Firm Faces $1.7M Suit Over Botched Nina Simone Inheritance

    The daughter of deceased jazz legend Nina Simone hit Karlin & Peebles LLP with a $1.7 million legal malpractice suit in California state court on Wednesday, accusing the Los Angeles tax firm of wrongly advising her to use funds from the singer’s ...read more

    Virginia Bank Co., Ex-CFO Settle SEC Accounting Claim

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday said it reached a settlement with a Virginia-based bank operator and its former finance chief over claims they engaged in improper accounting of tax-deferred assets that masked the company’s ...read more

    Taxation With Representation: Skadden, Cravath, Latham

    In this week's Taxation With Representation, Skadden's tax attorneys play instrumental roles in Hawaiian Electric Utilities Inc.'s $4.3 billion sale to NextEra Energy Inc. and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.'s $3.5 billion purchase of a ...read more

    New Jersey Supreme Court Delivers Good News to Taxpayers in UPS Case

    By Nicole Boutros and Andrew Appleby

    The New Jersey Supreme Court held that the New Jersey Division of Taxation improperly exercised its discretion when it refused to waive its imposition of $1.8 million in late payment penalties and tax amnesty penalties. The taxpayers, five subsidiaries of United Parcel Service of America (collectively, UPS), used a cash management system for intercompany transfers but did not report New Jersey corporation business tax (CBT) related to the transfers. The State assessed the CBT, imposed the two types of penalties at issue, and assessed interest, asserting that the intercompany transfers were actually loans upon which the State could impute interest income. The New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, upheld the lower court’s determination that the State abused its discretion by imposing the penalties, explaining that UPS had reasonable cause to waive penalties because the taxability of the intercompany transfers was an issue of first impression. The New Jersey Supreme Court agreed and further explained that a taxpayer’s “honest misunderstanding of fact or law that is reasonable in light of the experience, knowledge and education of the taxpayer” supported a finding of reasonable cause to waive late payment penalties. Additionally, the court held that the imposition of tax amnesty penalties, which apply to taxpayers that fail to pay any state tax, did not apply to taxpayers that timely filed returns and paid their tax liabilities, but whom the State assessed on audit. The court emphasized that the legislative history of the tax amnesty penalties supported its determination that the State could not impose such penalties on deficiencies discovered through an audit of UPS’s timely filed returns. United Parcel Serv. Gen. Servs. Co. v. Dir., Div. of Taxation, No. 072421 (N.J. Dec. 4, 2014).

    Ind. High Court Allows Tax Sale To Recover Sewer Bill

    The Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that properties with unpaid sewer bills can be sold in a tax sale to recoup the debts, saying a statute prohibiting regional sewer districts from foreclosing on liens does not apply as a tax sale is distinct ...read more

    Justices' Colo. 'Amazon Tax' Ruling Could Curb Federal Suits

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday will consider whether aspects of Colorado's so-called Amazon tax law are protected from challenges in federal court, in a case experts say could make it nearly impossible for businesses to challenge state tax administration ...read more

    Minority Powerbrokers Q&A: Shell's Donny Ching

    I tell my lawyers not to keep trying to impress their bosses and advance their careers. It's much more powerful and gratifying to become a role model to the many people seeking leadership and guidance. These are the best leaders and role models for ...read more

    IRS Head Warns US May Be Lagging On Int'l Tax Issues

    IRS Commissioner John Koskinen warned Thursday that other countries may leave the U.S. in the dust in the global tax arena if the nation’s corporate tax code is not reformed to keep pace with international tax developments. ...read more

    Former Bechtel Exec Admits Taking $5.2M In Kickbacks

    A former Bechtel Corp. executive on Thursday pled guilty in Maryland federal court to charges that he took $5.2 million in kickbacks in exchange for rigging an auction for state-run power contracts in Egypt, federal prosecutors said. ...read more

    Los Angeles Should Block Its Own Ban On Fracking

    Whether the Los Angeles City Council acknowledges its action or not, its motion back in February on well-stimulation activity amounts to a de facto ban on any well-stimulation or injection operations, which among other things will rob businesses and royalty ...read more

