LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Counsel To Counsel: Evaluating Positional Conflicts

    What happens when attorneys come to their general counsel’s office with knowledge of a potential positional conflict? While the inquiry will depend on the rules governing the particular jurisdiction, there are a few general questions to consider from ...read more

    Delaware Re-Ups Dubious Unclaimed Property Audit Rules

    In last year's Temple-Inland v. Cook decision, a federal court held that Delaware violated a taxpayer’s due process rights with an excessive unclaimed property assessment. The Delaware Legislature subsequently revised its unclaimed property statute ...read more

    Judge Delays Cert. In Silver Co. Investors' Tax Fraud Suit

    A California judge poised to certify a class of investors alleging in their securities fraud suit that a Canadian silver company concealed a potential $207 million tax liability said Monday after class counsel suggested the suit might be amended that ...read more

    Biz Optimism Is Waning With Trump Inaction On Tax Reform

    Businesses that entered 2017 with a high degree of optimism for the prospects of tax reform are now feeling increasingly uncertain following President Donald Trump's latest decision to once again put tax reform on hold while going back to reworking ...read more

    Cay Clubs Ex-CFO Slams Sentencing Suggestions

    A Florida real estate executive blasted prosecutors’ recommendation of a 93-year prison sentence and millions in restitution and fines for his conviction on bank fraud charges and a tax offense in connection with an alleged $300 million Ponzi scheme ...read more

    Ex-Atlantic City Pol Gets Prison For Dodging Biz Taxes

    A former Atlantic City, New Jersey, councilman was sentenced Monday in Camden federal court to a split one-year sentence of prison and home confinement for trying to dodge a $119,880 income tax debt stemming from his boardwalk rolling chair business. ...read more

    Whistleblower Can't Get Award For Tax Reporting Change

    A U.S. Tax Court judge on Monday tossed a whistleblower’s pursuit of an award for calling IRS attention to an employer’s noncompliance, agreeing with the government that the taxpayer’s voluntary changes to compliance resulting in higher revenue in subsequent ...read more

    NJ Tax Court Upholds $5M In Rite Aid Property Assessments

    The New Jersey Tax Court has upheld two property assessments of nearly $2.2 million each for a Rite Aid retail pharmacy, finding in a decision released Monday that alternative calculations put forth by Rite Aid's real estate expert failed to pass ...read more

    Shell Unit’s Hunt For $1.4B Award Paused For Nigerian Courts

    A New York federal judge granted a stay Monday to Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Co. and other entities seeking to confirm a $1.4 billion arbitral award against state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. until related litigation in Nigeria ...read more

    Atty Benched In Sex Barter Offer Is Disbarred In US Tax Court

    The U.S. Tax Court on Friday disbarred a lawyer who lost his Arizona license last year after trying to trade legal services for nude pictures and “physical attention” from a would-be client. ...read more

    'Jersey Shore' Star, Brother Plead Not Guilty To Tax Crimes

    “Jersey Shore” star Michael Sorrentino and his brother, Marc Sorrentino, pled not guilty Monday in New Jersey federal court to a broader set of charges accusing them of not paying all of the federal income tax owed on roughly $8.9 million ...read more

    Ohio, Retailers Reach Deal To End Biz Privilege Tax Fight

    A Virginia-based online retailer will not appeal a split Ohio Supreme Court decision finding it must pay a business-privilege tax for electronic products it sells in Ohio after it and others reached settlement with the Ohio tax commissioner, the retailers’ ...read more

    Arizona DOR Determines That Taxpayer's Software Services Are Not Subject to Transaction Privilege Tax

    By Open Weaver Banks and Liz Cha

    The Arizona Department of Revenue (Department) issued a taxpayer information ruling stating that a taxpayer’s gross income from transactions provided through the use of computer software is not subject to tax under the personal property rental classification for Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax purposes. 

    The taxpayer’s software provides its customers with subscription billing and reoccurring payment provider services through a web-based portal. The taxpayer charges its client a percentage of successful billing transactions made during a particular time period. If a client violates the payment agreement with the taxpayer, the taxpayer will discontinue provision of its payment processing services and disable access to its software and web-based portal.

