Eric Carstens Eric Carstens

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  Eric D. Carstens focuses his practice on state and local tax matters, assisting clients with state tax controversy, compliance and multistate planning across all states for a variety of tax types and unclaimed property. Eric engages in all forms of taxpayer advocacy, including litigation, legislative monitoring and audit defense. He works closely with several of the Firm's taxpayer coalitions focused on specific state tax policy issues such as the taxation of digital goods and services and unclaimed property. Read Eric D. Carstens' full bio.

New York Legislation Proposes to Retroactively Remove FCA Culpability Standard for Tax Law Claims


By , and on Oct 14, 2020
Posted In False Claims Act, Nationwide Importance, New York

With Halloween just a few weeks away, a scary proposal is brewing in the New York State Legislature that should give taxpayers chills. Companion bills Assembly Bill 11066 and Senate Bill 8872 were recently introduced by committee chairs (Assembly Ways and Means Chairwoman Helene Weinstein and Senate Committee on Judiciary Chairman Brad Hoylman). This legislation...

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Business Victorious in Unclaimed Gift Card False Claims Case


By , and on Jun 26, 2020
Posted In Delaware

The Delaware Supreme Court gave Overstock.com a win in a False Claims Act (FCA) suit alleging the retailer failed to remit unclaimed gift card funds to the state. Overstock.com Inc. v. the State of Delaware and French, DE Sup. Ct., No. 327,2019 (June 25, 2020). A jury previously found Overstock liable for approximately $7.3 million....

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Maryland General Assembly Sends Digital Advertising Tax to Governor; Nearly Identical Bill Pending in New York


By and on Mar 18, 2020
Posted In Allocation/Apportionment, Constitutional Issues, Maryland, Nationwide Importance, New York, Transaction Taxes

With gatherings larger than 50 people banned and the State House cleared of visitors, on March 18, 2020, Maryland’s legislature approved HB 732, which contains a massive new punitive tax on digital advertising services, and sent it to Governor Larry Hogan (R) for his consideration. Digital Advertising Gross Revenues Tax Contradicting the clear legislative trend...

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Vermont Bill Would Repeal Cloud Software Tax Exemption


By and on Jan 17, 2020
Posted In Nationwide Importance, Sales Tax, Tax Base, Vermont

On January 16, a bill (H. 756) was introduced in the Vermont Assembly that would repeal the sales and use tax exemption for remotely accessed prewritten computer software. If enacted as introduced, the exemption would no longer protect Vermont taxpayers from this legally suspect tax beginning July 1, 2020. This is not the first time...

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Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Descend as DC Considers False Claims Act Expansion Again!


By and on Jan 16, 2020
Posted In False Claims Act, Nationwide Importance

The D.C. Council is once again preparing to consider legislation (B23-0035; the False Claims Amendment Act of 2019) that would authorize tax-based false claims actions, allowing private, profit-motivated parties to bring punitive civil enforcement lawsuits—a practice that is prohibited under current law consistent with the vast majority of other states with similar laws. The Committee...

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Batten Down the Hatches: Digital Tax Nor’easter Coming This Fall


By , and on Jun 28, 2019
Posted In Connecticut, Rhode Island, Sales Tax, Tax Base

Recently passed budget legislation in both Connecticut and Rhode Island included tax increases on sales of digital goods and services. The Connecticut bill has been signed into law. The Rhode Island bill passed late last night awaits executive action. Below are brief summaries of the impacts of these bills on the sales taxation of digital...

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Kentucky to Begin Taxing Video Streaming Services under Telecom Tax


By , and on May 24, 2019
Posted In Kentucky, Sales Tax, Tax Base, Transaction Taxes

Legislators in Frankfort added a new “video streaming service” tax to the omnibus tax bill (HB 354) as part of a closed-door conference committee process before the bill was hastily passed in the House and Senate. Notably, the new video streaming service tax was not previously raised or discussed as part of HB 354 (or...

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Nevada Bill Proposes Broad New Excise Tax on Sales of Digital Goods and Services


By , and on Apr 2, 2019
Posted In Nevada, Tax Base, Transaction Taxes

A bill (AB 447) was introduced on March 25th in the Nevada Assembly that would create a broad new excise tax on the retail sale of “specified digital products” to Nevada customers. Instead of expanding the scope of Nevada’s sales and use tax, the bill would enact an entirely new chapter of the Revenue and...

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QHTC You Later: DC Bids Farewell to Historic QHTC Certification Process


By , and on Feb 8, 2019
Posted In District of Columbia, Incentives, Local Tax, Procedure

The District of Columbia (DC) Office of Tax & Revenue (OTR) implemented sweeping changes to the Qualified High Technology Company (QHTC) certification process this year. As you may remember, beginning last year, OTR implemented a new online QHTC self-certification process for companies to obtain exempt purchase certificates. This year, OTR is expanding the scope of...

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Delaware Starts Unclaimed Property “Compliance Reviews” (Different from Audits)


By , and on Jan 16, 2019
Posted In Delaware, Unclaimed Property

If the Delaware Office of Unclaimed Property believes that a person may have filed an “inaccurate, incomplete, or false report,” the State Escheator may authorize a “compliance review” under Del. Code Ann. tit. 12, § 1170(b). This is not a standard audit and as a result, the target is not entitled to the option of...

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