Heads They Win, Tails You Lose: New York Decombination and Discretionary Adjustments

A New York state corporate franchise tax audit is almost as frustrating as participating in a coin toss with a one-sided coin. It seems like taxpayers cannot win. New York state auditors forcibly combine taxpayers that have filed separate returns and decombine taxpayers that have filed combined returns. Auditors also seem to use the commissioner’s discretionary authority to adjust a taxpayer’s income or expense arbitrarily, in place of a combination adjustment, when it leads to greater tax liability. In this A Pinch of SALT, we assert that the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance applies to its combined reporting and discretionary authority provisions arbitrarily to maximize its tax assessments.

The remainder of this article can be accessed in the May 19, 2014 edition of State Tax Notes.

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