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Roadkill: New York Court Finds Flat Vehicle Registration Fees Unconstitutional

By Mike Penza and Madison Barnett The New York Supreme Court, Albany County, held that New York’s unapportioned vehicle registration fees violated the Commerce Clause. The court found that the flat fees—imposed on all carriers operating motor vehicles in New York—were indistinguishable...

New York State Jury Awards $11.6M In Medical Malpractice Action Against Radiologist

On Jan. 25, 2012, Kevin Orr arrived at the Emergency Department at Glens Falls Hospital, with a documented history of dizziness, headache, and inability to stand. A CT scan was ordered and read by radiologist James E. Bell, M.D., of Adirondack Radiology Associates, P.C. The CT scan allegedly showed that...

In a New York Minute: Considerations for Filing 2015 New York Returns

Waiting until the federal return is prepared and then simply allowing that return to flow through to the New York returns could be a dangerous approach, leaving you scrambling, missing some election opportunities, and potentially being subjected to penalties. Over the next few months, State Tax Notes’...

New York State Division of Tax Appeals Addresses Unauthorized Insurance Company Taxation

A New York State Division of Tax Appeals administrative law judge issued three determinations addressing the tax implications for unauthorized insurance companies, both life and non-life. Significant uncertainty has surrounded New York State’s taxation of unauthorized insurance companies since...

Running on Empty: New York State ALJ Denies Deduction for Payments Made to Captive Insurance Company

By Charles Capouet and Andrew Appleby A New York State Division of Tax Appeals ALJ determined that payments by a corporation to its captive insurance company did not qualify as deductible insurance premiums because the arrangement lacked risk shifting and risk distribution. The taxpayer primarily owned...

New York Federal Court Dismisses Whole Foods Class Action

By Nicole Boutros and Andrew Appleby A federal court dismissed a class action lawsuit against Whole Foods, finding the consumers lacked standing because they could not demonstrate they purchased any of the mislabeled foods for which they claimed Whole Foods systemically overcharged. The consumers alleged...

Tax-Free Transfer: Online Document Delivery Services Not Subject to New York Sales Tax

By Chris Mehrmann and Madison Barnett The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance issued an advisory opinion explaining that the petitioner’s Internet-based document transfer subscription plans are not subject to sales and use tax. Because the primary purpose of the transactions is...

New York State Tax Appeals Tribunal Holds that Pricing Information Services Are Taxable

By Jessica Eisenmenger and Jeffrey Friedman The New York State Tax Appeals Tribunal sustained a determination by a Department of Taxation and Finance Administrative Law Judge that receipts obtained from the sale of retail pricing information services are subject to sales tax. Under New York law, information...

Biting at the Apple East Coast Style

On February 29, 2016, Magistrate Judge James Orenstein of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York denied the federal government’s application for an order requiring Apple, Inc. to bypass the passcode security of a criminal defendant’s iPhone 5s. The case is separate...

New York Court Holds That Telecommunications Company Is Not a NYC Utility

By Jessica Eisenmenger The Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County held that a telecommunications company was liable for both New York City’s Utility Tax and the City’s Unincorporated Business Tax (“UBT”) because the taxpayer was only lightly regulated by, rather...

New York State Taxpayer Must Use Net Operating Loss When Paying on Alternative Tax Base

By Nicole Boutros and Eric Coffill The New York State Tax Appeals Tribunal determined that a taxpayer subject to the Article 32 bank franchise tax must use its net operating loss deduction to reduce its entire net income to zero in years in which the bank franchise tax was paid by the taxpayer on an...

NYC Tax Appeals Tribunal Holds Subsidiary Not Required to Be Included in Banking Corporation Tax Return

By Charles Capouet and Madison Barnett The New York City Tax Appeals Tribunal held that a bank filing a combined New York City bank tax return properly excluded from its combined group a Connecticut investment subsidiary that primarily held mortgage loans secured by non-New York property. Where there...

NYC Tax Appeals Tribunal Determines HMO Subject to General Corporation Tax

By Andrew Appleby The New York City Tax Appeals Tribunal reversed an administrative law judge (ALJ) and determined that a health maintenance organization (HMO) was subject to the New York City general corporation tax. In Aetna , the parties stipulated that all the requirements for combination had...

