing for Tech Companies: Identifying ‘Customers’ and Locating Their ‘Benefits'” (Marc Simonetti)
  • “Beware of the Locals—They Might Take You by Surprise” (Carley Roberts)
  • “All Things Property Tax for Tech Companies” (Craig Becker)
  • “Ask The Experts” (Jeffrey Vesely)

For more information and to register, please visit the event page.

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TAKEAWAYS

On April 25, 2019, California enacted comprehensive marketplace facilitator legislation. Many said last fall this would be an impossible feat given the divided constituency of the California Legislature on whether all marketplace facilitators should be treated equally for purposes of imposing California’s Sales and Use Tax law. Consider the impossible achieved. California’s sweeping Marketplace Facilitator Act, adopted under Assembly Bill (AB) 147, treats virtually all marketplaces the same.

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