Stephen P. Kranz Stephen P. Kranz

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Stephen (Steve) P. Kranz is a tax lawyer who solves tax problems differently. Over the course of his extensive career, Steve has acquired specific skills and developed a unique approach that helps clients develop and implement holistic solutions to all varieties of tax problems. He combines strategic thinking with effective skills for the courtroom, the statehouse and the conference room. Read Stephen P. Kranz's full bio.

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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New Jersey Reconsiders Financial Transaction Tax


By , , and on Sep 21, 2020
Posted In Nationwide Importance, New Jersey, Transaction Taxes

A troubling New Jersey financial transaction tax proposal, which appeared to be gaining in popularity over the last few months, has reportedly been left out of the 2021 budget deal Governor Phil Murphy struck with legislative leaders last week. The decision to drop the transaction tax from the deal came days after the Wall Street...

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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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Alert: California False Claims Expansion Bill Advances to the Senate


By , , and on Jun 16, 2020
Posted In California, False Claims Act, Illinois, Interest and Penalties, Nationwide Importance, New York, Procedure

Like the days of the Old West, last week a masked gang held up local businesses demanding their wallets. Unlike the days of the Old West, this was not the hole-in-the-wall gang, but the California State Assembly who, on June 10, 2020, approved AB 2570, a bill that authorizes tax-based false claims actions. If passed, AB...

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California Bill Would Make Taxpayer Information Available to the Public (Seriously!)


By , and on Jun 15, 2020
Posted In California, Franchise Tax, Income Tax, Nationwide Importance

A concerning bill is pending in the California Senate. SB-972 would require the California State Controller’s Office (the Controller) to make taxpayer information publicly available. The bill would require that the Controller post on its website a list of all taxpayers subject to the California corporation tax with gross receipts of $5 billion or more...

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False Claims Never Die in California


By , , , and on Jun 4, 2020
Posted In California, False Claims Act, Illinois

Recently, AB 2570 has cleared the Assembly Appropriations Committee, which authorizes tax-based false claims actions—allowing private, profit-motivated parties to bring punitive civil enforcement lawsuits. The bill is now on the Assembly floor for consideration and faces a June 19 house-of-origin deadline for passage. The bill is similar to a bill that failed to pass last...

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Washington Surtax on “Big Banks” Struck Down as Unconstitutional


By , , and on May 18, 2020
Posted In Local Tax, Maryland, Oregon, Washington

On May 8, Washington’s 1.2% surtax on “specified financial institutions” (banks with at least $1 billion a year in net revenue) was struck down by a King County Superior Court judge. Judge Marshall Ferguson ruled that the tax, which is imposed on top of all other taxes, violates the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution...

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False Claims Bill Advances in California – Taxpayers Beware!


By , , and on May 12, 2020
Posted In California, False Claims Act, Illinois

California’s bill to authorize tax-based false claims actions—allowing private, profit-motivated parties to bring punitive civil enforcement lawsuits—cleared the Assembly Judiciary Committee on May 11 in a party-line vote. The bill, AB 2570, is sponsored by the committee’s chair, Assemblymember Mark Stone (D), and has strong backing from Attorney General Xavier Becerra. It now goes to...

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