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California Legislatively Overturns Recent Office of Tax Appeals Taxpayer Win

The California State Legislature overturned Microsoft’s recent win at the Office of Tax Appeals, which held that the gross amount of dividends received from foreign affiliates outside its water’s-edge group should be included in its sales factor denominator, regardless of the application of a dividends-received deduction excluding 75% of such dividends from its taxable base.

The legislation declares that FTB Legal Ruling 2006-1 “shall apply with respect to apportionment factors attributable to income exempt from income tax under the Corporation Tax Law,” and it claims that the declaration “does not constitute a change in, but is declaratory of, existing law.” Consistent with the FTB’s position in the Microsoft case, Legal Ruling 2006-1 would limit the sales factor denominator to the net dividends included in the tax base.

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California’s New Office of Tax Appeals Issues Preliminary Draft of Procedural Rules that Is Silent on Discovery Matters

As part of Governor Jerry Brown’s 2017 budget bill, the California State Board of Equalization (SBE) was stripped of its functions that had been authorized by statute, leaving principally property tax matters deriving from the state constitution. Sales and use tax and fee functions were moved to a newly created California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). Jurisdiction to hear appeals from the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) as well as appeals in sales and use tax and fee matters from CDTFA was vested in a new Office of Tax Appeals (OTA), to become effective January 1, 2018. The OTA is scurrying to adopt rules before opening for business on January 1, 2018. It recently released an early draft of what will become emergency regulations. An informal public discussion meeting of the draft has been scheduled for November 6, 2017, in Sacramento. (more…)

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