    Under Arizona case law, software is treated as tangible personal property. The Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax generally subjects tangible personal property to tax when a taxpayer grants its customer the right to the tangible personal property for a perpetual duration (i.e., a sale) or for a fixed period of time at a fixed amount (i.e, a rental). The Department determined that the taxpayer’s activities would not be considered retail sales because the taxpayer’s billing practices were based on (1) a periodic fee and (2) the taxpayer could discontinue service if the customer failed to pay. With regard to whether the taxpayer’s services constituted a rental, the Department relied on Arizona precedent that taxpayer’s customers must gain sufficient control and use of software to constitute the rental of tangible personal property. In this case, the taxpayer’s customers lacked sufficient control of the software because both the taxpayer and customer used the software and the taxpayer updated information on the portal either manually or automatically so that the clients could view the status of payments processed and other analytical information. Accordingly, the Department determined that gross income from taxpayer’s software services was not a taxable activity under the Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax.

    Arizona Taxpayer Information Ruling LR 16-011, Arizona Department of Revenue (September 23, 2016).

    Privacy Group Sues IRS for Trump's Tax Returns

    A privacy group sued the IRS on Saturday in a D.C. federal court after the agency declined to release President Donald Trump’s tax returns under a Freedom of Information Act request, arguing Trump’s tax records are needed to shine light on ...read more

    Counsel To Counsel: 5 Challenges For A Law Firm GC

    Regardless of where we live and practice, regardless of whether trade deals succeed or fail, and regardless of whether the movement of people or capital is easy or difficult, our clients will still have needs or problems far away from home, says John ...read more

    Longtime MoFo, Pomerantz Partners Launch Boutique Firm

    Three former BigLaw partners have started a boutique Bay Area firm specializing in tax, intellectual property, white collar and consumer protection law. ...read more

    Ill. Appeals Court Revives Estate Tax Challenge

    An Illinois appeals court Thursday reversed a lower court dismissal of a challenge to an estate tax and the law instituting it, saying Illinois collected over half a million dollars in tax under duress despite the state's arguments it was voluntary ...read more

    Airlines Lose Tax Assessment Review In Calif. Appeals Court

    A California appellate panel on Friday ruled that United Airlines Inc., Southwest Airlines Inc. and five other airlines won’t be able to skip over local tax equalization boards in challenging their property tax assessments on their commercial aircraft ...read more

    DC Circ. Declines To Reinstate Tax Court Attorney

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday upheld the U.S. Tax Court’s decision to disbar an attorney for failing to represent his clients, rejecting the attorney’s contention that the Tax Court’s failure to provide a path back to practice violated ...read more

    Rakoff Turns Aside Ex-Herrick Tax Partner's Dismissal Bid

    Manhattan U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff has denied a motion by former Herrick Feinstein LLP tax partner Harold Levine to dismiss criminal charges of obstructing the IRS and pocketing more than $3 million of fraudulent income. ...read more

    5th Circ. Affirms 3-Year Sentence For Tax Fraudster

    The Fifth Circuit on Thursday upheld a 36-month prison sentence for the owner of a salon equipment company who copped to a tax fraud charge, finding that a Texas federal court had backed up its conclusion that the owner also likely structured his bank ...read more

    Calif. Cap-And-Trade Opponents Eye State Supreme Court

    A legal foundation representing businesses and associations opposing California’s cap-and-trade program said Friday it would appeal to the state Supreme Court after a split appellate panel upheld the program earlier this month. ...read more

    IRS Wants $193M Trial With Debt Co. Open To Public

    The IRS on Thursday characterized a protective order sought by Portfolio Recovery Associates Inc. for the consumer debt company’s May $193 million tax trial as a means to conceal discrepancies between its public financial reporting and that given ...read more

    Indian National Pleads Guilty To Massive Call Center Fraud

    An Indian national who was among 55 individuals indicted in a massive call center fraud, involving impersonating tax and other officials to extract hundreds of millions of dollars from victims nationwide, has pled guilty to his role and agreed to be deported ...read more

    MJ's Estate Accuses Gov't IP Expert Of Perjury In Tax Trial

    The estate of Michael Jackson has accused the IRS's intellectual property expert of lying under oath during a high-profile tax trial in Los Angeles with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, urging the U.S. Tax Court to turn down the agency’s ...read more