    Impact Of The Revised 'Passive Business Rule' On SBICs

    The newly revised regulations governing small business investment company investments do ease the restrictions on SBICs by allowing two levels of “passive businesses.” However, the revised regulations will have a very limited impact on the use of blocker ...read more

    Tax MVP: Dentons’ Todd Welty

    Securing Southgate Master Fund LLC a rare 97 percent concession from the IRS of nearly $300 million and first-chairing the Schaeffler Group’s high-profile tax litigation were just two of many accomplishments that earned Dentons’ Todd Welty a spot among ...read more

    IRS Says Lawyer's Fraud Doesn't Trigger Statute Of Limitations

    The U.S. Internal Revenue Service told the Federal Circuit on Thursday that a three-year statute of limitations on assessment should not apply to a $6.5 million case over the sale of a family printing business simply because the alleged fraud was committed ...read more

    Ohio Senate OKs Streamlining Of Municipal Income Tax

    Ohio's Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would streamline the state's municipal income tax system, which is fractured among hundreds of municipalities that use differing tax rules, by establishing a uniform tax base and delineating taxable ...read more

    Fla. High Court Weighs City's Fire Protection Assessment

    A group of Cape Coral, Florida, property owners argued Thursday for the Florida Supreme Court to overturn a lower court's validation of bonds the city plans to issue that are backed by a fire protection assessment program whose methodology they hold ...read more

    Duke Energy Doesn't Owe NJ Tax On Electric Utility Fees

    The New Jersey Tax Court said in a decision released Thursday that Duke Energy Corp. does not have to include in its net income utility taxes paid to other states when determining how much it owes the state in business taxes. ...read more

    IRS Realignment Shifts Exempt Entities Guidance Duties

    The Internal Revenue Service announced on Wednesday that as part of a realignment of the agency’s Tax-Exempt and Government Entities Division, the responsibility for issuing exempt organization guidance and letter rulings will shift to the Office ...read more

    Expedia Ordered To Cough Up Hotel Tax Formula

    An Illinois federal judge ordered Expedia Inc. Wednesday to explain exactly how it calculates taxes and fees it charges customers in a putative class action accusing the online travel company and others of underpaying hotel taxes, saying Expedia’s ...read more

    Chinese Regulators OK $43B Medtronic-Covidien Inversion

    Medtronic Inc. and Covidien PLC inched closer to completing their $42.9 billion tax-inversion deal on Thursday with approval from Chinese regulators, wrapping up the controversial transaction's antitrust review and turning the focus to next month's ...read more

    NJ High Court Affirms Waiver Of $1.8M In UPS Tax Penalties

    The New Jersey Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed that the state's tax division improperly assessed $1.8 million in late-payment and tax-amnesty penalties on subsidiaries of United Parcel Service Inc., saying there was a genuine question of law. ...read more

    A New Era Of Simplified M&A Structures In Pennsylvania

    Though Pennsylvania's new Entity Transaction Law is expected to streamline and simplify transactions from a process perspective, the various state and federal tax implications that are often drivers of transaction goals and outcomes could give rise ...read more

    Understanding LIHTC Basics Before Embarking On Workouts

    Over the last several years, there has been an increase in defaults in loans made to finance affordable housing projects, many of which involve a blend of senior debt financing from a bank and investor equity obtained through the sale of low-income housing ...read more

    Payroll Firm Trustee Wants IRS To Return Payments

    The trustee of a bankrupt payroll services firm told a Pennsylvania federal court it should make the IRS fork over nearly $40,000 of the $3 million in payments that he says the company wrongly issued to the agency. ...read more

    Wyly Widow's $550K Fees, Living Expenses OK'd In Ch. 11

    A Texas bankruptcy judge on Wednesday approved more than $550,000 in living expenses and legal costs for the widow of business tycoon Charles Wyly, as she and brother-in-law Sam Wyly pursue Ch. 11 bankruptcies as leverage to settle a looming tax bill ...read more

    11th Circ. Won't Again Delay Bar On Fla. Gay Marriage Ban

    The Eleventh Circuit on Wednesday rejected Florida's request to extend the stay of an injunction barring the enforcement of Florida's same-sex marriage ban, which means gay couples should be able to have their out-of-state marriages recognized ...read more