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.

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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Alert: California False Claims Expansion Bill Preparing to Advance


By , and on May 8, 2020
Posted In California, False Claims Act, Illinois, Nationwide Importance

The revived False Claims expansion bill in California, A.B. 2570, is on the agenda to be heard by the Assembly Judiciary Committee on May 11 at 10:00 am PDT. The proposal would authorize tax-based false claims actions, allowing private, profit-motivated parties to bring punitive civil enforcement lawsuits—an abusive practice that is prohibited under current law...

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Déjà Vu – Marketplace Model Debate May Resume Again


By , and on Apr 20, 2020
Posted In Nationwide Importance, Nexus, Sales Tax, Transaction Taxes

The debate over state marketplace laws may resume again, after the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) announced it has set up a committee to study whether to draft a uniform state law on online sales tax collection, focusing on marketplaces. The study committee is chaired by Utah Sen. Lyle Hillyard. The lead staffer (“reporter”) will be...

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The Digital Advertising Tax Trend Continues: New York Introduces Another Bill


By and on Apr 15, 2020
Posted In Nationwide Importance, New York, Sales Tax, Transaction Taxes

On April 13, S. 8166 was introduced in the New York Senate, which would expand the sales tax base to include receipts from the sale of digital advertising services. The bill would dedicate the revenue raised to student loan relief. As introduced, “digital advertising services” would be broadly defined as “advertisement services on a digital...

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DC and New Jersey Join Mississippi in Disregarding Coronavirus-Caused Remote Work for Tax Purposes


By and on Apr 14, 2020
Posted In District of Columbia, Federal Tax, Franchise Tax, Income Tax, Mississippi, Nationwide Importance, New Jersey, Nexus

As part of our open letter to state tax administrators urging relief of undue tax administration burdens in light of COVID-19, we urged the disregarding of remote work for tax purposes. The public health necessity for businesses to close central operations and direct employees to work from home should not be used as an “opportunity”...

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