Income Tax

Across the Hudson

Last week, Governor Murphy of New Jersey staked out a position on New York City’s congestion pricing proposal, stating that it “can’t be ‘on the backs of New Jersey commuters.’”[i]

“Whether it’s how we’re taxed by our neighbors or this proposal for a congestion-pricing scheme that would be a huge burden on commuters,” the Governor continued, “we can’t have it both ways.”

Of course, the Governor was referring to New York’s taxation of New Jersey residents who are employed in New York and whose earnings are taxed in New York, for which the New Jersey residents claim a credit against their New Jersey income tax liability on such earnings.[ii]
Continue Reading Push-Back On New York’s Mission to Tax Non-New Yorkers?

Where is the Economy Heading?

According to the data released Friday by the Department of Labor, the U.S. economy added approximately 528,000 jobs in July, reducing the unemployment rate to 3.5 percent.[i] Although this figure was certainly better than what was expected by many economists, it seems to belie other signs of economic weakness.

Many states, for example, have reported recently that they are experiencing significant declines in estimated tax payments or that they expect declines in revenue from the withholding of personal income taxes.[ii] These developments are being attributed to the performance of the stock market[iii] and to the fact that wages have not kept in step with inflation.[iv]
Continue Reading New York to Taxpayer: “Forget What the Feds Said, You’re a ‘Responsible Person’”

Summer Break?

After the last couple of weeks, I’m looking forward to Congress’s summer vacation. I’m pretty sure our elected representatives feel the same way, though it is unclear at this point when they will be heading to their respective homes – or wherever else it is they go[i] – to relax, recreate, and rejuvenate.

According to the Congressional Calendar, the Senate is scheduled to begin its break on August 6 and to return on September 6, while the House was supposed to have stopped work on July 30 and will be back in session on September 13.[ii]
Continue Reading The Schumer-Manchin Proposal To “Eliminate” the Profits Interest

Deal Costs, Generally

Every purchase and sale of a business, whether from the perspective of the seller or the buyer, is about economics, and few items will impact the economics of the transaction more certainly or immediately than taxes. The transaction involves the transfer and receipt of value, with each party striving to maximize its economic return. The more taxes that a selling party pays as a result of the deal structure, the lower is that party’s economic return. The more slowly that a purchasing party recovers its investment, the more expensive the deal becomes.[i]
Continue Reading The Transaction That Failed – Tax Treatment of Termination Fees

Escape from New York[i]

According to data released by the IRS earlier this year, the pandemic triggered a “wealth migration” that saw high-tax states like New York lose high-income earners to low-tax jurisdictions such as Florida.[ii]

This weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported that New York’s tax base shrank by $19.5 billion as a result of workers fleeing during a time when lockdown measures allowed employees to work remotely. Other high-tax jurisdictions experienced a similar exodus of workers.

Unfortunately for New York, the migration out of the State began before the pandemic, which does not bode well because, as the Office of the Comptroller recently stated, “the personal income tax is the single largest revenue source for New York, accounting for two of every three tax dollars.”
Continue Reading Statutory Residence in New York: Time to Rethink the “Permanent Place of Abode” Test?

State Finances

Much has been written over the last few weeks about the unprecedented financial cushion that many states have accumulated thanks to federal support prompted by the pandemic and larger-than-expected tax revenue.[i]

However, in the last few days we have started to hear warnings from various sources that state economic forecasts for the remainder of 2022 and for 2023 are likely to be revised downward; for example: “The current global geopolitical crisis, continued uncertainties related to the ongoing pandemic, high inflation, and evolving federal monetary policy could all muddle the revenue outlook for the states.”[ii] Add to that the expiration of federal aid programs, the volatility of the stock markets, and talk of recession.[iii]
Continue Reading Will New York Be Looking At Your Federal Tax Return? Probably

An often-explored theme of this blog is the frequency with which similarly situated owners of similarly situated closely held business, facing a similar set of economic circumstances, and presented with a similar set of choices, will repeat the mistakes made by countless taxpayers before them.[i]

Rational behavior? Does the answer depend upon the taxpayer’s appetite for risk-taking? Being an entrepreneur necessarily involves some exposure to risk. However, there is a difference between the calculated risk that an intelligent business owner knowingly takes, on the one hand, and the risk that comes with negligently disregarding well-established tax principles, on the other.
Continue Reading Unreasonable Compensation As Constructive Dividend, Redux

The 2023 Budget

Last week, the New York Legislature passed the State’s 2022-2023 Budget. The $220 billion Budget reflects an $8 billion increase over last year’s budget (a more than 3 percent jump). It is also $4 billion more than what the Governor had initially proposed. In fact, it is the largest spending bill ever to have been enacted by Albany.

I suppose the explanation is obvious: bolstered by still unspent Federal stimulus money[i] and better than expected tax revenues, the Governor and the Legislature decided to be especially generous to their constituents during this election year.[ii]
Continue Reading The Deduction of Cannabis Business Expenses Following New York’s 2023 Budget

“Déjà vu All Over Again”[i]

The White House last week released the President’s Budget for the Fiscal Year 2023.[ii] The Budget is ambitious, but its “investments,” we are told, “are more than paid for with tax reforms focused on making sure the rich and the largest corporations pay their fair share.” Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Continue Reading Attention Congress: Focus On the Estate Tax Regime; Leave the Income Tax Alone

Taxes and Snowy Weather?

How many of you awoke Saturday to find that the winter storm about which we had heard so much during the preceding days had lived up to its hype?

What was your first thought? “Fudge,” right? Time to shovel the driveway and clean off the car. Slippery sidewalks and roads. Ultimately, slush.

A few of you may have mused aloud about moving to Florida, perhaps oblivious to the cold that visited that state over the weekend.[i]

I’ll admit that I immediately wondered whether some enterprising individuals would show up, armed with the latest in snow removal technology, to offer their services.

Which brings me to another confession: I tried to recall whether snow removal services were subject to New York sales tax. A quick check and, “sugar” – turns out they are.[ii]
Continue Reading The Liquidation of a Partner’s Interest Under NYC’s Unincorporated Business Tax