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.

Federal COVID-19 Relief Bill Brings State Tax Policy to a Grinding Halt


By , and on Mar 16, 2021
Posted In Constitutional Issues, Franchise Tax, Incentives, Income Tax, Local Tax, Nationwide Importance, Property Tax, Sales Tax, Tax Base

On March 11, 2021, US President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), the COVID-19 relief bill that includes $350 billion in relief to states and localities. To prevent states from using federal relief funds to finance tax cuts, Congress included a clawback provision requiring that any relief funds used to...

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False Claims Act Risk for Unclaimed Property Holders


By , and on Mar 15, 2021
Posted In False Claims Act, Nationwide Importance

In what has become an unfortunate trend, unclaimed property holders continue to be subject to lawsuits under state false claims acts (FCA – also called a qui tam or whistleblower action) for alleged underreporting and remittance of unclaimed property obligations. More than 30 states have a false claims act with whistleblower provisions and nearly all...

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Maryland Enacts First Digital Advertising Services Gross Receipts Tax: Now What?


By , and on Feb 12, 2021
Posted In Allocation/Appointment, Connecticut, Constitutional Issues, Indiana, Maryland, Montana, Nationwide Importance, New York, Oregon, Washington

General Assembly Veto Override On February 12, 2021, the Maryland General Assembly overrode Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of HB 732 (2020) (the Act), a bill enacting a first-of-its-kind digital advertising services tax on the annual gross receipts from the provision of digital advertising services in Maryland. The tax only applies to companies having annual gross...

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DC Council Expands False Claims Act to Tax Claims


By , and on Dec 1, 2020
Posted In District of Columbia, False Claims Act, Nationwide Importance

The DC Council has passed an amended bill (the False Claims Amendment Act of 2020, B23-0035) that beginning as early as January 2021 will allow tax-related false claims to be raised against large taxpayers for up to 10 years of prior tax periods! This troubling legislation creates a real and imminent possibility of prior tax...

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False Claims Act Tax Expansion Bill Advanced by DC Council


By , and on Nov 17, 2020
Posted In District of Columbia, False Claims Act, Illinois, Nationwide Importance, New York

The DC Council has once again advanced a bill (the False Claims Amendment Act, B23-0035) that would allow tax-related false claims against large taxpayers! The bill passed a first reading of the Committee of the Whole on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, by a vote of 8-5. The bill is sponsored by Councilmember Mary Cheh, who...

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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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