New York Calling: Phone Card Kiosk Sales Subject to Sales Tax, but Not Telecommunications Excise Tax

Douglas Upton and Timothy Gustafson The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance issued an Advisory Opinion concluding that a retail operator of kiosks selling various prepaid telecommunication plans and additional telecommunication rights for existing plans was subject to New York sales and...

New York Issues Two Advisory Opinions Regarding Surplus Lines Insurance

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance issued two advisory opinions determining that surplus lines insurance companies are subject to uncapped insurance franchise tax instead of premium tax. The Department’s position treats authorized non-life insurance companies differently...

NY Gov. Launches Public-Private Naturalization Drive

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, July 14, 2016 - "Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched “ NaturalizeNY ,” the first public-private partnership of its kind to encourage and assist eligible immigrants in New York State with becoming U.S. citizens. The initiative provides comprehensive support through...

New York 'Dreamer' Challenges Texas Judge's Nationwide Immigration Injunction - Batalla Vidal v. Baran

NILC, Aug. 25, 2016 - "A first-of-its-kind lawsuit today opened up a new front in the defense of the Obama administration’s 2014 immigration relief initiatives, known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood...

NYC Tax Appeals Tribunal Finds LLC Owes Real Property Transfer Tax Under Step Transaction Doctrine

By Ted Friedman and Charlie Kearns The New York City Tax Appeals Tribunal held that the Petitioner, a Delaware LLC, owed New York City real property transfer tax (RPTT) on the transfer of an interest in certain real property. The Tribunal applied the step transaction doctrine and treated the contribution...

NYC Tax Appeals Tribunal Allocates Consulting Service Provider's Receipts Based on Location of Consultants

By Jessica Allen and Jonathan Feldman The New York City Tax Appeals Tribunal administrative law judge (ALJ) determined that a taxpayer’s receipts for consulting services should be allocated based on where the services were rendered, not where the solicitation and payment for the services occurred...

NY Questioning Scientific Validity of Shaken-Baby Syndrome

An appellate court in New York unanimously affirmed a decision that granted defendant Rene Bailey’s motion to vacate her second degree murder conviction from 2002, based on newly discovered evidence that questions the scientific validity of shaken-baby syndrome, also known as shaken baby impact...

Citigroup False Claims Act Lawsuit Remanded to New York State Court for Lack of Federal Question Jurisdiction

By Zack Atkins and Marc Simonetti A federal district court denied a taxpayer’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought under the New York False Claims Act (FCA) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and remanded the action to state court. The relator, an Indiana University professor, alleges that...

Checkfree - Another Taxpayer Win on New York State Online Service Receipt Sourcing; ALJ Determination Mirrors Expedia

On January 5, 2017, a New York State Division of Tax Appeals administrative law judge (ALJ) determined that a taxpayer’s electronic bill payment and presentation receipts constitute “service” receipts and not “other business receipts,” and are properly sourced where the...

NYC Administrative Law Judge Determines Long Distance Telecommunications Service Fees Exempt from Utility Tax

On December 29, 2016, a New York City administrative law judge (ALJ) determined that Sprint’s long distance telecommunications service fees were exempt from the City’s Utility Tax. In the Matter of the Petitions of U.S. Sprint Communications Co., LP , TAT (H) 14-12 (UT) et al. Sutherland...

NY Atty. Gen. Post Legal Tools To Protect Immigrant Communities in Anticipation of Trump Crackdown

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, Jan. 19, 2017 - "Anticipating potential changes in federal immigration enforcement practices and priorities, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today provided local governments and law enforcement agencies with a legal roadmap for improving public...

Medical Record Coding Services Are Taxable in New York if Provided to Third-Party Requesters

By Mike Kerman and Charlie Kearns The New York Department of Taxation and Finance issued an advisory opinion concluding that a taxpayer that collects and furnishes healthcare information on behalf of healthcare providers, such as medical practices and hospitals, to persons requesting copies of medical...